Work hard, cut the BS
Many guys spend most of their time trying to be flashy. When working out, they only train their “show” muscles like the chest and biceps, neglecting their other muscles. They are focused on making as much money as possible, without realizing that it’s not about the money, but instead what you can do with it. It’s all about the flash and the bling, bling for them.
What usually happens is that these guys end up really unhappy, sometimes even ending up turning to drugs in order to get their kicks. Instead of having real valid experiences, they try to substitute them with the quick hits that drugs provide.
On the outside they seem to be doing everything right. They set goals and work in order to achieve them. They have a plan and often they end up completing that plan. So what’s the problem?
Problem is a lack of values
The problem is that they lack values and therefore their goals are outcome oriented, instead of being benefits oriented. What do I mean by outcome oriented versus benefits oriented?
By outcome, I mean they focus on getting material things like a fast car and money, instead of focusing on the benefits that these things can provide. Their goal is to make a million dollars, instead of focusing on the things that being rich can provide for you like independence and the ability to pursue your other dreams.
Things like money should not be the end goal, rather your goals should be structured around benefits. The money is just a means to an end. With money you can do a lot of wonderful things, like travelling the world, seeing many wonderful things, learning about different cultures and meeting new people.
Your motivation should be intrinsic
Your motivation should be intrinsic and not extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation has to do with your own internal desire to seek out new challenges, explore new things and enjoy the activities that you are doing. Extrinsic motivation is largely dependent on external factors and material things.
When you are intrinsically motivated, you end up focusing on things that make you happy. You are not bothered by things that you cannot control. This is the basis behind Stoic philosophy. Work on things that you can change and don’t worry about things that are outside of your influence.
You should work on challenging yourself, finding balance and working on your own internal self-improvement, instead of going for the flash. When you focus on that, you will most likely end up getting the flash as well, however the flash won’t be the end goal, but just the by-product.
What matters at the end is the depth of your personality and not the flash around it. Flash is fleeting, but depth stays around forever. You need to work on improving all aspect of your personality, your mind and your body.
How to be happy and successful
In order to achieve happiness, you should structure your goals around things that you can change about yourself. Your primary mission should be internal. When you improve the internal aspects of yourself, the external aspects will start taking care of themselves automatically.
All flash and no substance leaves a person empty inside, without a clear direction and without a purpose. That’s why you need to be clear about your values. These need to be an integral part of your mission and vision. You need to reflect on them when you are coming up with your long-term vision for yourself.
That’s why I say that happiness doesn’t depend merely on having goals, but on having the right goals. The goals you are setting should not be focused on material things like having money, cars, or houses, but instead on improving yourself as a person, learning new things and getting new experiences. This is the basis of happiness and success.
Create a Vision for yourself
Step 1 in the Renaissance Man Project: Creating a Vision.