How High Achievers Find Purpose and Higher Meaning
After we gain success and achieve some of our goals, we can face a common pitfall: the plateau.
After gaining success and becoming established in an elevated plane of existence, it can be easy to experience complacency. We might lose our inspiration or sense of fulfillment.
What Happens When Our Dreams Come True?
Consider Anthony as an example. He’s a highly successful figure in the film industry, producing over 30 award-winning films through his production company that he built from the ground up.
This was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream from childhood. Both his parents had made a comfortable living in Hollywood. He had stuck with his dream for decades, finishing film school and directing movies that won high praise from the film community. By the time he was 31, he signed his first multi-million dollar deal with a major movie company. He was living the high life.
After a few years, though, he became disenchanted with Hollywood. Although he appreciated his success and accolades, he didn’t feel fulfilled any longer. After careful deliberation, Anthony decided he lacked inspiration and was falling out of love with visual storytelling. He grew tired of things he used to enjoy, including working with colleagues, writing scripts, and networking.
Despite the success and money he’d attained, something was missing.
What Real Success Looks Like
Success without meaning isn’t really success at all. Many of the factors we use to calibrate success (money, status, and relationships) can easily become dull if we’re not truly fulfilled in our lives.
But sometimes we don’t realize this until we actually achieve success and realize we hit a plateau. The good news is, there are methods we can use to jump start our mind and find our way back to fulfillment. Here are some things you can do.
Connect with your inner child. Most passions enjoyed by adults stem from the same joys we experienced as children. Sometimes all we need to do is reconnect with things we enjoyed when we were kids. Did you like playing school? Perhaps you could explore teaching a class or going back to school yourself. Maybe you loved playing with Legos. Could you find more fulfillment in a role that allowed you to build a physical structure? Explore your childhood passions and see how they can help you serve the world as an adult.
Practice vulnerability. Being at the top of your game creates expectations. The people around you may have come to admire your precision, diligence, and ambition. This can create a pressure to keep those qualities front and center, and the last thing you want to do is let everyone down by changing. But if your heart wants to go against any of these qualities, you should explore doing so, even if others might find it alienating or uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to embrace the vulnerability it requires to say, “This isn’t working for me; I need to try something new.”
Get inspiration from new worlds. Breaking away from the monotony of daily life and the same social circles is a great start to find a path to purpose. How can you connect with new communities, new cultures, and new worlds? Are there books you could read? Places you could volunteer your time? Neighborhood or civic groups that need help in your community? Get a feel for the worlds that exist outside of your daily life.
Anthony’s story took a great turn. Once his Hollywood contracts were up, he moved back to the east coast to find new stories to tell. He started his own film production company and started pursuing unique stories reflecting untold narratives around the globe. As his company grew, he was able to create opportunities for others. It gave him a great sense of purpose to support others; he even created a free filmmaking program for young people at underserved schools locally.
If you’ve reached a plateau, it’s absolutely possible to reinvigorate yourself and find new inspiration. Remember, there’s always another mountain to climb.
Want to learn more about improving your mindset for greater success in sales and life? Read my book, Journey to the Top: How to Reach Your Peak Performance Life.