How Do You Measure Your Life?

How Do You Measure Your Life?

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In the early 1980s, a talented young guitarist was kicked out of his band. The band had just been signed to their first record contract, and they were preparing to record their first album. A week before recording began, they fired the guitarist. There was no warning, no discussion. The guitarist woke up one day and was handed a bus ticket home.

The guitarist was demoralized. He felt betrayed. No one considered his side of the story. No one cared how he felt. At the most crucial moment of the band’s short career, he was abandoned by those he trusted the most.

So he vowed to start a band of his own. He would start a band so amazing and so successful that his old band would regret ever firing him. He would become so famous that they would spend the rest of their lives thinking about what a horrible mistake they had made. His ambition would make them pay for their disrespect.

He recruited even better musicians than before. He wrote and rehearsed religiously. His desire for revenge fueled his passion. His rage ignited his creativity. Within a couple years, his new band had signed a record contract of their own and was taking off.

The guitarist’s name was Dave Mustaine, and the band he formed was called Megadeth. Megadeth would go on to sell over 25 million albums and tour the world many times over. Today Mustaine is considered one of the most brilliant and influential musicians in all of heavy metal music.

Unfortunately, the band he was kicked out of was called Metallica. Metallica has since sold over 180 million albums worldwide, and they are considered by many to be the greatest heavy metal band of all time.

And because of this, in a rare intimate interview in 2003, a tearful Mustaine admitted that he couldn’t help but still consider himself a failure at times. Despite all he had accomplished, he was still the guy who got kicked out of Metallica. Tens of millions of albums sold. Concerts given to screaming stadiums of fans. Millions of dollars earned. And yet, a failure.

Apparently this wasn't always enough.

Apparently this wasn’t always enough.

This is where most articles say, “Hey. Don’t compare yourself to others, be happy, blah, blah, blah,” and then we all circle jerk over how great of a life lesson this is and go back to sharing funny pictures of Miley Cyrus on Facebook.

But this advice is totally banal and petty. “Don’t compare yourself to others.” It’s up there with, “Just be yourself,” and “Act confident,” in terms of how useless it is.

As humans, we’re wired for comparison. It’s an inevitable facet of our being. We are constantly trying to gauge how we measure up to those around us.

That guy has a better car than me. She is taller than me, but I’m prettier. I wonder how much money Bob makes and if his wife spends it all. Gosh, I wish the people at work listened to me the same way they listen to Jake.

Comparison and the drive for status are innate parts of our nature and that’s unlikely to change any time soon.

But what we can change is the basis of those comparisons. What yardstick are we using? We may not be able to stop measuring ourselves against others, but we can decide which yardstick we use to measure.

A simple example: I don’t make as much money as most executives and managers in the agricultural industry. By one metric you could therefore say that I am less successful than they are. And in fact, if you put me next to one on an airplane, in a fancy restaurant, at a business conference, or in an expensive nightclub, those environments would reinforce my inferiority. By those yardsticks, I would clearly not measure up. Mr. VP of Monsanto is sitting in first class. I’m not. I’m crammed in economy class between two crying babies and an obese pregnant woman.

But I make a comfortable living helping people improve their lives, while Mr. VP up in first class extorts his money from thousands of poor farmers around the world, interfering with world food markets and helping perpetuate the poverty of millions of people in the developing world.

So, first class or not, I am going to feel like I have a leg up on him.

Because it’s all in how you choose to measure success. I don’t measure my success by displays of monetary wealth; I prefer to measure it based on social and global impact. Is that totally self-serving and biased? Absolutely. And that’s the point: You get to choose how you measure success.

Most of us are never told this. It’s not something we pick up in school or church. In fact, most of our social systems are built with their own metrics of success built into them which we are then expected and sometimes forced to follow.

Get good grades. Make tons of money. Go to church. Buy nice things. Raise a nice family. Watch football. Feign shock when Miley Cyrus shakes her ass on TV.

Many of society’s metrics are useful measurements for us. Many of them are not.

