How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

When I first began working internationally, I was elated. It was my dream to become an international business executive and travel the globe.

I loved my work, I loved going to new places, and I loved being part of something bigger than the USA.

As I roamed the world, I found that over time my delight was somewhat dimmed. For as much as I loved to experience new places, I was doing so alone.

It’s not that I didn’t have amazing colleagues to hang out with or friends to see, it’s just that I didn’t have anyone special share the adventure. I felt alive when I traveled and I wanted to experience this feeling with a partner.

My schedule was so hectic that I rarely found time to date. And my career success was intimidating to most of the men I met. Of course, they said that my success didn’t matter, but it always did.

My father used to ask me almost weekly, “When are you going to get married?”

My sister was faithfully married at the age of 21. My father and mother had enjoyed a 25-year marriage before my mother’s death.

Guess who stayed single?

  • My 30th birthday came and went.
  • My step-siblings found partners and married.
  • My first house was much larger than what I needed, yet I purchased it thinking I would someday “grow into it” when I found a spouse.
  • I even purchased an extra Christmas stocking for my would-be husband. It hung empty year after year.

As my professional life skyrocketed, my personal life was stalled. I was lonely and felt like a failure without someone to share my life.

I tried a lot of things to right-size my life.

I took up running and hired a former SMU-football coach as my personal trainer. I learned to lift weights and built enviably toned arms.

I outsourced chores and tasks to make better use of my time. I hired a housekeeper, a landscaper, a dog walker, a personal shopper, and a private driver; (I also had an amazing executive assistant at the office).

I said “no” to invitations and demands on my time that I deemed non-essential.

I evaluated job opportunity after job opportunity thinking I simply needed a career change.

I took up scuba diving, volunteered at the opera, and nurtured relationships with a few, close girlfriends.

I thought I was making the best use of my limited time.

A balanced life isn’t about MORE TIME.

It’s what you do with that time. And while SOME of the things I was doing with my time felt pretty good, I was still off kilter.

I thought I was making smart choices, yet a calm, thriving life alluded me.

I was still lonely. I was still working more than necessary. And I was still stressed and anxious A LOT.

I didn’t know how to quiet my mind.

I didn’t know how to invest in myself.

I didn’t know that I was playing small. I thought I was playing big.

And I had no idea that the answer to my discontent lie within me.

I didn’t need more time. I needed a new relationship with my career and myself.

I was running around trying a bunch of “stuff,” but I wasn’t creating change….I was just doing more stuff.

What I learned is that I had to rewire my belief of what’s possible and recalibrate the ingrained behaviors and habits that stood in my way.

I would love to tell you that once I understood this, it was easy. It wasn’t.

And it’s damn scary to look in the mirror and let go of the beliefs and habits embedded since childhood.

  1. I rewired my belief that work had to come first and life second. Instead, I learned to meet my human needs and give those needs that required attention my focus at any given time. Sometimes that meant work. Sometimes that meant play. And sometimes that meant caring for others.
  2. I rebuilt my belief that success requires sacrifice and I learned that those at the highest echelons of success can create an abundance of time to live `a fulfilling personal life.
  3. I learned that a balanced life isn’t about having equal time to do all the things I wanted. A deeply balanced life comes from meeting your needs using the most effective strategies available to you at any given time and knowing when you need to stop meeting one need and favor another.
  4. And I learned that I was flying without a compass. I had no idea about my intrinsic purpose or how to leverage my “Why” across my life. I subscribed to society’s ideal of success and I wasn’t living in alignment with my own values.

Once I learned these shifts my life irrevocably changed for the better.

I didn’t have to simplify or give up what I loved.

I didn’t have to be poor to be happy.

I didn’t have to give up my career.

As I began this journey of evolving myself…

I met and married a fascinating man (and he didn’t care two winks about my salary or career success).

I started doing some of the best work of my career.

I gave birth to two, sweet-natured boys and became present in the little moments of their lives each day.

