If you ask most people what they need to get more from life after 60, they will tell you that they need more money. But, is this really true? Or, do we just have a tendency to believe that money will solve all of our problems?
Imagine that You Just Won the Lottery
Sipping Champagne with your friends, you think about your good fortune. You wonder if your happiness will last forever, now that you don’t have to worry about money. Unfortunately, the answer is almost certainly no. Why? Because the pleasure that luck creates vanishes quickly.
Once the immediate glow of a fortunate event wears off, we often find ourselves feeling empty. Worse still are the consequences that come from waiting for luck to strike instead of taking control of our lives and creating our own good fortune.
True happiness comes from achievement, not luck.
The road to positivity is paved with a thousand small accomplishments, each one of which enriches our lives and makes us better people.
Why is a focus on achievement so critical to achieving lasting happiness after 60?
Simply put, we were designed to be active participants in the world.
Our Ancestors Sid Not Wait for Their Next Meal to Drop from the Sky
They fought to survive every day. They applied all of their creativity to thriving in a complex and dangerous world.
We live in a very different world now, but, our minds haven’t changed. Whether we realize it or not, we measure our progress based on the results of our actions. When we change the world, we feel empowered. When the world changes us, we feel powerless. What is the last thing that you did that you were proud of? How did your achievement make you feel?
Happiness is found when we choose our goals and then go after them with all of our passion. When we view the world through the lens of achievement, our lives are filled with experiences, not just events.
Experiences happen because of us. Events happen to us.
It’s a subtle difference, but, a critical one when it comes to the pursuit of happiness.
As we seek to improve ourselves and the world around us, nothing is more important than hard work and motivation. Standing on our own two feet, and succeeding, gives us the motivation to try harder and dream digger. More importantly, when we see ourselves as active participants in the world, we don’t just dream bigger, we make our own dreams come true. What would you do if you knew that you could not fail? What is one small step that you could take today to move you closer to your dream?
If achievement is so important, why do we fail to take action in our lives? Because it’s hard to take action – not in reality, but, in our minds. Achievement is not the result of a single spectacular action; it comes from the multiplied effect of a thousand small decisions. The problem is that each of these small actions seems insignificant. Studying French for 30 minutes today won’t make you fluent. But, studying French for 30 minutes every day for a year will make a huge difference.
The First Step is to Put All of Your Daily Activities Into a Larger Context
Instead of asking, “If I do this thing today, will it make a difference?” ask yourself “If I do this thing every day, consistently, will it make a difference?” What do you want to achieve this year? What is the one thing that you could do every day to move you closer to your goal?
It doesn’t matter whether your goals are big or small. What matters is that they are important to you. Pick goals that you are passionate about. Your energy will sustain you on the long road to success. What are you passionate about? Do you want to learn a new language? Or, perhaps you want to have more energy to play with your grandkids? Have you been waiting for the perfect time to start writing your novel?
Hint – the perfect time is now!
As you embark on your path to achievement, don’t forget to stop along the way and celebrate important milestones. Be proud of the passion that you have for your dream and the consistent approach that you apply to your work. Don’t wait for the final result of your work to be ready to celebrate.
Break your project up into milestones and reward yourself along the way. The end result is important, but, much of the happiness that achievement brings comes from the pride that you take in seeing yourself become a better person over time. What have you accomplished this week that you are proud of?
It’s time to stop waiting for the world to bring you happiness in a bolt of lightning. It won’t. Instead, create electricity in your own life. Happiness in your 60s and beyond is a choice – your choice. Think about what you want to achieve and create a plan to get there.
Be motivated by the challenge and reject the fear of failure. The only true failure is a failure to try. Start looking today for ways that you can achieve your passions, one small step at a time.
Take Action to Find Positivity
Write down one thing that you would like to achieve in the next week. Put the piece of paper in a prominent place in your house and check it in a week to see how you did.
Do you agree that it is too easy to blame our problems on money? Why or why not? What would you try if you knew you could not fail? Please join the conversation.