It’s vital that we remember that they’re not absolute. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to them. Money is nice, but one can choose to see it not as the absolute measure of wealth, but as a useful tool to help achieve true wealth. Religion gives billions of people’s lives moral direction, but that doesn’t require one to believe in religion to be a good, moral person. Relationships and family are important, but lacking them doesn’t make you any less valuable as a person.

Again, we get to choose. And the beauty and the frustration is that we’re all different, so most of the time our metrics will be different.

How Will You Measure Your Life?

So this begs the question: How will you measure your life? Which metrics for success will you choose for yourself?

This is not an easy question to answer.

Back in my dating coach days, I worked with a lot of men who had poor metrics for success in their dating lives.

They wanted to judge their “success” based on how many women they slept with, how attractive the women they dated were (often utilizing a 10-scale to do so), how many women they could date at once, how young of a woman they could date, and so on.

(It’s no coincidence that men with these metrics of success are the same ones who struggle with relationships.)

These metrics of success are problematic because they make harmful and unattractive behaviors appear economical and rational. For instance, if one’s metric for success is to date someone who is rich/popular, then lying or faking one’s identity may become a rational strategy in order to achieve that success. But these strategies are demeaning and also lead to poor relationships.

For men like these, I developed something I call “Happiness Hypotheticals,” which I’ve found to zero in on the utility of a success metric:

For instance, to these men I would often say:

“Let’s pretend you had a choice to date one of two women. One is stunningly gorgeous but is immature and not enjoyable to be around. The other one is average-looking physically, but you are always happy when you are around her. Which one would you choose to be with?”

Or to men who have a fixation on their number of sexual partners, I would say:

“What would you rather do? Sleep with 10 girls who don’t excite you? Or sleep with one who blows your mind night after night?”

The answers to these questions are blindingly obvious to most people. But clients who had unhealthy fixations in their dating lives would experience a lot of cognitive dissonance when trying to answer these hypotheticals.

The reason I bring these up is because once I moved beyond dating, I found that these hypotheticals apply wonderfully in most areas of life. For instance, here’s a classic question for you to chew on:

“Would you rather be rich and work a job you hate, or have an average income and work a job you love?”

This one is a little bit deeper:

“Would you rather be someone famous and influential for something that doesn’t matter (like, say, being on a reality TV show), or be anonymous and unknown despite working on something that is insanely important (like, for instance, researching cures for cancer)?”

Do you consider the Kardashian sisters to be "successful?" Why or why not?

Do you consider the Kardashian sisters to be “successful?” Why or why not?

Or for those who feel like they always need to be dating somebody:

“Would you rather have nothing but toxic relationships, or would you rather always be alone and emotionally healthy and happy?”

The Happiness Hypotheticals are powerful tools because they can show us what metrics of success actually matter for us. Many of us think relationships will make us happy, but emotional health should be the goal and relationships the side effect. Many think popularity will make them happy, but one should do something important and noble and let the fame be the side effect.

As humans, we’re all driven by happiness and meaning, but we often get caught up in unnecessary status concerns and superficial comparisons. When we create hypothetical either/or situations between those comparisons and happiness, it can quickly sort our priorities out for us. Tools such as these show us ways in which we can measure our own success.

I’m not famous, but I improve people’s lives. That makes me successful. You’re single and alone right now, but you’re happy and proud of yourself. That makes you successful.

We must take care in choosing the way in which we measure success because the metrics we choose will determine all of our actions and beliefs.

For instance, if you decide that watching 12 hours of television per day is your life’s ultimate purpose and your greatest metric of success, then within a few months you’ll find yourself fat, lonely and miserable (and successful). If you decide becoming the biggest drug dealer on your block is your definition of success, then you may find yourself shot.

The metrics of success which we choose lead to long-term real life consequences, they determine everything.

I challenge you to take a moment and set up Happiness Hypotheticals with some of your biggest drives and desires in your life and see what answer comes up. Feel free to post them in the comments below. What you’ll notice is that bringing your yardstick off of external measures of success and onto internal states of happiness and meaning will lead to a more purposeful and fruitful life.

Here’s a recent example of mine:

Earlier this year, I found that I was getting really hung up on how many people were reading my book and my blog. I was getting frustrated because for the first time in my career, my readership had plateaued. I found myself tempted to pander to the lowest common denominator just to get more traffic. I had to ask myself, “Would I rather be read by a massive audience for something I don’t care writing about, or a smaller audience for something I do care writing about?”