I lost weight and stopped stress eating.

I slept soundly at night.

I began reading again and returned to my long-lost passion for dance.

And instead of living a life that was dim, I began living in full color.

Today, I am traveling the world once again. Yet, this time I am not alone. My family is right alongside me.

I teach female executives and high-achieving women how to create balance in their life without sacrificing success. If this resonates with you, feel free to watch this free presentation on how it’s done.

Note: once you register, a replay link will be sent to you if you cannot attend at the current time.

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

A life of regret is no life at all. Sure, we all have regrets for things we’ve done, mistakes made and opportunities lost. But if we make a conscious decision every day to minimize those regrets, we will lead a happier more fulfilling life. And hopefully those around us will as well.

These sixteen ways to live a happier more fulfilling life come from my past and present experiences from getting it right, as well as getting it wrong. They are delivered in no particular order.

Prioritize your time wisely.

As we all know, life moves at the speed of light. Time is our most precious asset. Wake up each day with a plan to accomplish something meaningful. Something you will feel good about when you turn out the light that night.

Build relationships over possessions.

You won’t be taking your possessions with you nor are they a meaningful source of lasting happiness. The relationships you build and the lives you impact will be your legacy.

Take what you can from life, but always give back.

There is nothing wrong with investing in yourself and your future. For pursuing success in all areas of your life. But one of the best ways to seek happiness is through service to others. Remember that giving time is more valuable than giving money.

Be accountable for your words and actions.

Accountability is the path to true accomplishment. Personal accountability is infectious and others in your life will follow suit. Always consider the consequences of your words and actions. Not doing so can be a fast track to regret.

Be disciplined in your personal and professional life.

Being accountable requires discipline. Discipline is the only way to discover your best personal self: the cross section between purpose, talent and effort. Discipline leads to accomplishing goals and avoiding bad decisions.

Expunge hate from your heart.

Life is too short. This too requires discipline. Hate will consume you, exhaust you and distract from the positive aspects of your life. Put your ego aside and replace it with humility.

Forgive yourself and others quickly.

We all make mistakes, hurt those we love and meander off the path of righteousness at times. The faster we forgive ourselves and others the more time and energy we have for love.

Put your family first.

Your family relies on you to be strong, to lead, mentor and provide for them. Making time for work and hobbies is important, but every now and then we need to remember that making more money or the extra round of golf can wait.

Find purpose in your life’s work.

Without purpose it’s hard to truly be passionate. And without passion it’s impossible to inspire and lead others. Living a purpose-driven life is the foundation of fulfillment and happiness. Find your purpose and pursue it relentlessly.

Chase your dreams and never quit.

As a former Navy SEAL, the never-quit attitude is ingrained in me forever. Just make sure you are pursuing the right “dreams” that will add value to your life and others. Dreams that are aligned with your purpose.

Pursue passions bigger than yourself.

If we don’t break outside our comfort zones and find pursuits that leave a positive impact on the world, we live a very small life.

Don’t hold on too tight.

I often find this very hard to do, but sometimes we just have to let go and have a little faith. There are things simply out of our control and we can drive ourselves crazy trying to contain them.

Lead by example on and off the battlefield.

We all have the opportunity to lead in our lives. At home, work, in our communities. But leadership requires consistency of character. Actions speak louder than words.

Protect those who can’t protect themselves.

This doesn’t mean we all have to grab a weapon and head down range. It can come in the form of a simple gesture. Don’t stand on the sidelines with your smart phone. Do something.

Strive to improve a little bit every day.

If we can attempt to improve ourselves even 1% each day, at the end of a year we will be 37x better than when we started. Improvement requires regular learning, feedback and reflection. But don’t forget to take action as well.

Leave no regrets on the battlefield of life.

As Tecumseh said in his poem “Death Song”:

“When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear death, so that they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Take a few minutes each day to reflect on how to practice these tips and see what happens!

