One reason most people aren’t successful is that they believe myths they’ve been taught about success.
The following myths need to be uprooted from our subconscious, so we can have the freedom to create the life we want.
1. Competition is good.
“All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.” – Peter Thiel
Competition is extremely costly to maximum product reach and wealth creation. It becomes a battle of who can slightly out-do the other for cheaper and cheaper. It’s a race to the bottom for all parties involved.
Competing with others leads people to pursue goals that aren’t really their own – but what society has deemed important. You could spend your whole life trying to keep up, but will probably have a shallow life. Or, you can define success for yourself based on your own values and detach yourself from the noise.
2. You need permission.
My father-in-law is a highly successful real estate investor. Throughout his career, he’s had hundreds of people ask him if they should “go into real estate.” He tells every one of them the same thing: that they shouldn’t do it. In fact, he actually tries talking most of them out of it. And in most cases he succeeds.
Why would he do that?
“Those who are going to succeed will do so regardless of what I say,” my father-in-law told me.
3. Happiness can be pursued.
“There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Most people believe they must:
- First have something (e.g., money, time, or love)
- Before they can do what they want to do (e.g., travel the world, write a book, start a business, or have a romantic relationship)
- Which will ultimately allow them to be something (e.g., happy, peaceful, content, motivated, or in love).
Paradoxically, this have -do-be paradigm must actually be reversed to experience happiness, success, or anything else you desire.
- First, be whatever it is you want to be (e.g., happy, compassionate, peaceful, wise, or loving)
- Then, start doing things from this space of being.
- Almost immediately, what you are doing will bring about the things you want to have.
We attract into our lives what we are.
4. You need more.
In an interview at the annual Genius Network Event in 2013, Tim Ferriss was asked, “With all of your various roles, do you ever get stressed out? Do you ever feel like you’ve taken on too much?”
Ferriss responded, “Of course I get stressed out. If anyone says they don’t get stressed out, they’re lying. But one thing that mitigates that is taking time each morning to declare and focus on the fact that ‘I have enough.’ I have enough. I don’t need to worry about responding to every email each day. If they get mad that’s their problem.”
Ferriss was later asked during the same interview, “After having read The 4-Hour Workweek, I got the impression that Tim Ferriss doesn’t care about money. You talked about how you travel the world without spending any money. Talk about the balance and ability to let go of caring about making money.”
Ferriss responded, “It’s totally OK to have lots of nice things. If it is addiction to wealth, like in Fight Club, ‘the things you own end up owning you,’ and it becomes a surrogate for things like long-term health and happiness – connection – then it becomes a disease state. But if you can have nice things, and not fear having them taken away, then it’s a good thing. Because money is a really valuable tool.”
If you don’t appreciate what you already have, then more won’t be a good thing in your life.
5. Success is going to make you happy.
“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation.” —Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has studied the relationship between money and happiness for over two decades
“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them,” Gilovich further states.
Actually, savoring the anticipation or idea of a desired outcome is generally more satisfying than the outcome itself. Once we get what we want – whether that’s wealth, health, or excellent relationships – we adapt and the excitement fades. Often, the experiences we’re seeking end up being under-whelming and even disappointing.
“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are — or, as we are conditioned to see it. Because of this, we must constantly examine our paradigms and seek self-awareness.” –Steven Covey
Our worldview influences, to a great extent, our success in life. What myths are stopping your success?
Isler Northwest LLC is a firm of certified public accountants and business advisors based in Portland, Oregon. Our local, regional, and global resources, our expertise, and our emphasis on innovative solutions and continuity create value for our clients. Our service goal at Isler NW is to earn our clients’ trust in us as their primary business and financial advisors.
1300 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201