That quickly put things in perspective. I need to write about the things which are important to me in my life first, and look to cater that information to help others second. That’s the only way that what I write will feel true.

In the case of Dave Mustaine, he felt like a failure after decades of massive material success because his metric for success was a superficial one: being better and more popular than Metallica. But what if Mustaine had instead chosen happiness as his metric? What if he decided to measure his success based on how widely and enthusiastic his music was received by people, and how well he felt he was expressing himself artistically?

That would have changed everything.

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167 Comments

Leave a Comment

  • Reply

    Al

    19 weeks ago

    As a young guy in college who struggling with major social anxiety, I still somewhat have a tendency to measure my popularity by the amount of facebook likes I get on my posts. But another metric of mine is being a well read, informed American citizen who supports liberty. I recently posted a video from a page advocating gun rights of Steven Seigal saying if the truth about Benghazi and other affairs came out, our president would be impeached. I was hoping I would get at least a couple likes so that none of my friends or other people at school think I am some crazy crackpot conspiracy theorist. I only got 3, and I got a message from another buddy of mine who really liked it an refered me to a website that he likes that involves similar topics. I was happy with this, but I was curious as to why more and people wouldn’t like the post. After all, this is stuff our country is founded upon and now to this today all of it is being threatened by corrupt individuals who, as you said Mark, assume others are bad, greedy or whatever and therefore guage their success on how bad they can be. But then I realized that it was better to get appreciation from the few people who share and care about the same things I do, than those who I assume think I am nuts (and perhaps some of them do) when in reality, some people just don’t value being informed as much as I do. My aunt once told me she would rather be entertained than to be informed the majority of the time, and she is someone who really enjoys going out having a wonderful time with her friends and watching sports and drama. Because she is my family member who loves me very much and I do love her very much the same, I don’t think less of her for it. Because of me changing my perspective from having an external metric to an internal metric, I felt so much better. You nailed this one right in the head. Keep the fuck at it b/c your writing is just plain badass.

  • Reply

    Gian Faye

    19 weeks ago

    To be honest, I’m too sensitive and gets upset every time someone compares me to other people. I spent hours even days thinking, why are they comparing me? Do they just want me to be like them? What are their thoughts about the essence of individuality? You know when most people thought they’d change me or make me feel challenged, I’d instantly stop listening to them and ignore what their going to follow with the comparison.

    Regarding Mustaine, well that was an old interview. Him and Metallica already had a closure a few years ago. Last time I saw him on his show in Manila last 2012 and on the press conference he is quite jolly. :) I think he’already found his happiness.

  • Reply

    Eduardo

    18 weeks ago

    This is a great article! Keep on writing please as you’re opening a lot of “closed” minds moulded by society.

  • Reply

    Red

    18 weeks ago

    I love the part about obsessing over site’s traffic. “Would I rather write something that I love, or pander to all tastes?” Thank god Mark you chose the former. Keep the good stuffs coming. Don’t feel pressure to be more popular. Your true readers can recognise you from miles away, you just have to wait a little while for them to crawl over 9GAG and the likes to get to you on the Internet.

  • Reply

    bryan

    18 weeks ago

    i find your articles very helpful in improving my outlook in life..keep it up..stay well.

  • Reply

    Emilie

    17 weeks ago

    Great post! Its interesting I think that MOST people have a hard time defining for themselves what “success” looks like.

  • Reply

    E.K.

    17 weeks ago

    Thanks Mark. You are helping me to change my life. Please keep writing!

  • Reply

    Heather

    17 weeks ago

    I look forward to reading each of your articles. They expanded my mind and continue to do so. I am having a rough spot right now in my life and started to get down on myself for being 29 and soon to be divorced, with no kids. But this article opened my eyes to the possibility that I am being just a bit too hard on myself. Thank you.

