3 Beliefs that Feel Right but Cause Harm
#1. Reaching goals provides fulfillment.
You’re exhausted because you believe the myth of reaching goals.
The only thing achievement provides is the opportunity to look for the next goal. The process is endless until you give up and start living.
You always feel like you’re almost there. You always run to finish the next thing only to repeat the process over and over and over.
The only time you actually get there is when you die.
What is life about if it isn’t about goals? David Shapiro told me that life is about growing and giving. People who grow and give thrive. Everyone else grows weary.
#2. You know what makes you happy.
Daniel Gilbert writes that we’re lousy at predicting what makes us happy. (Stumbling on Happiness)
You don’t know what makes you happy because you’ve trivialized happiness.
The trivializing of happiness makes you unhappy.
The ancients used eudaimonia for happiness. It’s better translated flourish. People feel happiness is a day at an amusement park, but flourishing is more rigorous.
Martin Seligman says flourishing includes:
- Positive emotion. (Happy feelings is a part of the formula, but not the end.)
#3. Hard work is the answer.
Hard work is necessary, but good fortune often makes the difference. The longer I live, the more I see fortuitous events contribute to success.
Dr. Seuss had given up on his first children’s book. He was headed home to burn it when he bumped into an old college classmate on Madison Avenue. It was Mike McClintock’s first day working for Vanguard Press. Mike was the new editor of children’s books. Thirty minutes later Dr. Seuss shook hands with the president of the company. (Becoming Dr. Seuss)
Keep your head up and your eyes open. Welcome surprises.
What beliefs have you changed?
Hi Dan: It’s been a long time since I’ve written, but I find the time to read you every day and didn’t want another week to pass without thanking you again. Please keep on being you and sharing with us. Your words and insight have a powerful impact!
Happy Weekend to you and everyone who shares in this daily ritual on a regular basis.
I’m curious… How do you distinguish then between projects that have milestones and deadlines in our work (we all have them) – which many people would call a “goal” — and living without goals? In addition, I’ve learned you can’t hit a target you’re not aiming at. Whether self-employed or employed by others…work must be done, services exchanges, etc. for the economy to work. I do that currently – and do not neglect the relationships in my life, my relationship with God, and still “do the work”. Your thoughts….and others??
Several times recently, you have used Dr. Seuss as an example to emulate. This last year, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the current copyright owner of his work, stopped publishing 6 titles due to the overt racism in the books. Over the last several years, libraries and schools have distanced themselves from Dr. Seuss titles because of the racism which is present even in the titles still being published. Perhaps a different example would serve better.
Mary O’Driscoll took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you Mary to expressing the same gratitude I have for Dan sharing his wisdom and his insights …and thank YOU, Dan!
I agree that we do not do a good job of recognizing and achieving happiness. I am currently reading FLOW by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It uses decades of psychology research to link happiness with being highly engaged in an activity, be it rock climbing, sports, and possibly even leadership. I don’t usually read this sort of book, but yet I do highly recommend it.
Great book! I used to be in an organization that did a lot of survey work to find out if we had “happy” employees. We had a paradigm shift and moved to trying to check more on employee engagement. This shift yielded far more actionable results.
This was so helpful to me! Thank you for your daily words of wisdom and insight, they have lifted me to a better place on many occasions. This one felt like it was written for me! Thank you
How true this is Mr. Rockwell hard work does pay off. Be it the daily 9 to 5 grind or glued to a virtual work setting. Goals must be reached, vision boards aren’t made for looks and after time I’ve learned to plan and prepare better for the ultimate curve balls that come with reaching my goals. Its habitual now rather than just piecing things together and hope they work. Good fortune? Well let’s just say being in the right place at the right time demands showing up with our game ready face everyday. Fellow staff see that. It’s encouraging and uplifting to work with people who thrive on producing results especially in this pre era we’re living in. I so appreciate you Mr. Rockwell, for the last 19 months your feed has been my go to every single day. It’s helped me in so many ways. You have truly helped me see my work life thru a different lens.
I know forgiving myself for what I had done are not dine helped me forgive others which brought less angry which in turn made my life happier