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

What if the key to becoming successful and happy is to quit trying to be either? Would that throw a wrench into your career goals? Make a mess of your life plans? If so, then you need to read this.

Here’s the thing. Never before have there been so many people spending so much time searching for the secrets to a successful career and a happy life. Which is really a shame because they’re not going to find either, at least not that way.

There are lots of reasons why that is, but the most glaringly obvious one is that nobody ever got anywhere by doing what everyone else is doing.

Think about it. The world has never been more competitive. If you want to have a fulfilling career and live a good life, you’ve got to get ahead of the competition. The only way to do that is to do things differently, to find your own unique path that works for you.

Here are six ways to do that, to become successful and happy.

Build real relationships. What a novel concept, right? While everyone else is wasting their time developing their personal brands and building huge online networks, get out and spend time with real people in the real world. One-on-one in real time. That’s the only place you’ll find real opportunity and friendship. And that’s where success and happiness comes from. No kidding.

Groom yourself. Want to know how great companies that churn out hundreds of future CEOs develop their talent? They identify and recruit up-and-comers and then groom them by moving them around into different areas and situations. That’s how they learn a broad range of skills. Experience. Get out in the world. Try different things. Get your hands dirty. That’s how you’ll find opportunity and figure out what makes you happy.

Do nothing. So much of life is out of our control. We never seem to have enough information to solve tough problems and make important decisions. When you need to gain some perspective, resist the urge to seek out more information. Turn off all the sources of communication, all the noise that distracts you. Just be quiet and listen to your own inner thoughts. Don’t judge them; just listen. The answers to life’s most difficult challenges are always there.

Work for a great company. Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur these days. Here’s a novel thought. Go work for a great company. Learn from people smarter, more accomplished, more experienced than you. Learn from the pros. Find a mentor or two. Learn how business works in the real world. Figure out how you can help that company be even better. What you can bring to the party that really matters and nobody else is doing. If you’re meant to be an entrepreneur, an opportunity will come to you. And you’ll be ready for it.

Do one thing at a time. Everyone’s so distracted with social media and all their slash jobs these days, try picking one thing you really want to do and just get it done. Prioritize. It’ll provide a sense of accomplishment and control. It’ll help you build confidence. Even if it fails, you’ll learn from the experience. And you’ll gain strength from knowing that failure didn’t kill you. That will make you more resilient and give you courage to tackle bigger things.

Be good to yourself. Most people who want a lot out of life are their own worst enemy. They take themselves too seriously. Judge themselves too harshly. Expect too much out of themselves and others. If you can learn to let go of all your expectations, quit trying so hard to get somewhere, you’ll learn that just being you, present in this moment, is all that matters. That’s what life is all about. And that’s when all good things will come to you. Success, happiness, everything.

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

Female feet with arrow painted on the asphalt

I’m proud of you for taking steps towards finding a fulfilling career path. It doesn’t have to be long until you begin to experience:

  • Career progression that challenges and inspires you
  • Greater work-life balance and more social impact
  • A career that combines your top 5 Gallup strengths and resonates with your dreams and desires

These three things are simple ways to start on a path of a meaningful career that aligns with who you are.

Journal

Have you ever written what you want out of your career?

This resource by Positive Psychology shares over 80 benefits of journaling for depression, anxiety and stress. Below are just a few.

  • Boost and affect your mood
  • Improve wellbeing
  • Enhance your working memory

A journal is a great place to capture dreams and review how you feel. It’s amazing how you’ll notice patterns and trends as you start to get thoughts out of your head and on paper. Writing things down can also help you track goals and accomplishments.

What about also writing a journal note based on the future? My academic background is in career guidance, and we were based in the school of Psychology. I remember coming across the idea below as a positive psychology goal setting method. You can do something similar. Here’s an example.

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A powerful step that required self-love.

What a shift it was, I transformed my confidence, fear and limiting beliefs, and I made a successful career change. I feel fabulous again.

Three months later and I’m already making significant strides, building amazing thought-leadership and everyone’s so inspired by how I’ve steered my career.

