Swapping My Six Figure Salary for Personal Success

As the sun was going down in the far distance, I took in the sounds of the streets below. I was enjoying the cooler evening temperature and the slight breeze that blew across the bustling roof terrace. The sky was filled with a vibrant orange glow, the air filled with a mixture of incense and spices. In the background, you could hear the sound of folk music and a lone sitar being played. I sat at a table drinking a G&T with my newfound friends and fiance, feeling lost for words.

It was at that precise moment that I felt it. I felt it in my gut, my heart, and in a way that I had never experienced before. I had been looking for it for many years, yet it still eluded me up until this point. It felt different to how I expected it too. I didn’t feel the need to shout it from the rooftops, in fact, I didn’t feel the need to share it with anyone else apart from myself. It’s a feeling that can’t be given to you. A feeling that money can’t buy. And it’s a feeling that doesn’t last forever. I felt emotional, happy and truly blessed to be exactly where I was at that moment in time.

Success - But what does success mean to you?

That’s right I felt successful, content and happy. I didn’t have a care in the world and then it dawned on me. Maybe I had been searching in the wrong place, for the wrong thing, and for the wrong reasons? Success is something that many people seek but seldom find. In my humble opinion and certainly in my personal experience, success has a way of finding you rather than you finding it. There I was in a humble rooftop bar in Mysore in Southen India. A few months prior I had said goodbye to my six figure salary, sold my beloved car and signed over the deeds to my penthouse flat. Basically, I sold all of the things I thought would make me happy and successful. In hindsight, they were merely things that justified me working in a job I disliked in order to maintain the lifestyle I had become accustomed too. And here I was with a backpack, no mobile phone, no laptop and no work on Monday morning. Yet, I felt richer than I had ever felt in my whole life.  However, the reality was, on paper I was poorest I had been in many years. Or was I? 

Money can't buy you happiness - Or can it?

What is success? It means different things to different people. Don't be fooled into thinking having no money or responsibilities will make you happier because it won't. For most people life can be stressful with no money, I can tell you from personal experience. Money doesn't buy you happiness but it sure helps eradicate the problems of not having any causes. 

Let me state one thing for the record - I use the word successful now, reflecting back in hindsight. But, at the time I would have used words and feelings such as content, at peace, happy and fulfilled. Yet writing this blog post many years later I realise and understand that those very words are what define success to me. Yet, none of them were things that I sought when chasing so called success. Porche, Armani, Rolex are the words I would have used. How wrong was I?

What does success look like to you?

Am I saying fast cars, swanky pads, and classic timepieces won't make you happy? No, absolutely not. I get great pleasure in all the above. I will say, however, that the enjoyment they provide is short lived and doesn't offer any form of purpose in life. Whereas experiences, adventure, and challenge offer something far more fulfilling.

I first embarked on my travels back in 2005 and rarely does a day goes past where I'm not reminded of something from my time travelling. A friend I'm still in contact with, the food I eat, memories, a lesson learnt, or a personal value that I possess. I suppose what I am trying to say is; Success for me really happened when I took action, faced my fears and said what's the worse that could happen. 

Key points

  • Money doesn't buy you happiness, but it sure as hell eases the problems that not having any causes.

  • Facing my biggest fear (flying) gave me a sense of achievement I hadn't felt in a very long time.

  • There is nothing wrong with financial success and everything that goes with it. Just don't make it the end goal because you'll fight a losing battle.

  • Let financial success by a by-product of personal success, and you'll reap the rewards - Trust me!!

  • Ask yourself what success really means to you. You might just find you're on the walking the wrong path in life.

  • Don't be annoyed or upset if you realise you're on the wrong path in your personal life or career. Use the opportunity to celebrate the fact that you've been fortunate enough to realise that.

When trying to find direction in life or facing challenges I ask myself these two simple questions:

  1. What are you going to do about it?

  2. What's the worst that could happen

What is stopping you from living a life of adventure, excitment and rewards? Hit me up on Twitter