If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there aren’t any hard and fast rules for success. Most advice works some of the time; no advice works all the time.
Then how do you find the way to true success and happiness?
My advice is to look for tension in life; tension is created by forces pulling in different directions. What forces? Here’s a few (but if you look you can find many more opposing forces, work vs. play, family vs. professional, in any situation):
Logic vs. Intuition. From my spiritual training, I’ve learned to listen to and follow my intuition – whether it comes in the form of a hunch, a coincidence, a calling, a dream, or a synchronicity. I’ve had ideas in dreams which have led to profitable business ideas; I’ve followed synchronicities which have led to millions of dollars; hunches have led me to a great solution to engineering problems and to the right relationships in life.
Even so, I’ve still had good feelings about people that turned to be no better than charlatans, or simply incompetent businessmen (and women). The way to get ahead is to use your intuition to give you a direction to go in, and use logic and analysis to help plot out the steps, balancing these two forces.
Internal vs. External. There are lots of self-help and business books that will tell you to do x, y, or z to accomplish your career goals. These are usually divided into two camps: the outer techniques, who will give you practical advice (how to setup a corporation; how to do a budget; how to deal with investors or employees; etc.) and the inner (visualize what you want; use your intuition; build up your resolve; go after your goal; etc.).
The real key to success is to find an overlap of inner techniques and the outer techniques, and to match inner timing with outer timing. One without the other won’t get you very far, but both together will let you soar.
What You Want Vs. What You’re Good At Vs. What The Market Needs. Real success (financial and otherwise) comes when you can find the intersection of these three very real and very important forces. Too often we deceive ourselves with fake goals that we think we want, but don’t speak to our inner selves.
As an extreme example, I might want to be a professional NBA player, but basketball may not be what I’m naturally good at. Although there’s always a market for good basketball players, there’s never a shortage of people who want to be NBA players (most of whom are much better basketball players than I am). Or I may be good at something, but there is no market demand for it – which also leads to frustration. But if I can find the intersection of these three forces, I will find both fulfillment and financial success.
To really find the balance between opposing forces, you have to clear your mind and be honest about yourself and the situation around you. Then seeing clearly, we can choose the appropriate path and take action without fear or doubts.
When you do this, using both your intuition and your logic, you can find a true path to success and become the person you were meant to be!