I can’t believe I felt so stuck and lifeless. Now, look at me.

Practice these two types of thinking

If you want to get more out of your career change, you need to employ a little analytical and critical thinking to help you make better decisions. Critical thinking involves developing your own opinion using judgment and creativity; approaching an issue from a new angle. In contrast, analytical thinking involves taking outside information and evaluating it to create a fact-and-evidence-based approach. Creating a pros and cons list of career options can be a great way to employ both critical and analytical thinking.

Speak to someone who isn’t as emotionally invested

Often, we share our career change thoughts with family members or friends. Sometimes we get shut down, or they’re enthused, but they’re not equipped to get us going. Speaking to a professional third-party gives you a unique unbiased perspective and a sounding board to sort through ideas, feelings and logic.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) found that in an organizational setting, 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships and enhanced communication skills. If you’ve never inquired about having your organization pay for coaching, you could be missing out as it’s a popular employee benefit. According to ICF, 86% of companies report that they significantly regained their investment in coaching.

We see value in a coaching investment when we have significant evidence that we would be professionally better off and personally enriched. If you’re considering a career coach, please, don’t end up with buyers’ regret. Move forward only when you trust yourself, the coach and their process.

Take Rachel’s career clarity quiz plus unlock your career change model. Check out her other work here.

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

The classic book What Color Is Your Parachute? that debuted in 1970 helped people choose a career that matched their interests and abilities. Today that question might aptly be replaced with the question: What color is a fulfilled life?

Although Parachute helped us think through our career paths, today’s world is far more complex and speedy, requiring individuals to think both about their overall life goals and plans, and to be willing to continuously adjust them throughout their lives.

In a recently completed study by the Metrus Institute, nearly every respondent harbored a desire to become fulfilled—to reach a state of long-term happiness and conscientiously live up to his or her potential. For most, this translated to “becoming all you can be.” Interestingly, nearly four-fifths of respondents did not feel totally fulfilled.

Even more interesting is most of the respondents sought to become successful in something—a career in business, government or entrepreneurship; relationships with family, friends or loved ones; avocations or a religious or spiritual goal. But only a small number felt totally fulfilled.

Among the successful ones, five factors separated those who were the most from the least fulfilled:

1. They have a life plan.

The most fulfilled people talk about a life vision or life goals that frame everything they do, not just professionally, but at home and in other aspects of their lives. Many of the successful but unfulfilled talk about chasing money or titles or what others expect of them.

For example, Ted was a bright student in a family of intelligent kids, who was raised shadowing his father’s successful transportation business. Ted earned a solid education from a top-notch school, particularly enjoying philosophy and medieval arts. But then Ted got the call from his father to return to the business because they needed someone who was smart enough to manage a product line. Although Ted found moderate success in his role, he was not fulfilling his dreams.

2. They have balance.

One of the biggest defining factors is life balance. The most fulfilled think about their overall life balance—career, relationships, family, education, health, hobbies, religion or spirituality—whereas many of the less fulfilled focus unilaterally on work. Later in life, many regret overemphasizing work over other things in their life.

“I missed my three daughters growing up—something I can never replace,” one respondent said. Another said, “I moved six times for my husband’s job, and I never had a chance to develop my own career.” And a cancer survivor told me that she completely rebalanced her life after remission. When she saw how much was on the line, it gave her a new perspective on what she really wanted out of life.

3. They adapt.

In today’s world, success and fulfillment are often a function of our changing context. When I started working for Bell System—the universal phone monopoly at the time—a manager told me I could have a job for life supporting the payphone business. At the time, it felt true, but today, most millennials have never even seen a payphone.

Change is ubiquitous, and the most fulfilled people are able to morph their ambitions and dreams along the way. Although they don’t sacrifice their values, they adapt to the times, anticipate when a job is going to hit a brick wall or when a relationship is souring. The most fulfilled face these challenges, make adjustments, move on and recreate their future. The most unfulfilled, who have been successful in the past, increasingly find themselves in professional quicksand, unable to change and adapt to new circumstances.