  • Reply

    asanda

    17 weeks ago

    I find ths article very relavant n true. I am currently fine tunning my career, I love what I do, n want to be the best @ doing it, currently doing my masteres degree (I’m a medical doctor) in the field of speciality I love. But I have a son, and sometimes I feel I’m not there for him as much as I should be. But thinking of longterm out comes of what I’m currently doing, it means he will also have a secure future and a mom whoz at home more to help him with the homeworks and play with him in 4 years time when he starts school, might be more meaningful for him too. Sometimes it looks selfsh and its not easy to make such decisions.

  • Reply

    Romar

    17 weeks ago

    Just a thought. What if u can have tons of readers and at the same time write about the things you love? Is this possible? Having the best of both worlds. Or should it really be just one of the two? Meaning, if I want to earn tons of money, one way or the other, I will have to manipulate someone or a group of people in order to achieve it? Or is it possible to earn tons of money and at the same time not manipulate anyone? Because the metrics you presented is giving me an idea that you can’t have the best of both worlds. Though, I’m aware of these kinds of reality, just wondering if this is really the case. Thanks!

    • Reply

      Leah

      10 weeks ago

      I think the underlying message here is “Pursue your happiness and everything will eventually align”

      • Reply

        Evgeny Fogel

        1 week ago

        Yep, I like this conclusion too.

  • Reply

    P

    17 weeks ago

    Thank you. I needed this. This truly spoke to me. Thank you for not veering away from what is most important and authentic to the usual crap and fodder found in other articles. Reading this certainly made a difference to me and my perception of why I do what I do. This is so timely. Thank you for pinpointing this irrational insecurity I’ve been having about my career. I hope more people get to read you and touch their lives. You’ve certainly touched mine. Please don’t ever lose your authentic voice.

  • Reply

    Dave Cornthwaite

    17 weeks ago

    You use a word, Metric, quite a lot here. By judging life on metrics, ie. figures that represent an action or apparent ‘success’, you’re opening yourself up to failure. There are always other with better metrics. Always.

    Sure, we’re taught to aspire for those figures, good money, bigger and shinier ‘stuff’ but it’s sugar coating. Do you spend enough time chatting to your friends? If one of them is hit by a drunken driver tonight will you regret not going for that run with them last month? Are you too caught up in metrics to realise that relationships and simple, free pleasures (like a sunrise, or a walk in the woods) can give you a glow that a good paycheque can’t.

    Money comes and goes then comes again, but time doesn’t come back. Live satisfied (I mean, TRULY satisfied) with how you’re spending your time, and then you understand success.

    • Reply

      Raquel

      16 weeks ago

      I appreciate your comment, Dave, because it really made me think. (Thanks Mark, too, your post also made me reflect on many things.) I too feel somewhat uncomfortable with metrics in general, though I think that at times they become hard to avoid. I am 37. I am blessed to have a great job and derive lots of pleasure from my personal life and hobbies as well. But, that set aside, at this point in my life I am more concerned over whether I am a good person. I constantly strive to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good niece, a good friend, a better human being – and these are not always easy. These are presently the guidelines by which I “measure” myself, for lack of a better phrase. I know that “being good” or “becoming better” are quite relative concepts, ambiguous perhaps, but I kind of like that! I am not being graded on them in any way, but I have a direction, a virtue to aim for in my life.

  • Reply

    Minthu

    17 weeks ago

    Hey there, I have never given a comment on self-improvement websites before. Reading your articles have made me believed that I have been wasting my time correcting all my ‘wrongs’ when all my ‘wrongs’ are that bad after all. It is not as if I am utterly poor or doing so badly in school, it is just me measuring with the wrong yardsticks. Thank you and please please please keep writing. Here is your very new committed reader of your articles. :) Cheers.

  • Reply

    Katie

    16 weeks ago

    15 years ago I was making double the amount than I am today. I woke up one morning and thought about my upcoming trip to China and how much profit my boss was making off hundreds of children working night and day to survive for pennies on the dollar. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror knowing that I was part of this ever growing monster and I had to remove myself entirely from the situation.

    I can sleep better now and buy American as much as possible.

  • Reply

    Molly

    16 weeks ago

    You have a special gift – the clarity, perspective, and insight of your blog is mind blowing!

  • Reply

    Skw

    16 weeks ago

    This begs a very simple question

    If societies perception of success and happiness is so flawed how did it become societies perception?

