What Are You Really Achieving?

Achievers often go above and beyond the call of most. They’ll reach farther and higher than the average man.

These achievers, yourself included, may have lofty and worthy goals. You might even think you’re achieving greatness.

But are you? Or are you chasing the achievements of what society deems worthy?

Every culture seems to have a type of prestige the alpha chases after. This status symbol may be:

The Mercedes Benz SLS in the driveway

The 3 story home with green grass, a white picket fence, and a swimming pool in the backyard

The six-figure job that causes you to be away from your family 5 nights a week

You’ve seen these achievements dangled in front of you, I’m sure. I know I’ve seen them hailed as the be-all, end-all for achievement. But is it really the best you can achieve?

Or is there more?

The Pitfalls Of High Achievement

Everyone, especially men, are driven to achieve more and more. You even see this in newlyweds who desire to be on the same financial footing as their parents, only except the newlyweds are just starting out.

This drive for achievement and status symbols begin the long and arduous financial turmoil young couples face as they realize what you own doesn’t relate the success you have. Just the debt you may accumulate.

High achievers at work discover they’ve lost the love of their wife and children as they strive to achieve a livable income to provide above and beyond for those they love. They work hard for the big house, fancy cars, luxury vacations. Only to lose it all when the dam breaks at home. Interesting paradigm here…

Even the achievers who desire to do great work through volunteerism can find themselves lacking in other areas. Maybe it’s a neglected spouse or child. It could be they fail to put in an effort to be physically fit.

There are scary pitfalls to high achievement and what society tells us we must achieve.

A New Way Of Thinking About Achievement

Eleanor Roosevelt once said:

I wonder if we have really grown to the point where the size of a house in which a person lives will have little interest to his neighbors, but what he contributes in mind and character to the community will bring him respect and admiration.

Sadly, I don’t think we’ve reached the point Eleanor Roosevelt wondered. More often than not, I think we’ve strayed further and further from this vision of investing in the community. People still focus on the greatness of their careers. The size of their cars. Or the layout of their homes.

Thankfully, I don’t think it’s too late to change the way our society thinks about achievement and the work we do in the world.

It starts with me. And then you. Next comes your family and friends. Eventually, the whole world can be touched by a different way of thinking about achievement.

When we begin to focus on working in our communities, touching lives locally, we can begin to see a new achievement being touted.

One that says the effort we put into our families, our friends, our community is really the crowning achievement we should all be working for.

Question: What do you think, are we striving to achieve the wrong things? What can we do about it? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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