4. They nurture their bodies.

Although health and wellness might seem intuitive, it was one of the key things that many people, including type-A personalities, referenced. So many people are so riveted by professional success that they forget to take care of themselves—they fail to exercise and eat healthy, abstain from overindulgence, or manage stress levels.

One of the respondents said every day was a max-stress event, eventually leading to a near breakdown. She was one of the lucky ones, who upon getting pregnant took a leave of absence, which gave her the space to realize she was in a rat race that was killing her through poor health habits. For many, it takes a heart attack or similar crisis to drive the point home—often too late.

5. They give back.

Baby boomers, who have reached a reflective stage in their lives, find this factor most important. Many of the most fulfilled talked about giving back to others, enabling others to become successful and fulfilled. Many have volunteered as mentors or coaches, even when it’s not part of their jobs. Some have served on not-for-profit or not-for-pay boards. Others volunteered for organizations, such as Rosie’s Theatre Kids, a group that helps inner city kids find themselves through song and dance.

After talking with some of Rosie’s volunteers, I discovered they had found kids who were homeless, who left abusive homes, a background of drug abuse and gang violence. I watched these same kids perform, and after talking to some of them, I realized they had begun to see hope, a new beginning and a chance to become fulfilled in their futures—something that would have been impossible if it were not for those giving back.

Time is our one universal currency—we each have 24 hours in the day, and we must choose how to spend them. Take a little time to map out the activities that you spend your time on.

  • Which of my activities brings me fulfillment?
  • Which ones bring me professional success, but not necessarily fulfillment?
  • Which ones are time-sucks that are inhibiting my long-term vision or fulfillment goals?

Apply these fulfillment factors. They just might help increase your happiness, productivity and inner peace in your work and life. And they just might touch the lives of those around you, allowing them to find happiness, productivity and inner peace, too.

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.

Early last year, I found myself sat on the balcony of an apartment in Malaysia. The view in front of me was amazing. There was a crystal clear ocean; palm tree’s dotted all over, a cold beer in my hand and my favorite music in the background. I took a sip of my beer, soaked it all in and realized something powerful – I had made it professionally!

Six months earlier, I had set myself the target of running a location free business. I wanted to write and travel the world. Malaysia was the first stop for all of that. Which brings me full circle to this article. And how it can help you decide what you want both professionally and personally. Because that might sound like personal success to you; but it’s truly a professional success goal that I set.

The difference between personal and professional success

The two are not mutually exclusive – which I’ll come to a little later on – but on a base level it breaks down like this…

  • Personal Success: This is what you aspire to achieve for yourself: emotionally, physically and in your personal relationships. Such as having a loving partner, or hitting a personal best in the gym.
  • Professional Success: This is what you’re aiming for in your professional life, or your place of work. Like getting a promotion or landing a new job.

Think of them this way – what you want to achieve at home and what you want to achieve at work.

Now your professional goals are always personal to you; which is where it can sometimes get confusing, and the waters get murky.

But your goals can only ever be personal to you. Because, well, they’re your goals.

Where personal and professional success meet

Now I just said that the two are not mutually exclusive. And, they’re not. They have a direct impact on each other. The crossover is what professional success allows you to do in your personal life.

Let me use my Malaysia example as a reference point:

Personally, I always wanted to go to that part of the world. It was somewhere I’d never been, and it was high on my bucket list of places.

Professionally, I never could. Getting time off work – or having the money to do that sort of trip – wasn’t feasible at all.

So when my professional situation allowed me to go there, I was able to hit my personal goal of being there too.

You probably have things in your life right now where this crossover will occur:

  • Personally you want a new car; Professionally you want to earn another $1000 a month
  • Personally you want more time with the kids; Professional you want to work a four day week
  • Personally you want to live in Manhattan; Professionally you start aiming for agencies in Manhattan

You might be dying to get that promotion at work – but it’s rarely for the money or the power – it’s mostly for what it allows you to do in your own life.

