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Successful But Unhappy? Time to Start Exploring Your Options

So you have all the trappings and wrappings of success.

You have a career that pays a high salary and you have climbed and clawed your way up the corporate ladder. You have the prestige car, holidays in Europe and a fine house. 

But you’re unhappy. 

You got to the top of the ladder and it’s leaning against the wrong wall. 

And instead of arriving, you’re now thinking of leaving. 

You’ve always wanted to do something that fulfills you but you feel empty. 

And you’re constantly saying to yourself, “There has to be more to life.”

Sometimes you dream about running away with the circus. 

To live in another universe. 

The great pandemic provided us the time to reflect. During the “great isolation” we thought about our lifestyles, our careers and life design. We started asking the bigger questions like:

What should I do with my life?

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Do you have the courage to explore a different path?

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, examines what rose out of the empty space the “Great Isolation” created. When we were banished to our homes to work remotely, we had time to think unfettered. We were no longer lost in the chaos of a modern living. 

There were some downsides but there was also an upside. We had time  to think and reflect and ask ourselves some better and bigger questions that we had never asked before.

The article pointed out some of the questions people asked themselves. Questions like;

  • Is burnout the price of success?
  • Why do I do what I do?
  • What am I good at?
  • How can I thrive?

Many of us don’t ask these questions because we are too lost in the noise and busyness and life. We stepped onto the hamster wheel and lost our soul in the process.

We’ve been chasing the money and status and we’ve forgotten what brings us joy. And that feeling sits inside us despite buying more things and dressing our lives up from the outside.

So how do you find happiness amongst the noise of life?

If the great resignation is more about the great exploration, maybe it’s time to start thinking about: 

  • Finding a better career 
  • Launching a startup 
  • Or starting a side hustle. 

One of these options involves almost no risk except something that cannot be bought. Time.

The problem is most of us will never leave unsatisfying careers because we are locked into a certain lifestyle. As we earn more, we spend more. We are trapped in our own abundance and apparent prosperity.

Can you really have it all?

On one level, having it all means being able to pay for your life while doing something that you love doing.  

This is what it means to be “Happy and Successful.”

It’s not about attaining perfection but it is about making choices that matter. This means asking some more questions.

But most of us do not want to ask these questions as it will reveal truths that could lead to change. And most people struggle with change. It is uncomfortable and scary.

Questions that might arise:

  • Can I make life simpler? 
  • How much is enough and do I need all this stuff?
  • Can I make money out of something I enjoy?
  • What do I love doing where time stops still and I feel a sense of achievement?

Can work really make us “happy”?

The history of work is that there is work and there is life. They are often posed as separate.

Work means drudgery and then there is happiness.

I’m not prepared to accept that.

It is time for us to live fully and holistically. Happiness, making money, and paying for your life should all intersect.

So what’s the solution?

I’ve created a framework that can help you become successful and happy. It’s called the “Freedom Code”.

It’s designed to help you “Discover” what makes you happy, so you can start the process of making life the joyous adventure it’s supposed to be. 

Following this framework will help you to design your life instead of ending up as figurative roadkill.

So what is this Freedom Code then? 

The 5 Pillar Freedom Code

Pillar 1: Discover

Discovering your life purpose and why you are on this planet. 

That means uncovering your gift(s). And they can be plural rather than singular. Don’t think there is only one perfect path. 

There are multiple paths that will fulfill you. 

As Steven Spielberg reflected, “Dreams come from behind you… It is just a whisper and never shouts.” 

This means you will need to learn, observe, quietly reflect, and listen to the whisper. There is no template or exact formula for this, but some life habits and tactics will help you in this discovery phase.

Pillar 2: Create

Once you have discovered your gift then it’s time to create. Take action.

That could be creating art, writing, photography, music or a product or service.

Don’t get hung up on what a creator or artist is. This definition by Steven Pressfield is worth remembering, “Art is anything that means creating and sharing your gift with the world.”

Just start creating.  

Pillar 3: Share

Creating a product is one thing, but to see if people care about it, you must persistently place your product or art in front of the world. That means sharing your creation.

That is the only way to find out if it solves a problem, is an object of beauty that is desired and wanted… or if it needs more work.

Pillar 4: Monetize

If you want to turn your side hustle into your main hustle and fire your boss, you may want to find out if the world will pay you for your creation. Being a starving artist is not a place of freedom but desperation.

And I don’t know about you, but that is not a happy place.

Experiment with different business models to find what works. It may even knock on your front door.

Pillar 5: Amplify

Once the business model has been tested then it’s time to amplify and scale revenue.

If you want to make a bigger difference in the world then amplifying, accelerating and growing your side hustle is where we go from hobby and a starving artist to a successful entrepreneur.  

Wrapping it up

The goal here is to find happiness from creating. It is not just about money. Charlie Munger summed it up well when he said, “I did not intend to get rich. I just wanted to get independent.” 

Steps 4 to 5 of The Freedom Code are optional extras. Simply by Discovering, Creating and Sharing your gift, you will find more happiness and fulfilment.

We all want freedom. Independence. We all want to be successful and happy.

You can choose happiness or you can continue to be trapped in a life that no longer fulfills you.

It’s up to you. 

And starting a “Side Hustle” built on the Freedom Code Framework is one low risk path to Freedom and happiness. You have nothing to lose.

Join Side Hustle Strategies 

SideHustleStrategies.co. is an evolution of Jeffbullas.com that I have always dreamed about. It is devoted to helping you grow personally and professionally (if you choose). Side Hustle Strategies exists to help you flourish.

Since I launched Jeffbullas.com, it has been read by over 40 million people. That website and blog was originally a passion project that started as a side hustle. As I grew my blog, I discovered the financial freedom it gave me and how I designed and lived my life. 

After experiencing that freedom, I wanted to help others get control of their life. That is where the inspiration started for creating SideHustleStrategies.co.

Join Side Hustle Strategies today.

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