Modern society puts a huge pressure on individuals to grow and “succeed”. Sometimes, regardless of the costs. We keep asking ourselves:
What do I need to do better or differently in order to succeed?
One of the common answers to this question is:
You need to work more, be more engaged, show passion and to put more energy into the things you want to accomplish.
But what if there is no more energy to put in, what if we are already “driving at full speed” for too long, and it seems that we are closer to burn-out than to success. In such a situation the solution might be to put more wisdom and less energy into the project. For sustainable success hard work is not enough – it needs to be smart as well.
Do you remember primary school physics and the equation p=F/S (p – pressure, F – force, S – surface)? Pressure is a force per unit area that acts on an object.
Let’s make a parallel with life. When we want to move life projects forward and get the desired results, we tend to invest more energy ( stronger force), because more energy usually brings better results. Problems arise when we reach our limits.
I am doing my best, and there is no more energy I could invest … I already feel overworked.
How to keep momentum in such cases? Let’s go back to the physics… Pressure moves things, not force! If our ”force” is at the maximum, we can increase pressure by reducing the area on which the force acts. Smartly defined areas in which we invest our energy is an excellent solution for success. As I wrote in “Am I Successful?” article, criteria for success in life are different for each of us. So, instead of asking: “What does it take to be successful in life?” ask yourself:
“How do I know that I’m successful (by my own criteria)?”
“How much energy am I investing to reach success?” – Force
In what life areas am I building my success?” – Surface
If there are many life areas in which you would like to grow, you’ll need to find a smart way to distribute your life force. If the number of those areas is not big, then, from time to time, you will need to check if you are still putting energy in the most important ones. Playing the game of success with the reduction of the area on which you are applying your life energy is always a matter of compromise… and it’s never fair!
You might earn big money, but feel disconnected from your friends. You might work from 9-5 and have a rich social life, but still be dissatisfied because you would like to have a flashy new car.
If you are investing maximum energy (force), and still want something more in life, you need to make a compromise.
Do you want to earn more money? No problem … what are you willing to give up?
Do you want more time with your family? No problem … what are you willing to give up?
Do you want to do sports? Yes, it is possible… just decide, what are you willing to give up?
Sometimes, making the decision will not be easy at all. Choosing the left or right might sound like you need to choose between one of two kids. No matter how strange your decision might be – if you’re happy you’re one step away from success. If you are not happy double check your definition of success – it’s probably the right time to change it!
* This text was published in 2015 on NLP Center‘s blog under the name “Concept of Success and Classical Physics”.