I define myself by my own business. I built it from the ground up. But I built it for the lifestyle it allows me to lead.

Which one comes first – personal success or professional success

There are two things that come before you look towards personal or professional success:

  • What do you want?
  • Is it going to make you happy?

That dictates which goal you’re going to put the most emphasis on, for where you are in your life right now.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew…

So, you’ve seen there is an overlap between Personal and Professional success – and they’re quite often connected from the start.

But which one should get your focus? Well, that comes down to a few factors:

  • Where are you in your life? Are you in a position where you need to focus more on personal, or professional goals? It’s hard to lose 20 lbs and fight for a promotion at the same time.
  • What do you want to do? What is it that’s on your mind most of the time? Getting recognition, or finding a partner?

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t multi-task and try to take on a couple of goals at a time. If you can manage that, that’s fine. But if there is a big goal like, for example, going back to school and changing your career, or losing 50 lbs worth of weight, it’s going to be hard to manage them both.

So be careful which one you prioritize, and don’t take on too much at once.

It’s all about You

Like I said earlier, it’s all about what you what. And, well, what’s going to make you happy.

  • Professional success can be defined by everything you do at work that makes you happy.
  • Personal success can be defined by everything you do outside of the workplace that makes you happy.

And, both hinge on whether they’ll make you happy.

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

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How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

“I just don’t get how you can work those crazy long hours like you do,” Mike said. “Don’t you ever get tired of it?”

“Don’t laugh but, to me, this is fun,” I told my fellow engineer. “When it stops being fun, I’ll do something different. In the meantime, this is it.”

That conversation was more than 30 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a defining moment in my career. I wasn’t just answering Mike’s question but making a life decision, right then and there.

That day, I made a promise to myself: If my work ever stopped being fun, I would quit and find something else to do. I’ve kept that promise all these years and it’s paid off in terms of an incredibly fulfilling and lucrative career.

Don’t get me wrong. Not every day, week, or every month is a blast. We all have responsibilities we’d rather not deal with. And there are external factors you can’t control. Markets tend to be cyclical, so there will always be tough times. When making important career and business decisions, you have to take the long view.

Look at it this way: If your goals are to be financially successful, have a fulfilling career, and live a relatively happy life, of course you have to make some compromises. There will always be tradeoffs. But I’m here to tell you that you can achieve all of that and have fun doing it … but there’s a catch. There’s always a catch.

The catch is, you have to know your priorities and stay focused on accomplishing your goals. You can’t just love what you do. You also have to work hard at it and become very good at it. You have to fulfill your responsibilities and meet your commitments. And whatever you do for a living, it has to be marketable.

If all that sounds like a lot, then you’re beginning to get the picture. You’re beginning to understand why, if you want to do what you love for a living and have fun doing it, you have to spend a pretty big chunk of your life doing it. And you can’t waste a lot of time screwing around with nonsense.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a life. I have a great life. But my work has always been an integral part of it, and that’s by choice. Being an executive in the tech industry, a management consultant, or a business writer have never been just jobs to me. I love the work. And I actually find news and events related to those fields fascinating. I really do.

That’s where this gets interesting. I can’t say I’ve ever given work-life balance a moment’s thought. I haven’t had to. I’m a hard worker by nature and I like doing things that matter. Some of it I get paid to do, like consulting and writing, and some of it I don’t get paid to do, like working around my home and property.

Sure I have all sorts of interests, but my philosophy on life has always been the same – stay focused on your goals, priorities, and work and have fun doing whatever you do – and I’ve remained true to that theme all my adult life. I don’t think in terms of what I should do, what others do, or how they do it. I couldn’t care less about any of that.

Look, this isn’t rocket science. It all boils down to one simple concept. If you want to be successful and have fun doing it, you have to make that your main focus in life and stay true to yourself. You can achieve anything, but only by finding your own way of doing things that works just for you and making a promise to yourself to stick with it.

