Achievement Does Not guarantee happiness.
Happiness and Diversity of Self.
Achievement does not guarantee happiness.
Diversity in the workplace and the wider world is given a lot of air time and consideration as it should.
But how often do we honour diversity within ourselves?
In other words, when do we allow and acknowledge all the different interests, different roles, and curiosities that present to us to guide us along our path in life?
We are best rewarded when we stick firmly to the exclusive path we identified, probably when we were considering our A levels or took our first job.
Hopefully, the chosen path is aligned with your innate qualities and abilities otherwise why would you have chosen it, right?
But what about all those other motivations, areas of interest that lie within your being? Are they getting any air time?
At this point in my life, I have happily achieved a good degree of peace and contentment.
Jack or Master? Perhaps both!
I have, in the past felt a bit ashamed about being a bit of a Jack of all trades.
As though there was something wrong with me, for not fully knowing who I am or more correctly, who I’m supposed to be.
This was in the past.
Today I celebrate all my experiences because they are the colourful threads that weave together and contribute to that marvelous creation that is me.
How dare I toot my own flute? I dare because it is true and it is true of you too.
The Trouble With Jack.
In today’s society and certainly historically being a Jack means you do not always achieve the same levels of success or recognition that a master, or expert does.
However, the trade-off is good, because what you lack in the material success you gain in self-discovery and “self-actualisation”. Self-knowledge leads to inner peace and contentment.
Whereas, achievement for achievement’s sake does not guarantee happiness.
The Trouble With The Master.
Being the Master is great.
You are respected, you are well rewarded for the work that you do, and that means you hold rank and position in society.
So what could be wrong with that? Especially, if you are working in a field that you love.
Well, if you have kept too strictly focused on one destination, one career, one pathway you may have neglected other interests and loves.
That is, things that might not have been important to your career trajectory but are important to you as a human being have been pushed aside.
For example, you may not have pursued a romantic relationship, or did not take up a hobby, or attend an event because you felt it was obstructive or unhelpful to attaining your one chosen main aim or goal.
Your path is littered with little pieces of authentic you that got pushed to the wayside because they didn’t fit perfectly with your ambition.
That means your chance of true peace and contentment was potentially weakened, however slightly, each and every time you rejected an impulse.
The Road Is Long.
"... with many a winding turn". Is it just me that gets songs accompanying these musings of mine? I've only just got rid of "Hit the Road Jack".
Of course, over the time span of several years, our way-of-being becomes a habit.
Jack finds it difficult to resist the temptation of going walk-about as and when. That might be because there is not so much at stake. Jack is balancing the desire for recognition and money with the desire to follow a hunch or intuition. Oftentimes, the hunch or intuition wins because the joy and satisfaction of finding out something new are enough for Jack. Jacks instinctively know that achievement does not guarantee happiness.
That said, if “Jack” is avoiding staying on track because of feelings of unworthiness then no amount of side-tracking is going to secure peace and happiness long-term.
By that I mean, by self-sabotaging your desire to attain rank, recognition, or monetary reward because you don’t feel you are good enough, you are not Jack. Rather, you are a Master-in-denial and you are probably not consciously aware that you are side-tracking to avoid success.
When you are aware of your Jack, pretend-Jack, Master, and Master-in-denial you can choose acceptance and understanding. Alternatively, you can choose change and greater fulfillment.
Either option will give relief and contribute to your inner peace and happiness.
Change can be tricky for Jack as I mentioned above but maybe even more difficult for the Master to change direction. The Master has a lot at stake.
The Master has spent years devoting their time and energies to being the very best they can be within their field.
If you are a Master, you know the recognition, rank, position, and money have come at a price.
You have worked hard, made sacrifices, and are now so tightly integrated with your job or position in life that you cannot easily separate the two.
You may even wonder if there is any part of you outside of the position you hold.
That in turn may make you nervous about retirement. Without your professional self, who will you be?
You may have already denied some of your interests and dreams for fear they will somehow reflect badly on your position, expertise, and authority.
As though secondary interests will somehow dilute your already established expertise.
From the outside, it looks like the Master has it all. Indeed the Master whose specialism is combined with a good work/life balance does have it all.
But oftentimes having achieved great success the Master finds this does not protect them from emotional pain or unhappiness.
In addition, the situation is further compounded because the Master does not feel they are entitled to feelings of dissatisfaction or loss.
After achieving great things you feel empty and as though a piece is missing and then berate yourself for not feeling happy.
(There may be many pieces, remember all that fell by the wayside on your path?)
It is a painfully isolating and lonely place to be.
Embrace Master Jack.
Luckily, for us all, it is never too late to change and adjust.
There is enough time for the Jacks to focus and stick to one path for while if they want to and enough time for the Masters to go off-piste and explore if they want to.
By acknowledging and embracing every part of your being you get to know and understand yourself.
That means that even if you never get to be the master or expert in the eyes of society, you have a massive chance of becoming master of yourself.
That is hugely empowering.
Therein lies freedom and a sense of peace and contentment.
If this musing resonated and you find that you are feeling depressed, low or unfulfilled, even though you have achieved much and have all the trappings of a successful life. Yet still you cannot find your inner happiness and peace then therapy can help. It is hard to change the habits of a lifetime. I can help. Reach out and connect.
With a smile and warm regards,