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The True Cost of “Success” Is The Things That Really Matter

It pays to pursue a career of significance to your future self.

In pursuing what we want we end up sacrificing what we need to live a fulfilling or meaningful life.

Success, in any form, will never be enough — choose significance. Joshua Becker, the author of Things That Matter, explains it beautifully, “Financial success is a powerful motivator. And it controls the lives of many. It chooses occupations. It dictates how time, energy, and resources are spent. It influences relationships, schedules, and families.”

If you slow down and think about how you spend your life right now, will you be happy about the choices you made in ten years? If the answer is no, rethink how you spend your time and where you are headed in life.

The real question is: what are you sacrificing today for what you want tomorrow, and is it worth it? Scott Adams once said, “If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it.”

Success shouldn’t cost you your best life. If you do it right, you won’t have to sacrifice what really matters for a meaningful life: time for meaningful and memorable experiences that makes you come alive.

Should success cost so much? Any kind of success requires an investment of time — but it doesn’t have to cost you your life. Find your sweet spot (the intersection of purpose, persistence, and a sense of control) and make success work for you, not against you.

Every level of success you achieve should work in your favour.

“While we tell ourselves that the next level is enough, it never is. The next zero in your bank account won’t satisfy you any more than you are now. The next promotion won’t change who you are,” argues Shane Parish.

So whilst you are busy hustling, doing what you must, working on “urgent” projects and checking off things on your list, remember not to sacrifice the real end goal (a meaningful experience).

Pay careful attention to what you are ignoring, because in the end, you might miss out on what really matters for a meaningful life. Success has big unintended consequences Warren Buffett is right, “Never risk what you have and need for what we don’t have and don’t need.”

Needs and wants deliver results. They have different trajectories. More often than not, we desperately pursue what we want to find what we need, but we get lost in the process and lose our best selves.

Whilst we are so busy adding more zeros to our bank accounts, we spend less time with the people we love, sleep less, skip exercise, forget to slow down, miss important dates, and and don’t plan to take quality breaks.

“When it comes to living a meaningful life, the only scoreboard that matters is yours.


Don’t let your ego get in the way of the person you really want to be or the life you really want to live,” says Ebenezer Scrooge.

By all means, aim for the very best version of yourself, but don’t forget to slow down, make time for what you need to live a fulfilling life and pursue a career of significance to your future self. And remember to make room for the things that makes life worth living and, most importantly, create meaning out of what you do.

Success can sacrifice the freedom you expect and even create rigid boundaries that stand the way of a fulfilling life. What do you want out of your career? Do you know? “Strive to do better, to be better, but know there’s a difference between living your best life, finding your version of success, and pursuing endless glory, fame, and affluence,” writes Patrick Allan of Lifehacker.

Choose your career path carefully — and if you are already on a great path, be more mindful of how you spend your l

Start prioritising your life, or someone else will. Success shouldn’t dictate how you spend your time or life. Choose goals and actions that support your purpose and live life to the fullest now.


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