  • Reply

    samiya

    16 weeks ago

    Amazing article Mark thanks:-)
    Keep up the good work

    God bless you. :-)

  • Reply

    Afton

    16 weeks ago

    I love that you used Mr. VP of Monsanto as a comparison for yourself. Hilarious, but actually a great way of putting it. (Down with GMOs!) You’ve put into words something that’s been niggling at me for a while now. If only people were more cautious about which yardsticks they chose to measure themselves by, the world might be a happier place.

    Just stumbled across your blog via Pocket’s latest email and I too am grateful that you decided to keep writing about what you wanted to write about. Better to have a smaller group of passionate people than a large group of meh people. Keep up the good work! And good luck with that hiring. Reading that info was the first time I’ve ever actually wanted to apply for a job. ;)

  • Reply

    Marilyn

    16 weeks ago

    Thank you for your article. I am one of those who chose to be alone and emotionally happy rather than continue living in a toxic relationship. That choice also resulted in me shedding all material wealth gained from that relationship including the house, furniture, gym equipment, accumulated art pieces… But I am happy, I’m grateful, I love. These are my measures of success.

  • Reply

    Erika

    16 weeks ago

    I just wanted to say that I recently came across your articles. And thank God for them. You are really making a difference on many people. Please don’t stop writing. Love it!

  • Reply

    Joey

    15 weeks ago

    Success – The progressive realization of a worthy ideal. You get to pick the worthy ideal…

  • Reply

    Stefan

    14 weeks ago

    I am a classically trained musician. I feel successful when I know that I have contributed to music and people in some way — whether it’s putting in quality work in the practice room, teaching or giving a great performance for an audience. When I give a great performance, I am aligned with my thoughts and emotions – if I am able to communicate that on stage with the composers’ intentions, I am successful. Even though the quality time in the practice room was spent alone, I know that the work I put in will pay off in an audition or on stage.

    For an audition, if I know in my heart I gave myself the best shot preparing for the audition, I know I was successful whether I was chosen for the job or not.

    Lastly, I measure success based on perseverance. I have a goal and I haven’t given up on it despite many, many rejections.

  • Reply

    Emily Kalatzis

    14 weeks ago

    Found the part about being stuck in economy beside the obese preggo hilarious haha.

  • Reply

    Ashutosh Pundir

    14 weeks ago

    I measure success based on achieving the combination of being satisfied with what you do AND at the same time, investing in your future. Could be money, could be goodwill, could be experience. Just so that the satisfaction is NOT ‘short-lived’. It eventually turns into pride.

  • Reply

    Ashutosh Pundir

    14 weeks ago

    LOVED the article!!!
    You couldn’t be more right. Everyone has their own ‘version’ of being successful.Me, i think its a combination of loving what you do for a living, and investing money, or goodwill, or both in your future. Money is a tool. Goodwill makes you proud of yourself. Money is materialistic. Goodwill covers the spiritual well-being. What else is there?
    But of course that’s just my opinion.
    My metric. :)

  • Reply

    Baya Voce

    14 weeks ago

    What an interesting topic and one that resonates so well with so many people. I dare say, especially people in their 20s who feel like their whole adult life thus far is one giant identity and quarter-life crisis. Can I get an “amen!” or am I alone on this one:)?

    What I think the underlying difficulty comes down to is not only what defines success, but then, what defines happiness? Are they interchangeable? Was the only way Dave was ever going to feel successful is if he felt truly happy and the only way he would have felt true happiness was by “beating the competition” or “measuring up” so to speak?

    It’s a tricky subject and one we should all pay attention to within our own lives. Thanks for bringing it up, M-Dawg!

  • Reply

    Nissa

    13 weeks ago

    Hey Mark –
    Really enjoyed the article as usual. I so appreciate your thoughts, and my life is fuller because of your articles. I’m one of those single ladies that doesn’t necessarily want to be single, but shudders at the idea of being in the type of relationship I so often see. One of the things I wished for in my relationship was intellectual discourse and I feel blessed that you provide that with your blog. Although my friends are getting a little tired of my saying, “well, Mark said….”.
    Cheers!

