Hardship and the 7 Pillars of Personal and Professional Satisfaction

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In order to discover and experience deep feelings satisfaction in life and business we will undoubtedly have to overcome and endure times of great hardship and heartbreak. Suffering is a necessary teacher to come along on any worthy journey; without it we have no capacity to grow or to truly know the depths of what we are capable of overcoming. Fear is a powerful motivator. Fear makes us move because we all dislike the discomfort of it. When we are in fear, or any type of heartbreak, we enter a transformational process of moving from heartbreak into becoming heart-bold or heart-whole.

Any commendable journey will have heartbreak as the backdoor to success. When we are in the throes of heartbreak, fear or challenge we are forced to dig deep and strive to find our way out. It is through this process we become acutely aware of both our strengths and weaknesses. Great leaders have all suffered, which is why we trust in their leadership…they know they way through the dark. On the other side of that dark journey is victory.

1. Happiness.

Happiness is not about the accumulation of the moments of brilliance we’ve experienced over our lifetime. Happiness is not about “moments” at all. We feel the most satisfied and the most alive when we are in the midst of overcoming challenge. Success is a daily struggle; a daily endeavor. Happiness exists in that zone where we completely lose ourselves to the goals we find rewarding and worthy of our time, energy and effort. It is when we are totally immersed with a sense of hyper-focus in overcoming our daily hardships that we experience the most momentous times in our lives. As we stretch ourselves, our skills, our knowledge and we reach for our higher victories we develop ourselves into increasingly extraordinary people, and it is this which brings us to experiece a true sense of joy.

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2. Sacrifice.

When we are searching for purpose, when we are living it well, and when we can see that we are not just successful, but that we are having a genuinely positive impact in the world is when we feel a sense of our wholeness, the beauty of our character and the meaning of our personal significance. When we traverse through our daily struggles we are given the joy of celebrating our hard earned victories. We would never know the joy of victory without first knowing the agony of defeat. These celebrations and the pleasure which comes from them help us to more deeply define our purpose in this world. As we struggle and succeed our purpose also tends to expand and grow. As we grow our purpose grows. Those without purpose, those who live without sacrifice cannot live life feeling complete as there is no reflection of who they are in the world or what the value of their life is. To sacrifice and work hard with all of our blood, sweat and tears to a victory is what grounds us in the world and within ourselves. Sacrifice becomes the measure of our depth and our quality as individuals.

Related: 5 Sacrifices Every Entrepreneur Must Make

3. Excellence.

To be a person of excellence we must first be compelled to find a deep engagement in the world where we thrive in the serving of others. When we are engaged in the helping of, loving of and the rising of other humans we find our sense of personal excellence. If we are not striving to help others, then we are not living in a way where we can experience the joy of helping. Power does not make us significant, our contribution does. To put our hearts into something wholly we must have a deeply felt passion for it. Passion gives our lives meaning. When we know that what we are giving is needed and we give wholeheartedly, this is when we feel a sense of our personal excellence.

4. Practice.

True contentment is not experienced when we are in our more passive, receptive, relaxed times in life. These moments serve as the breaks from the grind, but do not give us the same satisfaction as being a part of a movement that is noteworthy. We feel the most successful and significant when we are determined to do something extremely difficult. Success takes practice. It takes doing things over and over and over until we become an expert. It takes being overextended and challenged beyond what we think we can accomplish. When we are being pushed to our limits by our own choice in the pursuit of what we deeply believe in is when we feel the real depths of who we are. This experience is the purest form contentment.

Related: Gary Vaynerchuk Says the Key to Lasting Success Is Practice. Period.

5. Mastery.

Every time we experience challenge we acquire new skills helping us to re-enter our hardships with new thought and fresh ideas. As we win and lose along our journey we master the necessary skills to succeed, and through this we develop the ability to discipline our minds. We learn to transform ourselves into independent thinkers who are prepared for the heartbreaks guaranteed along our path to success. In any worthy journey we start from the bottom and move from a dependent and passive position into the realm of the expert. Every successful entrepreneur has had a phase in their lives when all of their future powers were in development. No one comes into mastery without development. Mastery comes from learning what is most essential and important through the trial and error process. It is about studying mistakes and learning the invaluable lessons which lead to success. The goal of mastery is not one of money, a good position, or a tile; the goal is transformation.

6. Pay it forward.

Once you have attained a certain level of expertise in any area, it is important to pay this experience forward. It is possible and necessary to be a learner and a teacher in tandem. There is no end to the development of mastery. Whatever we learn from the heartbreaks to come from our journey is what makes us great leaders. The greatest leaders teach, they share and they educate. They give direction and soothing as they watch the people they lead venture out and practice what they are being taught with a sense of independence and freedom. As we share what we learn we gift others the knowledge we have gained from our own suffering that will help them along their journey to attain personal and professional satisfaction and success.

Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Pay It Forward

7. Gratitude.

To become heart-whole or heart-bold from fear, hardship, challenge or heartbreak we must train ourselves to be be grateful for the journey. We must learn to see all we have right now in this very moment that makes our success attainable. We cannot find personal or professional satisfaction if we are focused on what we don’t have, what we didn’t achieve or if we are overly focused on how we have failed. Being stuck in life rarely happens by choice, but staying stuck is a choice. The quickest way to become unstuck is to look at all the good we currently have regardless of the hardship. If we can find one good thing we can definitely find two. If we can find two then we can certainly find three, and so on. We are more easily motivated when we realize we have good to build upon. As we begin to move beyond our hardships we can look back and feel tremendous gratitude for all of them. From a place of mastery we see that our success never had any potential without our necessary losses and heartbreaks. It is from the struggle we find our personal and professional depth and satisfaction in life.