When I was growing up, kids when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” would respond with things like: Actor, Postman, Astronaut, Scientist, TV Star, Pilot, Explorer, Teacher, Disc Jockey etc. The answers would be as varied as the career choices out there.
Today when kids are asked the same question, the answer for boys and girls is the same, RICH.
As if money were the only definition of “success.”
“There is only one success…
to be able to spend your life in your own way.”
I really like the words of Christopher Morely. For time and money are inversely proportional. You can save time by spending more money or save money by spending more time. The choice is yours.
Success as most people talk about it sounds like a goal. Goals are dreams with a deadline.
Where does being happy come in? Shouldn’t happiness be included on your personal road to success?
You can have all the monetary success in the world, but if you aren’t happy, are you truly successful where it counts?
Success can be measured.
Happiness is limitless.
People will often tell you to work smarter, not harder. But the reality I’ve found is there is no short-cut to monetary success. The success secret is finding work that you love, work that makes you happy.
Let’s face it, no matter how good your plan, life will get in the way.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Michael J. Fox certainly has had his share of success, happiness and adversity. Fox has been living with Parkinson’s for 26-years. Fox is working, laughing and defying the odds. Recently he shared his “6 Rules for Surviving Adversity.” When I read them, I thought they are perfect for anyone of us in the world of mediated communications. Since the passage of the Telcom Act of 1996, those of us in radio and television have seen massive consolidation resulting in RIF’s (Reduction In Force).
Here are the things Fox says we should keep in mind:
- Exercise: “We’ve learned it will prolong your ability to operate positively in the world,” says Fox. I’ve learned that logic won’t change an emotion but action will. If you find yourself in a pickle, start doing things. Helping others will especially help you too.
- Pacing: “It helps me think – the physical motion creates intellectual motion,” says Fox. And Fox isn’t the first person to discover the benefits of improved thinking by being in motion. Steve Jobs, I’ve read, liked to conduct meetings while walking. He said it helped both him and the person(s) he was talking with to think more clearly. Plus, meetings don’t drag on when people are standing or walking.
- Acceptance: “It isn’t resignation, and it freed me to actively deal with and endeavor to change my situation (in dealing with Parkinson’s)” and Fox adds “My happiness goes in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” For many of us who were RIF’d or took on the work assignments of all those people who no longer work by your side, acceptance is critical. I remember losing my promotions department, my national sales manager and local sales managers and as each position was eliminated, it became the new additional job of the market manager. Until the day they eliminated my position. I know what it means to embrace acceptance.
- Honesty: Don’t remain silent or ashamed about the position life has handed you. Fox says that once he went public about his condition with Parkinson’s “it was empowering to have people understand what I was going through – I immediately felt better.” Be honest about your situation and seize the opportunity to re-invent yourself and your life. Change is life’s only constant.
- Optimism: “I hate when people say, ‘You’re giving them false hope.’ To me hope is informed optimism,” says Fox. I love that way of looking at life. You always have a choice to how you react to the things that happen to you. You can be angry, you can be sad, you can sink into a depression – OR – you can look at things with “informed optimism” and explore new opportunities.
- Humor: “I laugh at [my involuntary movements and the scenes they create],” says Fox. “There are times I love these things.” Laughter IS the best medicine for anything that ails you.
Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
Norman Cousins used laughter to get well when everything else his doctors had been trying failed. He chronicled his miraculous recovery in a book “Anatomy of an Illness (as perceived by the patient).” It was the first book by a patient that told how taking charge of our own health is critical. Cousins used laughter, courage and tenacity to mobilize his body’s own natural resources. He showed how effective and powerful a healing tool the mind can be.
Do What You Love
Take a moment to reflect on all the things you were passionate about when you were growing up as a kid. Can you combine any of them, or age them, or make them fit into a 21st Century world? When you look to your past, you might just discover your future.
None of us were put here to do just one thing.
I’m sure you had many things you wanted to do with your life when you were young.
And finally, remember the words of a great broadcaster, David Frost who said:
“Don’t aim for success if you want it;
just do what you love and believe in,
and it will come naturally.”