Why So Many High-Achieving Men are Unhappy (and 3 ways to fix it)
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One of the many false narratives we are fed through social media and society in general, is that becoming wildly successful will make you happy.
The houses, the cars, the travel, the beautiful people, places, and things…you’ll get respect from other men. You’ll get attention from women. You’ll be free from stress and worry.
How could you NOT be just “living the dream” every waking moment?
The reality is, though, that none of this guarantees even the slightest shred of fulfillment or internal happiness.
Often times, it actually causes the opposite.
Constant pressure from work or your business brings stress, which can translate into health and relationship issues. On top of that, it perpetuates pressure to perform at a high level at all times.
Suddenly, a life dedicated to work fuels a vicious cycle. You’ve been so caught up in building your business that you’ve never actually figured out if this is the path you really want to be taking in life.
You’ve been chasing external validation and accomplishments for so long, you’ve lost sight of who you really are and what’s really important to YOU.
Most people will never actually stop and define what’s going to make them fulfilled, because there’s a very real risk that they’re not currently on the path to get there.
What if you’ve gone 10, 20, or 30 years down a career path that isn’t actually in line with your passions and your purpose?
Better to just avoid the question altogether, right?
Not so much.
So, how do we discover the proper course and re-calibrate if necessary?
1: Get absolutely clear on your purpose.
Many of us follow the momentum of our lives from school to profession. Maybe there is a traditional career path in your family. Perhaps you’re following a legacy into a university. Perhaps you’ve followed suggestions from family or friends because of what they think you’re good at.
While there is certainly merit in all of these things, the larger question arises of *why* you’re choosing to pursue a passion in life. What is it about this decision that will propel you out of bed each morning? What is the PURPOSE you are operating with on a daily basis?
Think about the things you enjoy doing when you’re not at work. What are your recreational interests? Cars? Music? Video games? Fashion? We no longer need to accept a stark separation between how we make money and how we live our lives. We can bridge the gap through technology and creative means. But, without clarity around your purpose, it is impossible to build a life around it.
2: Define your wants vs. your needs.
My clients range from CEOs to robotics specialists to VPs of sales to attorneys and doctors. One of the most helpful things they ALL have done, is an exercise to define their wants vs. their needs.
What does this mean?
Maybe you WANT a Ferrari, but what is the true reason behind it?
Perhaps you want the social acceptance that comes along with it. The attention. The admiration. Or, maybe you just enjoy the brand.
The point is, once you gain a deeper understanding about the reasons why you want the things you want, you can be flexible in your approach to achieving them.
If social acceptance is your goal, finding groups in your area that are focused on your interests would be an easier (and quicker) way to achieve it than buying a Ferrari. Different approach, same result.
This wants vs. needs exercise is essential in all areas of life. Relationships, places to live, careers to pursue, investments to make. Once you understand the “why,” you can begin to focus on the “how.”
3: Always prioritize your mental and physical health.
I know this is difficult because it takes time and consistency, but to perform consistently at a high level mentally, you’ve got to maintain a certain level of health and wellness. This means (relatively) clean eating habits, time dedicated to physical activity, and consistently feeding your mind with positive influences.
If you’re operating at a high level of success already, you understand the need to maintain all of these standards for yourself, but perhaps you’ve slipped a bit (as we all do at times).
It’s easy to skip the gym, it’s easy to fall off of the nutrition wagon when traveling, it’s easy to let yourself slip – but your entire life has been built around consistency, dedication, and discipline.
Make sure you don’t sacrifice your own wellbeing for the sake of your business or career. No bank account balance can ever replace your health.
YOU are the foundation that every goal you ever achieve is built upon. Make sure it’s a strong one.
If you want my help and guidance to finally break through your boundaries and create an even happier and more fulfilled life with healthier relationships, reach out and let’s chat.
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I’m high achieving male (physical therapist for the past 25 years who owns a nice condo in a great part of LA, no kids, 49 yrs old with the body of a 25 year old fitness model, 800 FICA score, good amount of money saved, among other things). Pretty sure I know my purpose in life, I know why I “want” certain things and what I actually need, and I certainly prioritize my physical and mental health as you can see by my fitness photos. Yet, I still don’t have the relationship with a woman that I desire, and that makes me a bit unhappy, as I really want a partner in life..