The temptation for success is strong and alluring for most of us.
We tend to view success as a personal victory, something to achieve so that everyone else knows we are now making more money or have reached a certain level of power.
The truth is a little more complicated.
Once you have achieved success over a long period, say by building up a company or reaching a sales quota, there is a temporary sense of well-being. It feels good in the moment. However, personal success can sometimes come at a cost to those around you. More important, it’s often not as fulfilling as it seems. The money comes pouring in, but deep satisfaction in life remains elusive. That’s because there are several myths related to power and success, some that are well-known and a few that might seem surprising.
1. Money makes you happy
Let’s start with the most basic myth of all. Despite what rich people might say, and what the most high-profile entrepreneurs insist is true in interviews, the richest and most rewarding experiences in life have nothing to do with money and wealth. You might disagree, but ask any parent about raising kids, or anyone who has maintained a healthy relationship with someone for decades, or the person who has decided to address worldwide hunger and poverty by donating most of their money and you will hear quite a different viewpoint. Building relationships, having a charitable attitude, showing empathy and focusing on others–those things make you happy in the long run.
2. You will feel better about yourself when you achieve success and others don’t
I used to think my personal success was the most important pursuit. If only I could rise to the top of the corporate ladder and prove to everyone I was a success, then I would feel good about my accomplishments and my life. Then I realized that personal success is not as satisfying as seeing everyone on a team succeed and enabling the success of others. In fact, I’ve come to the place where personal success is not that gratifying. In the end, focusing on yourself just means you are probably ignoring others.