Society teaches you that you are what you accomplish.
And the level of your accomplishment is rated by external measurements like money and power, not how much good you did, how honorably you acted as an employee or an entrepreneur, or how faithfully you adhered to your values.
If your triumphs – no matter how great – are meant just to impress others or to gain wealth or status, you will feel only hollowness once you’ve attained them.
Pursuing ambitions defined by popular culture and not by your inner standards cannot
satisfy your fundamental human needs. To be fulfilled, you must define your life, work and goals to fit your purpose, starting from your own true why, that comes from your deepest values, at work, at home, in front of your mirror.
To gain meaning and fulfillment, adopt a values-driven approach to your life and work. The way you uphold your values in the face of stress or pressure reveals your true character. Your pursuit of outward success – career, earnings, influence and recognition – will strengthen your values in time. While these goals are relevant, you must carefully direct their purpose, aligning them to your intrinsic values. It might be difficult at first, but in the long run it pays more than everything else, as you as an individual and as a leader in your organization will outperform and outlast all others.
No matter how enormous your gains, if you lie or cheat to attain them – or even if you achieve them honestly but for the wrong reasons – you will fail.
But if you start looking for your true why, seek meaning from your work, if you try to build a sustainable culture, whatever size your organization is, then, my friend, you have already won.