Gurus are always trying to tout that if you’re successful, you’ll be happy. The reality is these things don’t always coexist. We’ve seen many “successful” people kill themselves either intentionally or not (ie drug overdoses).
The data is in: Being successful financially doesn’t equate to happiness.
Gary Vee is always talking about “don’t you want to be happy?” and talks of all the millionaires crying in their lambos. I want to take it just a step further and consider the 10 year goal. The 10 year goal means that you’re not there yet – it’s something you’re striving to achieve. If you think the attainment of that goal will make you happy (and you’re not happy now), then being miserable for 10 years while you strive for it is probably a garbage idea.
Also, if it did take you 10 years to get it, whatever it is, it’s probably no longer what you want that would make you happy. Consider what you wanted most 10 years ago. Do you still want it just as badly? Probably not. Your desires change over a period like 10 years, so if you’re always striving towards a 10 year goal, you’re always arriving to it and realizing you want something else by the time you get there. Ten years is simply too long if your goal is happiness. If your goal is success, and striving for something that you don’t even care about or want anymore by year 8, then sure, the 10 year goal may be great.
Sometimes attaining the goal will give you a little hit of dopamine when you get there, but probably not, and is any temporary high worth 10 years of doing stuff you don’t want? Probably not.
Perhaps you should think about a 10 day goal. It’s possible to attain. You get a little dopamine hit in under 2 weeks. Your desires today will probably be somewhat similar in 10 days. And you can actually plan it out as opposed to having a 1,000 butterfly effects over the course of 10 years that throw every plan far off kilter.
What about Elon Musk’s 10 year goal to get us to Mars? Should he make a 10 day goal instead? I would reaffirm a few ideas, a) Elon’s happiness isn’t tied only to the attainment of that goal, b) Elon probably enjoys the process of getting to Mars nearly as much as the single moment when it occurs, c) Success sometimes requires long term goals like that, but happiness does not.
There’s no right way or wrong way to all of this, but it’s important to realize when we read motivational books to beware of blanket statements like “Set 10 year goals,” that may be great for someone, but terrible advice for you.
Are you trying to be happy, or successful? And have you blended these 2 terms in your mind? Do your goals change more often than 10 year periods? Maybe it’s time to change the timelines of certain goals? Maybe it’s time to focus on 10 day goals and actually be able to accomplish more?