  • Reply

    Achim Zdunek

    11 weeks ago

    I like to say that you write from your heart and there’s people like me who read and enjoy and learn from your real life views. I am happy to be here and to read – I am getting educated and it is what I need right now! Thank you.

  • Reply

    ali

    9 weeks ago

    Nice job

    thanks

  • Reply

    SpartanCaver

    7 weeks ago

    I wasn’t going to register, but your question begs an answer for your attempting with the measure given only by others is pointless.

    I’ll start with the definition – accomplishment – achievement – fame – prosperity – lucky – triumphant – height in one’s field of endeavor.

    To be the leader of the free world, president of the United States is a definite measure of success, but was it a successful administration? Did the president during his term fall into the most prosperous time in the nation and worlds economic period? The president’s success could then be attributed not to what he did, but what was going on in the world. The sole measure of offices obtained are then skewed by circumstances.

    You have measured the success of Dave Mustaine by empirical numbers. You can’t do that. Leaving success to math alone isn’t a valid measure for you assume numbers are a measure of success. That being the case, Mustaine has 10,000 followers. Hitler, even today has 10,000 followers in the world and had millions worshiping him in 1939. You assume numerical success as a positive without a negative aspect.

    Now, happiness is the false idol of Madison Avenue. Marketing wants to get inside your head with warm and fuzzy feel good ads about their product. Or man up and buy their products. Or be the sex idol of everyone you meet with our product. Happiness is shallow and fleeting. Happiness is momentary. You might be relating success to happiness.

    I have adopted a personal motto which I discovered in the book of Philippians chapter 4 verse eleven, ” Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.” I will learn to be content with what I have. (BTW I am atheist not shilling religion here, it’s just a good personal outlook.)

    The Dali Lama also says contentment is sufficient, you can not attain happiness and keep it.

    I can claim success in raising three children who thus far have not been investigated by CBS 60 Minutes or CNBC’s American Greed. I can claim success having written the first cave exploring book for the Boy Scouts of America. I can claim success having employed my skill to save the lives of at least three people that would, without question, died had I not intervened in their life. I can claim success having successfully taught a Boy Scout the Heimlich Maneuver to then save the life of a two year old girl. I can claim success having been employed in the TV and Movie industry when the shop teacher and art teacher said I’d never amount to much.

    I have been in a state of death once during open heart surgery. I have been near death with chemo-therapy. I have taken measure of my life not by what I think others would call success. For by the measure of property and worldly goods, then I am a failure having nothing in the bank and living on disability income alone. I suck as a provider. But such was the choices I made during my 62 year long life and I embrace the consequences of those decisions. They can not be changed and are in the past. Therefore, I am content with the state I am in.

    We are obsessed with two things, status amongst others. Where are we compared to our peers? Why does it matter? The second thing is death and how to delay or prevent the inevitable. We do not want our lives to end and to that end we try any hair-brained diet, treatment – pill – supplement – hair implants,surgical lifts and tucks too look like we are delaying death. We do not want our lives to be without meaning. To that end we strive to leave a legacy by the accumulation of wealth – fame – notoriety, good or bad – awards – achievements.

    I can’t tell you how to measure the worth of your life. Others will do that for you. Stalin’s life was worthless. He and Hitler are poster boys for government provided abortions or free condoms. They could have been successful in establishing a great legacy in their countries.

    If you are feeling lost or adrift in the sea of life, go to Amazon and buy for cheap a used copy of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl. This turned my life around when I was about 30 years old. If you can not afford or do not wish to invest in another book, then email me and I’ll send you a used copy for free. I do this all the time.

    Good Luck – Keep Clear
    Spartan Caver

    • Reply

      Cindy wolf

      7 weeks ago

      Reply to Spartan Caver

      I completely enjoyed reading Mark Manson’s article, “How do you measure your life?”. I read some of the comments and all appeared to be positive. Then I read your comment, Spartan Caver, and I felt perplexed on why you would write such a piece and completely miss what Mr. Manson was presenting as ‘success’. “You get to choose how you measure success.” Instead you wrote comparing the number of Hitler followers to the authors followers, you quoted bible scripture but stated you were an atheist and frighteningly you informed us that you taught young children through the boy scouts. (Thank you for saving the little girl’s life.) I suppose that the fact you are ‘content’ with the state you are in is a form of positive. Unfortunately I found the major parts of your comments depressing. But, I just decided to read your comment again. I suppose that I now see your purpose in writing this. You may inspire younger people to take a closer look at how best to pursue life’s choices. I see. Thank you.

