I have left more jobs in my career spanning 23 years than those I did. They paid me well for my position, corresponding to the market standards. On the scale of the job market and employees’ aspirations, I was successful. I had no threat to my job even during a bout of recessions. I was a better fit and had an extensive skill set.
But to me, it was not a success. There was no growth and no satisfaction. I thought, I was realizing others’ dreams and had no standing on my own.
For many, it might be a ridiculous thought. If I’m well paid and have no immediate threat, why to worry about.
Many people chase Happiness and Success along with Peace and Satisfaction, all at once.
There is nothing wrong with these demands. Very human, very like you and me.
However, these words have different weights (and almost vague) for different people and sometimes contradictory too. That’s why these concepts do not engage with us at an emotional plane always.
For years, I’ve been looking for more meaningful and possible, reliable replacements for success, happiness, satisfaction, or peace.
Success Is a Dicey Concept
The problem is that the concept of success provides no simple universal understanding. Because it has no fixed meaning. It emerges according to our conditioning and how we compare it with others’ growth.
Most times, you may not find yourself successful according to others’ scale; still, you can experience success in your own terms.
Working with different companies, I thought I was not paid for my skills, but the positions I held there. And those designations did not require more than a specific set of skills. And it is understandable. You can be over skilled for a particular job function.
Sometimes, this leads to the thinking of feeling unsuccessful.
Peace Is a Killer
Second, we chase satisfaction along with success. But you know this. They can’t go along with each other.
Because, as we start our journey on the road to success, it leaves us with a little time and peace.
Then, is it possible to bridge success and peace?
Competence not Success, Contentment not Peace
There are two more measurable and less ambiguous words- Competence and Contentment.
You can connect to these words better than success or happiness and peace.
Contentment appears when we hit a relaxed state of mind, keep ourselves attached to the present, not a distant future. You worry less.
How can we achieve competence with contentment?
Think of these three steps.
1- Imagine Extremes First
Before FOMO got its place in the Oxford Dictionary in 2013, we were already living in fear of missing out. You fear that your contemporaries will leave you behind in the race. And you will need to start from point zero.
I know, we all have thought about what if we break down?
Let’s clear in mind what it will change in us? Should we be afraid of being vulnerable? Is this change life-threatening?
Think of extremes first, be ready to accept whatever happens; you can always amend your choices.
I’ve found through my experience, understanding in terms of extremities relieves you and calm your nerves. It prepares us for shocks.
In all probabilities, you will survive the situations, anyhow. Then, you will have all the powers and rights to rewrite rules for your existence and sustenance. You have done that in the past too.
Thinking in this pattern keeps us at peace with ourselves and the world we deal with day to day. It grants extensive flexibility to me and scope to manoeuvre around my choices.
2- Trust Your Skills
I’ve always had a cognition that my skills will not fail me. And they never have. This is a relief, and it changes our outlook.
Also, believing in your skills hold anxiety, jealousy, dissatisfaction, and sadness at bay.
There are three types of skills we all have. There is a particular skill set; no one can match up with you. Then, the skills to compete with others. And potential skills, you will get in time with patience and practice.
I’ve found that this skill set is unique and crucial to us because this defines us, our capabilities, and our potentials.
These skills empower you to compete with your contemporaries anywhere, anytime. With a bit of polishing, these can hold you in the race. Your skill set will keep you moving on your way.
Remember, you can fail an exam, a relationship, an agreement, a show, a presentation, not yourself.
3- Future is Anxiety
Incorporating future into your success is inviting anxiety, and it leads to your discontentment.
So, do not try to control the future. You can hardly plan it. Keep yourself immersed in the present and the very next step. It will keep you on track.
I’ve known that incorporating the possibility of extreme circumstances, believing in our skills and being in present keep us happy, contented and on the road to success.
Competence and contentment are not opposites if you are ready to embrace them. Adaptation to the pace and peace both are achievable.