As I always say, nobody ever got anywhere in life by doing what everyone else is doing. Nobody ever made it big by following the crowd. Leaders lead. Followers follow. You can’t do both.

7 Strategies to Build A Successful Career

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

Having a successful career will offer you a lot of benefits and real profitable opportunities. As we live in a world governed by social status and money, working your way up to the top will definitely improve your quality of life. There are many possible reasons for which an individual would desire success.

I guess one of the reasons is that maybe by being successful in your professional life makes you feel better among other people. It offers you a feeling of security and accomplishment. Many people who went from zero to a successful career have reported that their lives were improved in almost all the aspects.

There are certain habits and activities that successful people from all over the world do. The best way of approaching success is by following and figuring out what are the strategies that professionals use, and model them according to your needs.

The follwoing seven working strategies will give you enough boosts to improve your career.

1. Identify with Your Goals

Before even considering following a career route, you must get to know yourself. A big majority of people go through life by following a well-established pattern. The sad part is, they don’t even like what they do or they just don’t really realize how many other things they could do.

In order to avoid this awful happening, you need to identify what are your biggest rational wishes. Then, start going deeper and make an in-depth introspection in which you should think about the connection between your inner desires and your rational goals.

They have to match. Otherwise, you will not be truly fulfilled with your professional life. Identifying with your goals takes some time and effort, but it is a truly important process in any successful person’s journey.

2. Build a Professional Resume

Your resume is basically your way of saying “I’m good at this, good at that, and I can help by doing this and that”. Well, that is why you should create a professional, neat resume.

By taking care of this aspect, you are making sure that you’ll never be caught off guard. Opportunities are everywhere, and you should always be ready with a quality resume. I believe that letting professionals deal with your resume is a productive choice.

There are some amazing services like Careers Booster or VisualCV that can take care of your problem. They can help you to create a classic or an impressive visual resume.

3. Become Aware of Your Strengths

Awareness is an essential key to personal improvement. By being aware of your inner thoughts, your strengths, your desires, and your disadvantages, you can adapt your life to whatever conditions you’re being put through. You’ll also get many benefits as you can leverage your knowledge and wisdom for the best purposes.

It’s better if you choose your long term profession according to what you know about yourself. Are you a patient person? Would you be able to sit eight to twelve hours in an office working on a computer? Or you’d rather be a football coach because you’re truly passionate about football and you believe you could be an efficient trainer?

No matter your strengths and disadvantages, you should choose a career path that advantages your traits and qualities.

4. Assume Full Responsibility for Your Life

One difference between mediocre and successful professionals: responsibility. Even though you know the concept, you may not apply it every day. Whenever something bad happens, you need to assume it.

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, being there, the previous choices you’ve made (like trusting someone), these are still all factors which have been influenced by your thoughts and actions.

Start assuming responsibility for all of your actions and never blame anyone for your mistakes. That’s the worst thing someone can do. Do not take things personally, and be calm.

5. Always Raise Your Standards

Here’s another critical factor which differentiates the successful from the non-successful. Your standards influence the way you think, believe, and behave. If your standards are high, you’ll never be satisfied with less than you can accomplish. People with high standards are most of the times more successful than the average.

Every two or three months take a moment to reflect upon your standards and values. Try to improve them bit by bit up until you realize that you’ve become the best version of yourself.

6. Brand Yourself

Branding is very important nowadays. Big companies are spending hundreds of millions in order to establish themselves as the “big dogs” in the marketplace. It is an old business strategy used by almost every professional company. Your branding is your image in the marketplace.

Professional employees should brand their names and services and constantly improve it. You can do that by starting a blog, creating a professional social media profile, or simply by providing awesome services.

7. Network — A LOT

Networking is all about opportunities and connections. When you meet new people, you basically get a chance to use their skills to your advantage. Of course, you must also give back something: your services, your knowledge, your money. Successful people always network and create those life-lasting profitable relationships.

