Are You Satisfied?
Over the last several years I have been hard charging toward my multi-million-dollar goal. Along the way my life was seemingly less and less satisfying, but why? I had 10x’d my income in less than three years. I have a beautiful wife and three beautiful children. However, something was eating at me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I certainly had ambition, and was working very hard for success, but it wasn’t showing.
A Reality Check
One day my mother was in a coffee shop and saw a book written by a local author. The barista recommended the book and she bought it for me. Ambition by Seth Buechley, was a God send. There were several points in the book where I became emotional as he described the struggle that entrepreneurs internalize.
This was especially profound in relation to my military background and the mentality I have carried into business. The military mindset is powerful in business building. Unfortunately, many veterans tend to internalize the emotion because they have not found a way to re-direct it.
Those of us who become Entrepreneurs suddenly have a channel to release that energy, mindset and motivation. We become hard chargers toward a goal without accounting for the collateral damage inflicted on our civilian family and friends.
Even for non-veteran entrepreneurs, there seems to be this internal motivation that is hard to identify. Seth said, “The process of understanding what motivates you will take time. One of the problems with ambitious leaders is that we are notoriously impatient. We have an action bias. I don’t like this…let me do something. I don’t feel fulfilled…let me do something.”
This, among many other points in the book really hit me. For so long I had felt that I was sword fighting a monster in the dark, stabbing at the unknown with no direction, chasing my own tail. I felt lost and alone even though I was surrounded by an amazing family and life. My constant pursuit of success had me driving hard towards an objective. I was determined to achieve that goal at all cost. In this pursuit, I had lost the connection with where I was in life at that moment.
It is vital that we learn to control our ambition. In my case, I was so driven to reach my goal that everything else in life was getting swept under the rug. I had lost value and perspective in my pursuit of success. My family and all the wonderful things in my life were un-noticed because they weren’t the end goal in and of themselves. They were a part of my end goal but at that moment they didn’t benefit me in reaching it.
I highly encourage everyone to do a gratitude check frequently. If you are not happy with what you have then it’s time to stop and re-focus. Don’t lose what is most valuable because you lack gratitude.