The key to success in life is complex, but never fear! It need not be confusing. All we have to do is break it down into parts. The key to happiness in life consists of a simple formula I’m going to share with you.This article will break down the simple components of how to find your purpose and passion, then how to set goals which align with your values and achieve them! So you too can hold the key to success in your hand.
In order to tackle a topic of this magnitude (sounds ominous: “the key to success in life”) we’ll have to first break it down into parts. We’re going to simplify it. First, we’ll have to agree what “success” in life means. Then, we’ll have to create a step-by-step strategy on how we go about achieving it. Thus we will know what we want, and how to get it. From this, alas, we shall deduce what the key to success in your life is.
How to Be Happy With Your Life: Finding Fulfillment
Finding happiness seems elusive but it’s not. We actually understand precisely what goes into fulfillment. The only confusing part is that the precise ingredients to a meaningful existence, the keys to success in life, are extraordinarily personal. Do not fret! Finding your purpose and passion is still simple. Because your unique key to success in life will fit into a matrix. An equation whose sum equals all human happiness. There are precise categories all of your needs and desires will fit into. We are all human, after all. For this first measure, on finding overall fulfillment, I’ll reverse engineer Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”. This metric is generally accepted by Psychologists to encompass all the categories of ‘human needs’ on the mental, emotional, and physical scale. It depicts 5 layers required for anyone to feel fulfilled in their life (Psychology Today).
1. Physical needs: like food and water
I add: exercise & good nutrition
2. Safety: being secure from harm
I add: mental & emotional safety — acceptance
3. Love & belonging: relationships
I add: freedom to be yourself & be loved for your own choices
4. Self-esteem: ie. feeling important
I add: being useful, finding meaning in your activities
5. Self-Actualization: the pinnacle, achieving one’s full potential
I add: discovering your purpose & making it your livelihood
The key to a successful life is, therefore, reaching the top tier of human accomplishment. Finding your purpose and passion is born of having 1,2 & 3 met. Growing into 4, as I’ll explain now, is how you set goals and achieve them.
Finding fulfillment in your life is directly related to checking off 1-5: being able to express your individuality, hone in on your highest ability, share it — and make it your job to provide.
“The Meaning of Life is to Give Life Meaning” -Victor Frankl
Discovering your Purpose & Passion: What are Your Goals in Life?
The most confusing and the absolutely simplest part about creating a meaningful life is: It’s defined by you! Your highest potential is unique. Therefore, the types of goals you set, the life skills required to fully realize them, and how you make this your livelihood are defined by you. However, I’ve got you completely covered. I’ve got a plan.
There are very simple ways to discover what your talents are, what life skills you need to develop, by finding out what you are passionate about. This article is part of a series on making all of your practical dreams a reality. Read on for an evidence based approach to creating a truly fulfilling lifestyle.
There are two schools of philosophies concerning human purpose and passion: one believes we all have a ‘higher purpose’ to grow towards something better (like Humanism), the other thinks we are base creatures who only respond to physical urges or societal programming (like Nihilism). Some great thinkers believe human beings are evolving towards some higher potential — that we all have a purpose and it is our greatest joy to fulfill it (like Aristotle). Some do not (like Nietzsche). I firmly belong to the first class, but it doesn’t even matter whether you agree or not: even if we have no purpose — finding a goal that inspires us, and working towards it, makes us happy and that is inarguable (PositivePsychologyProgram).
The Key to Achieving Success in Life: Discover Your Purpose and Make it Your Job
The key to success in life is finding your passion, discovering your purpose, then creating a reality where you help others (even indirectly) by sharing it with them. The way to living a happy life is therefore to achieve a skillset, or accomplishments, which allow you to work in alignment with your growth towards your highest potential in those areas.
How to find your life purpose and passion? Ask yourself three questions:
a. What could I talk about for hours and still have more to say?
That is your passion.
b. What could you do all day for free?
That is your purpose.
c. How could you make that your livelihood?
This is what will give your life meaning.
How to Set Goals and Achieve Them
You’ll have goals from every area in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After you’ve set your goals — follow these evidence-based steps proven to help you achieve them.
Subscribe to my email list and you’ll be the first to receive my free workshop on clearing mindset limitations (so you can think bigger and set realistic goals according to your highest potential). I’ll also give you notice of my posts on choosing goals (because it is a skill in its own right). Once you’ve chosen them it’s time to:
1. The Struggle is Real: Accept it
Life is going to be hard: if you go for all of your dreams or not! I’m sorry to break it to you, there’s no opting out, living a fulfilling life will always require your effort & engagement, but I will promise that living a happy life — a life you’re proud of — will feel a whole lot nicer than any other option. So get ready to take the risk. Accept the challenge. And prepare for setbacks.
Studies show that successful people don’t have fewer setbacks than those who fail, they simply process failure differently. Those who succeed see setbacks as “opportunities for learning”. You can set yourself up to respond to obstacles with a growth mindset by preparing for them (that’s a term in psychology, not woo-woo, read on).
Perseverance is Key to Goal Attainment
The notion of “Grit” outlined by acclaimed researcher Angela Duckworth explains that, although talent and intelligence play a role in achieving success in life, resilience has a stronger correlation to goal attainment then either. She says that “achievement is the product of talent”, yes, but also of “effort”(New York Times). Meaning that demonstrating courage in the face of obstacles and creating a strategy to overcome them is equal to finding your true calling. High performance depends on both of these factors; the key to success in life is in the interplay of these two factors.
2. Become Meticulously Achievement Oriented
Begin creating an achievement oriented character by setting up rewards for yourself. Invest your sense of self-esteem (4 on Maslow’s hierarchy) on how you respond to the events that make up your life. Visualize it daily. When you fail, look closely at the situation and come up with a plan on how to overcome the obstacles to your success. Then give yourself a pat on the back for learning. Make every small move into an opportunity for advancement or growth.
Learn to envelope yourself in your achievements.Set small wins for yourself. Compare yourself to yourself prior. Duckworth’s study explains how this specific type of “conscientiousness” has a high correlative to life achievement overall.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” -David Viscott
Bring Purpose, Meaning and Value to Your Work
Purpose, meaning and value are high correlatives to overall happiness. If you remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing, how it serves, and how you are providing meaning to others with your perseverance and success, it will be easy for you to continue.
3. Aim for Excellence Not Perfection
The meaning of life, to me and to many brilliant scientists and philosophers, is to evolve. So even if you set up an idea of “perfection” for yourself, you will necessarily fall short! Your purpose is growth. Perfection denotes an end. And while your flower in blossom may be a light at the end of the goal tunnel, everyday you have an opportunity to give a gift. Decide your piece of work is done when you have reached something of value, not an idea perfection. We can’t even decide what is perfection for ourselves — imagine what a detriment it would be to our goals to take on what others consider ideal to judge our achievements!
The key to success in life — in your life — only translates the symbols on your map. Your journey is your own. Giving your life meaning is a definition you created.
The key to success in life is to embrace the ironic reality that a. you already have something to give and b. you will always be growing in your ability to give more. Both are true. Be the best you can, appreciate that this is a wonderful gift to give. Accept the struggle to become more, and celebrate even your smallest wins. Aim for many achievements — big and small — but compare your growth only to how far you’ve come.
Give yourself gratitude for being better than you were yesterday. Dedicate yourself to growth. Identify what sets your soul on fire then plan out how to make that your lifestyle.
It’s going to be hard, but hey, so is everything else. Remember this one thing: it will be easier for you than anyone else.
This is your life purpose!
You were made for this!
Peace and so much, LL