There’s a new trend that you may have noticed on the internet—hustle porn. If you’re unfamiliar with this genre, it usually consists of obnoxious pieces about CEOs and other fast-track professionals that obsessively brag about their long hours at work bracketed by yoga, meditation and running marathons. Of course, all of these activities are published on Instagram—because if it’s not, then it didn’t happen.
If you think that this is another work-hustle type of article, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Instead, I’d like to share some less commonly taught strategies to achieving long-term career happiness.
1. Find the right spouse. One of the biggest decisions in life is selecting a partner. This decision will greatly influence the trajectory of your career. Attractive looks quickly fade away and then you’re left with only the personality. If you find someone who shares your core beliefs and is supportive of your career, the chances of success and happiness substantially increase. An unpleasant marriage marred with fighting, arguing and the accompanying drama distracts from your work productivity and makes you miserable at home. If you ultimately get divorced, it will be financially and emotionally devastating, scarring everyone—including the kids—for years to come.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others. No matter how successful you are, there will always be someone who is more financially well off than you. If you benchmark yourself against the richest person you know, you’ll always be disappointed. The only person you should measure yourself up against is the person you were yesterday—compared to where you are today. If you are improving yourself and not looking at others for comparison, you’ll appreciate all of your gains.
3. Ignore everyone’s two-bit opinions. There will always be people who pressure you to do things you don’t like. This pressure comes from parents, spouses, family, friends and colleagues. It’s hard to resist the push to move into so-called safe careers. Stand strong and follow your own path. Find a career that offers meaning and the ability to earn a living. Since it’s your own choice, you won’t be as upset if things don’t pan out. If the decision was made at the behest of others, you’ll always be resentful and angry. I’ve noticed that the people who derive satisfaction in their career are happier, tend to work harder and don’t mind the hours. They find enjoyment in what they do, even if it may pay less than another type of job.