Start by creating social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. These three specific networks are the best choices when it comes to this type of activity. You’ll find lots of opportunities and career choices along the way.

LinkedIn, for example, is filled with business professionals that are branding their companies and also networking in the same time. Twitter is also very used in these matters, and Facebook. Facebook is good for everything, including networking.

Conclusion

Building a successful career takes time, effort, and patience. If you’re willing to sacrifice some free time and you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone, you will succeed. It’s not that hard, honestly. It just takes courage and commitment to follow everything that you’ve targeted.

Eva Wislow is a career coach and professional writer from Pittsburgh. She is a regular contributor on several well-known recruiting and careers resources. Eva enjoys helping people challenge themselves and achieve their career goals.

How to have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life

At some point in our life, we’ve all asked the question, “Is this it? Was I put on this planet just to pay bills, work long hours and never have enough time in my busy schedule to have fun?”

If you ever felt like the opportunity to live a fulfilling life was passing you by, you are not alone. A few years back I remember feeling this way soon after I received a significant promotion. Although the new assignment came with more money and a better title, I no longer did the work that I was passionate about.

On top of feeling dispassionate, the job required longer hours. Longer days impacted quality family time, gym days became infrequent and my eating routines fell by the wayside. This is not what I envisioned as an ideal way to live my life and new I had to make a change. I’m sure you can relate to a time in your life when it felt like you were going through the motions with little room for passion and reward.

I often hear people say, “Once I get the ________ (raise, promotion, house, car, etc.), then I’ll be happy.” This way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. It actually prevents us from living life to the fullest.

However, the exact opposite is true. Focusing on creating a more fulfilling and happier life will actually increase our pay grade inside and out. Sound too good to be true?

Research has shown that satisfaction and fulfillment are key components to a successful career. Optimistic thinking leads to increased performance and accomplishment which sets us up for a more prosperous career.

Our brain performs best when we are in a positive mindset. When we feel optimistic about our future, we are more energized, focused and better problem solvers. On the other hand, when we are consumed with our problems, we are drained of our focus and energy needed to perform optimally. High performers add more value and thus take home bigger paychecks.

Living a meaningful and fulfilling life goes way beyond the monetary gains. It centers us on becoming the best version of ourselves. Leading a happier life allows us to show up more fully at home, work and in the community. As a result, we show up more powerfully as better parents, spouses, friends and employees.

It’s never too late to start creating the life we want. We all have the power and everything needed to alter our destiny. The key to doing this successfully is letting go of all of our inhibitions so that we can start working toward building a life that we absolutely love every day.

If obstacles are getting in your way, here are five ways I used to start creating a more fulfilling life:

1. Keep Healthy– A healthy mind, body and spirit is key. Treat yourself to the gift of your own attention by eating well, working out and meditating. All will help you increase optimal functioning.

2. Leave Your Comfort Zone– Seek out new opportunities. In the process, your confidence will increase allowing you to take more healthy risks. Transformation only happens beyond your comfort zone.

3. Stop Complaining– Complaining reinforces a negative state of mind and offers no solutions. Take ownership of your happiness. Next time you feel frustrated, take a few deep breaths and focus on something positive.

4. Show Your Gratitude– Write a thank you card, pick up the phone, volunteer or send someone a book they would enjoy. Tap into your heart and let others know how much you appreciate them.

5. Be Valuable– Instead of focusing on your personal success, focus on being of value. Bringing value to a relationship, business or community increases abundance and fosters reciprocity – the more you give, the more you receive.

Are you ready to create a life where you wake up energized and excited about the day ahead?

You have everything that it takes to create a life complete with happiness, abundance, and fulfillment. Looking back that promotion actually was an opportunity in disguise that transitioned me to a life beyond my wildest dreams. You can do the same. These are five ways that will help you on your journey in achieving your own happiness and fulfillment.