Celebrities on red carpets with cool cribs and luxurious cars must lead crazy successful and happy lives, right?
Contrary to the popular belief, people who have loads of money, fame, amazing careers, travel a lot, count in a bunch of followers and post pics of their smiling faces daily, don’t automatically consider themselves successful. Or something important might still be missing from their lives.
Remember Robin Williams, Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston… rip.
The key to figuring out if you’re on the right track to becoming “successful in life” is to deep dive into your soul and make out what will make YOU reap the success in life.
And a perfect way to start is fast forwarding your life to its end.
I get it, it’s bizarre and you need to be brave to do this exercise but I promise, it’s worth it.
So bear with me.
Picture yourself dead.
You can no longer make plans, fix your relationships or change your career path.
You’re lying in a coffin and all that’s left of you is a tombstone with your name on it.
Or is it?
You can do nothing about the fact that your life ends, but you choose what stays behind.
Who will miss you? What’s your legacy? What stories will your loved ones tell one another after you’re gone?
And while you’re at it, take a long hard stare at your tombstone and ask yourself:
Are you happy with the way you lived your life? Any regrets?
If you find that imagining your tombstone and your death leaves you with anything less than: “I lived well. I loved, I was loved and I go in peace” it’s time to figure out the life that will make you proud and happy in the end.
6 core needs to fulfill
I know, I know. After you’ve overcome the shock of being dead, you have no clue where to begin puzzling out your success story.
But I’ve got you covered.
The world-famous motivational speaker and a life coach, Anthony Robbins, suggests 6 core needs that we’re all trying to satisfy to be happy.
1. Needs of personality:
We all need to feel safe, stable, secure. We crave comfort, order, and predictability, control and consistency.
Uncertainty or Variety
The problem is, when we achieve even so much as a medium level of certainty, we bore to death. So, to consider ourselves successful we, peeps, also need variety, surprise, challenges, excitement, difference, chaos, adventures, change, and novelty.
To a greater or lesser extent, we all need others to need us, to feel appreciated, unique, special and love-worthy.
Love and connection
This is a big one for most humans. We need to love and be loved by other humans, to communicate, share our lives and create intimate connections.
2. Needs of the spirit:
We need a constant development - emotional, spiritual and intellectual.
Even the impoverished people sometimes experience a strong urge to give, care, protect, and serve others. That’s because we all do, whether we realize and honor this need or not.
Linking your life’s plans with your core necessitates
But these 6 needs are nothing but a rough sketch of your successful life canvas design.
Just call up all the job options and occupations that can help you satisfy your need for certainty.
Let me break the 6 core needs into more concrete categories so you get the better idea what to include in your successful life blueprint.
But bear in mind that these categories are still vague and they often include satisfying more than one need.
As an example, to satisfy your need for certainty, you need to stay healthy (this one is a no-brainer. Make sure your nutrition is healthy and exercise). And then you can feel confident that your body will serve you well for as long as possible.
Next, you need to choose (or change) your vocation to provide financial security.
How much money do you need to be comfortable, but also to support your family, travel, etc?
Yet again, if you’re the person who wants their job to be just a job, you can find excitement (uncertainty) in non-work related areas of life, such as hobbies.
Or, say, investing in stock market.
See, you need to create your own specific goals, unique to your own life and interlace them to satisfy all the 6 needs.
A lifetime goals equalizer
Now you’ve set your long-term goals, divided the actions which need to be taken into smaller chunks and applied them to your daily plans. Good for you!
But sooner than you think, you’ll realize it’s almost impossible to work at satisfying all of your needs at the same time. Our sources of time and energy are limited.
Oh, and lets not forget the good old: “Man Plans, and God Laughs” saying.
While it’s a good idea to list all of your goals and aspirations, you can turn the volume of your efforts and the time you invest in achieving a goal up and down in throughout the time.
Like an equalizer.
This is only an illustration. You set both the horizontal and vertical category as well as specific goals, like: “I want $100.000 on my bank account in 5 years.”
Now, back to your funeral.
So you’re dead.
Look back at your lifetime goals equalizer.
If it looks like this (which could translate into a whole lot of Netflix or some quality jail time),
...sorry. Tough chances you will perceive your life as a success.
But this picture answers the question: “Why would anyone imagine their own death?”
Because, if you want to avoid facing low levels of satisfaction in the main areas of your life aka if you want to have a successful life :
- You need to acknowledge and accept that your life will end.
- You need to plan the rest of your days here on Earth (not necessarily all at once, nor in as many details).
Your grave is where the thrill begins
The funny thing is, picturing your tombstone is where your journey of success begins.
Take the time to reflect on your talents and your desires, your capabilities, and your dreams.
Set your goals and make your plans.
But keep in mind to believe you can achieve them. Remember to picture yourself even more successful and fulfilled than you could have ever imagined.
And don’t forget for a second that it is your mind that sets the stage for success.
Not your capabilities, not the lifetime goals equalizer, not even the circumstances you live in.
Your mindset does.