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Personal vs. Professional Success: Is


It Possible to Have Both?


As human beings, we are attracted to chasing after our dreams and making them a reality in order to feel as though we have attained a certain level of success. For the majority of us, I feel like success is interpreted as achieving more in life or having more in life in general. These could be things like having a better car or a bigger house, getting a nice promotion at job or going out and buying a fancy watch and not having to put it on a credit card.


There is more than one kind of success though.  This particular definition of success that I previously mentioned pertains to what I find is normally considered to be ďprofessional success.Ē When you read a paper or look in a tabloid magazine, most of the celebrities and wealthy CEOs are at the level that we consider to be the pinnacle of their overall professional success in America. In most cases, it is true that they probably worked very hard to achieve what they have today and they can now enjoy the fruits of their labors.


As Iíve said before, there is more than one type of success.  The other is personal success. If you were to compare two people, one being a famous musician and another being, say, a middle class government worker, what would you see? Is it reasonable to consider that the musician is actually happier than the government worker?


When we look at this comparison, we can see that both the musician and the government worker are living on the same happiness scale. The government worker might be happier with his stress-free life because he gets to come home and see his family every day; the musician, however, may not be as happy because he has a lot of stress in his career and sees his family on rare occasions.


Success from a personal standpoint is a direct index to happiness, and vice versa.  If a government worker is happy with his career, home life and environment, then on a personal level he would be thought to be very successful.  On a professional level, though the musician may appear to be a lot more successful with his expensive car, mansion and property, this does nothing for actual personal happiness.


Why Not Combine the Two?


What Iíve never been able to understand or make sense of is why so many people think they can either have professional or personal happiness but not both at the same time.  Sure you see both of these and they show up from time to time but it always seems unlikely and rare to say the least.


My advice is to work towards both.  Rather than trying to achieve either professional success or personal success, work on getting both of them.  Devote half your evening to setting up a savings accounts and proper investments so you can buy a bigger house or a nicer car down the road.  Spend some of this time working on a pitch for your boss to try to close him or her on that needed promotion that he or she had been planning on giving out to some aspiring employee.  But for the rest of the evening, spend time with your family, or spend time improving your home, or spend time in the gym.  Either way, spend your time wisely and in such a way that promotes both professional and personal success.  You will be happier and much better off in the long run if you work on both of these goals in tandem, as they will also work off of each other and provide strong gains and strong successes.


Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. His program is based on natural and holistic methods and has helped lead hundreds to recovery. Connect with Per via Twitter or LinkedIn.



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