The myth of individual opportunity in our western society has affected most of us, and in particular our younger generations. As the culture of materialism has been sweeping the world (from West to East, and North to South), it has negatively impacted us in ways that are not fully recognized by many. One significant impact of it is our increasing tendency generation by generation to measure success by looking at how much money we make and how prestigious our careers are. For many becoming successful and making money has become an obsession. In their search to find ways to make money they search for a road-map to success that will lead them to the promised land, only to find out that it is not always so promising.
Many times I am asked by clients, who have found this promised land, to help them feel better about their financial, social or professional status. They want to know ‘what are the most common mistakes that people make with regards to money and success’ – so they can avoid making them and also help their children to do so.
The most overlooked mistakes are:
High regard for the external self and low regard for the inner self:
Many derive their self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence based on external achievements or financial and social status, and therefore relate to others in those terms. On many occasions in my practice I have seen what can happen if one’s identity is derived from the acquisition of wealth, and how the loss of money negatively affects the well being and sense of self. Once money is lost (even if the loss does not impact their life style), the person has not been able to recognize their true inner value, resulting in an identity crisis.
Associating money with inner self security:
Those who are familiar with various new age or spiritual teachings are well aware of the fact that this is not true. The ultimate security and safety is derived from having self-awareness and from our connection with something that is greater than our selves (whatever you may call it: the divine, a higher power, the universe);
Equating money with self purpose:
When making money becomes the main focus and purpose of our existence we lose sight of exploring what is our true life purpose and what we are truly meant to achieve – and perhaps only to discover that money maybe the byproduct of it…
Equating success with the achievement of money, fame or power:
Once having achieved any of these goals, most tend to develop an inflamed sense of ego that leads to unbalanced and dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors towards themselves and others. However, if these goals are not achieved, the opposite tends to happen. People will feel insecure, powerless, insignificant and will suffer from low self esteem and self worth.
Equating money with happiness:
There is a widespread belief that we will be happier if we have more money, however, there are many stories of people who have achieved financial success, but still do not experience happiness;
Is There a Roadmap to Success?
Trying to create a roadmap to success, by definition, is doomed to fail. The dictionary defines a roadmap as “a detailed plan or explanation to guide you in setting standards or determining a course of action”. In the context of a roadmap to success the definition will be: “a detailed plan or explanation to guide a person in determining a course of action to achieve success”.
Many people have tried to explain how to achieve success, getting people to follow an already existing roadmap. However, it is not as simple as it may sound and on the whole it does not work. Have you ever thought why?
If we look at the world we can observe that it includes infinite possibilities for creating success and thus contains infinite possibilities for people to achieve it. This means that each individual has, at the subconscious level, a blueprint of their own roadmap to success. Our journey is to discover and identify what success truly means for us, what our purpose is in life, and go about achieving it; thus creating our own roadmap to success…