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Jose Antonio Morales

Redefining Success and Happiness: An Entrepreneur's Reflection. - Lincoln Island's Journey

Published 4 months ago • 3 min read

February 21, 2024.

Dear Reader, A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with a dear friend where we explored happiness and success. From our conversation, I worked on writing an article that could be relevant to entrepreneurs and independent people like you.

In the journey of entrepreneurship, we often equate success with milestones and metrics—funding rounds, market shares, and profitability. But at what point in this journey do we pause and recognize that perhaps, our understanding of success and happiness might be fundamentally intertwined and yet distinct from these tangible achievements?

The Essence of Success and Happiness

When did I realize my life was a success? Was it when my startup first turned a profit or when I received accolades for innovation? Interestingly, it was neither. The realization dawned not through external validation but through an internal shift—a recognition that being alive and embracing my journey with its ups and downs was in itself a success. This insight did not require an external catalyst but emerged from deep self-reflection. It led me to ponder: Do success and happiness mean the same thing?

Happiness, I've found, is akin to being "ready to smile"—a state of peace and contentment, untethered from the chaos of entrepreneurial life. It's when we admire the beauty in our creations, our team's collaboration, or even the learning from a failed project. Happiness is about letting go of stress and embracing our true selves. In this light, success and happiness converge. Being authentic and true to our vision is the real success. Happiness, then, is both the journey and the destination.

The Entrepreneurial Perspective on Success

The entrepreneurial path challenges the conventional narrative of success. We're often told to prepare for the worst—raising funds to cushion against failure and striving for more as a hedge against uncertainty. This capitalistic view equates success with accumulation—more money, more resources, more control. Yet, this approach can lead to a paradox: the more we have, the more we fear losing, trapping us in a cycle of stress and dissatisfaction.

Through my ventures, from founding coworking spaces to consulting in digitalization, I've realized that true success isn't about wealth or accolades. It's about transforming perceived weaknesses into strengths, staying true to oneself amidst adversity, and finding joy in the journey. Success is not a precondition for happiness; rather, happiness fuels our success by allowing us to embrace our authentic selves and connect more deeply with our mission and community.

Broadening the Lens

As entrepreneurs, we are uniquely positioned to redefine success. Our ventures are not just businesses; they are extensions of our values, our creativity, and our quest for meaning. We must ask ourselves: How can we foster environments where success is measured not just by profit, but by personal growth, community impact, and the joy in our work?

Incorporating diverse perspectives from the realms of psychology, leadership, and personal development can enrich our understanding. For instance, research suggests that intrinsic motivations—personal growth, relationships, and the desire to contribute—far outweigh extrinsic rewards in promoting long-term happiness and satisfaction.

Practical Reflections for the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Daily, I reflect on my happiness and successes, asking, "What is successful in my life today?" and "How can I feel happier, more peaceful, more ready to smile?" These questions remind me that success and happiness are not destinations but processes. They reaffirm that in entrepreneurship, as in life, we can find profound joy and fulfillment in the present moment, regardless of external achievements.

This mindset shift is crucial for entrepreneurs. Understanding that happiness and success are deeply personal and interconnected allows us to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship with resilience and optimism. It encourages us to build businesses that reflect our values, foster community, and contribute to a more fulfilling and compassionate world.

Conclusion

As we continue on our entrepreneurial journeys, let us redefine success and happiness in ways that resonate with our deepest selves. Let's build not just businesses but lives that are rich in purpose, joy, and authentic success. Remember, the true measure of our achievements lies not in the milestones we reach but in the strength, happiness, and peace we find along the way.

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Jose Antonio Morales

Seasoned IT pro turned Social Entrepreneur and currently integrating into the creator's economy—author of Fear Enough, Deconstructing Fear and Understanding Failure. I'm the founder of Aurora Coworking and a firm believer in the power of freedom! Check it out: www.fearenough.com

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