I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness — it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practising gratitude.
— Brené Brown
Success as tempting as it might sound can often be nothing more than a hollow promise, a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, a story that seems to give purpose and meaning only to leave you feeling empty and cold when the destination is reached.
The truth is that entrepreneurs are more likely than their employed friends to experience depression, anxiety and even addiction.
These behaviours and mental health conditions can stem from the feelings of not being in control, feelings of isolation, stress from family and employee responsibilities.
So why do so many of us chase the entrepreneurial dream?
Well, we have many different reasons, for some of us it is out of need, maybe the loss of a job and a weak job market, for some others they want the freedom to be creative and more fulfilled, some see entrepreneurship as the only option towards creating a better world and others believe its a shortcut to happiness!
Whatever the reason you decided to get involved there is one way to avoid the mental health struggles that so often come with this high-pressure environment.
OK, here we go….
LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS ONCE YOU SET YOUR COURSE!
OK, so an expectation is anything that you want or desire from the course you set.
By being able to remove your expectations whatever they might be, money, freedom, status, time, fulfilment, happiness.
You leave room for real Value!
That’s right real Value, let me explain.
You only get from life what you give so by giving your all minute by minute you will be open to give and receive tremendous value in the present moment without any presupposed expectations.
As opposed to having a preconceived expectation of value coming only from made up targets that we call success!
You might, of course, hit your expected target, and that warm feeling of achievement that we’ve been conditioned to chase from our school days of being graded will be very nicely received, but it certainly won’t hang around for long and before you know it that rainbow of validation you seek will no doubt pop up somewhere else.
Now imagine going on this same rainbow chasing mission, knowing and accepting that the rainbow’s gold doesn’t exist, you will, of course, behave differently either:
Selfish Pursuit of Validation
a. you will see the journey as a complete waste of time because the only thing that you care about is the gold ( a made up feeling of validation either self-worth/ status or even freedom) in which case entrepreneurship isn’t right for you!
Lacking Purpose/Finding Purpose
b.You could however once see the mission as a complete waste of time, no superficial value can be obtained, so you go and find something that can instead bring substantial value like helping others!
The Incredible Journey Mindset
c. or you will get just as excited about the trip and find you can focus on the journey ahead. You pack the right equipment, eat the right food, your stress levels won’t get too high, and your mental health won’t suffer.
These extra benefits will, in turn, give you the energy to keep going when times get tough, and the ability to handle disappointments.
You may even manage to keep going a lot further than you ever would have imagined due to the love of the journey. Creating a journey full of excitement and success every step of the way.
Plus theirs the bonus of actually enjoying the gold if it turns out to be there after all. You will then be free from the destination mindest and able to use the gold for good, rather than it turning you into Golem from in the Lord of the Rings.
To summarise, mental health issues that stem from a limited way of thinking can be tackled by changing our mindset towards one of being open to failure and accepting of the uncontrollability of the journey we are embarking, this tern helps us succeed by not feeling dishearted or overwhelmed when a failure occurs. This way of thinking helps us to not dwell on problems but to use them as a learning opportunity that can propel us along our journey!
People who postpone happiness are like children who try chasing rainbows in an effort to find the pot of gold at the rainbows end…Your life will never be fulfilled until you are happy here and now.
Ken Keyes Jr
Activist and entrepreneur on a mission to bring wisdom and wellness to the world.