The Big Secret of Success Revealed
Why do some people succeed spectacularly in life while others struggle? I think it comes down to recognizing the difference between the art and science of life, and then doing the one thing that will ensure you maximize the value of both.
The ART of life is about fulfillment. It’s about those moments that bring you joy and a sense of purpose. It’s about all the things that are meaningful to you, whether at work, with your family, or alone doing the things you love. I think of Frank Spear and his passion for his cars, photography and traveling. This is a man who has mastered the art of living.
The SCIENCE of life is about the realities that make the art possible. It’s about figuring out your time-and-money equation and recognizing that while time is limited, the value of your time is unlimited. Personally, I was blessed to have a mentor early in life teach me this. I understood a long time ago that if I made a plan and methodically followed it by applying the right energy in the right places, great things happened. Many people over the years have commented on my ability to get things done, as if it were a magical attribute only some people are born with. The truth is much simpler: I just learned the power of planning and execution.
The reality for everyone is that even with the right economics you can make the wrong choices. It doesn’t matter if you’re making $50,000 or $200,000 a year; if you’re spending everything you earn you’ll always be spinning on that hamster wheel.
Most stress is related to numbers: Not enough hours for what we really want to do and not enough money to fund it. The problem comes when you try to deal with this reality using an incremental mindset where your actions are driven by changing circumstances. This is a “reactive” way of living where you end up always playing at the edges. And it is ultimately unsatisfying.
Take a look around you: The people who seem to have life figured out almost always are the ones taking a bolder, more comprehensive approach. As I have said many times, it starts with a vision. A truly well thought out vision is a tool that gives purpose and direction. Knowing exactly what you want and having a realistic plan for getting there is liberating to the spirit. It provides the strength of character and peace of mind that we all want. It’s a profound way to live.
So if you find yourself being bounced around by circumstances and “putting out fires” day to day and week to week without really feeling richer in any sense, take a step back and think. Decide what your ideal life should be and start plotting the course to get the art and science of your life aligned. It may sound like a simplistic answer to a complex question, but trust me; just the act of getting started on a life plan creates its own momentum.
If you’re interested in going deeper with this, I have created a six-part video series called Creating a Vision and a Life Plan that is available at our Digital Learning Campus. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up to receive a five-day free trial. You’ll find the course in the section called Defining Practice Success.