  • Reply

    Naz

    7 weeks ago

    Here’s a hypothetical: Would I book a lot of my weekends with every party I was invited to so people would like me and continue inviting me to parties, or would I just take off to be in nature, hike and climb outside with one good companion and have the most enjoyable of weekends?

    You point out a good tension about success – it’s often our own standard of success or what we accept as success that actually makes us unable to enjoy the present time. Even though that standard for success is supposed to give us a cue about when we can celebrate.

  • Reply

    Emerson

    7 weeks ago

    Thanks Mark, I’ve just recently come across your articles and am enjoying them quite a bit. I don’t always agree with everything but they always give me something to think about. They’re all very well written and I learn something from each one.
    Your“Happiness Hypotheticals” are great and hit home. When I was 29 I came to the conclusion that I was never going to get married. I felt that I was gainfully employed, had good friends and was mostly health and
    I was happy if l never got married. Within a month of that realization I met a woman who was physically unlike anyone I’d ever dated, but the chemistry between us was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We decided to get married during our first date and were married 12 weeks later. Last week we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Most people didn’t think it would last. If I hadn’t made the choice to go with the woman who made me happy, even though she was physically completely unlike any other women I’d dated I don’t know how my life would have been. As it is, in spite of chronic pain, I’m very happy, and she’s a significant reason for that.

  • Reply

    Maria Enciu

    6 weeks ago

    Mark,
    You bring a fresh perspective on outlooks on life. You’re only 28 and have this much influence on people with your out of the box thought process. You’re going to blow up in a few years! Please keep writing – I thoroughly enjoy your articles. And yes, I do notice a few spelling errors but who cares :-P.

  • Reply

    Suzanne LeBeau

    6 weeks ago

    Thanks, This is an eye-opening article, as usual! I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in High School. For much of my life, I lived in a depressed state because I considered myself to be less than successful. Why? I thought the mighty dollar was the only way to measure success. It was because I was comparing my life to those presented by the media and society in general. After realizing that the big wigs on Wall Street are the ones that have it in their best interest to perpetuate the images we see on tv, I’ve decided life is not so bad, because I definitely DON’T want to be like that. I’d rather be poor and as honest as possible. I’ve stopped comparing my own growth to others and simply compare to my OWN internal progress. One of my bosses once said: “If you have ENOUGH, you have ABUNDANCE.”

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    Hope

    5 weeks ago

    It hit me bad when I read to the part we must take care to choose the way of measuring success. After college study and worked for three years then went back to uni for another degree and part time job meanwhile. Plus relocating for two times, including one across two countries. Plus organizing wedding straight after graduate. And as an second language speaker, sometimes life is already hard. I used to always imaging if I could stay at home and watch 12 hours TV drama, just to have a mind rest. I did! After finishing long distance with my husband, degree, moving, wedding, selling our existing property…I decided to stop. You are right, I did found myself getting weight, lonely and miserable sometimes (lucky I have a sweet husband). I’m having trouble of finding my next measurement of success. I just feel hopeless sometimes as I’m getting “old” and still is a graduate in a new industry. It is a mission to get myself onto the computer to start writing a few words on the CV. Reading your article truly encouraged me to kick start again, however I’m just wondering where is this first step need to go? Any help?

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    Stewart Phillips

    4 weeks ago

    Awesome article! I’m amazed at your insights at such a young age. Keep it up.

    Stewart

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    Rex

    3 weeks ago

    You wanna KNOW why Dave was kicked outta Metallica?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW8NgXZWotM#1m18s

    This interview explains why @ 1min 18secs.

    This interview was done by the Norwegians, but of course, all of his replies are in English.

    In short…it’s because the lead singer of Metallica KICKED HIS DOG for putting her paws on his car. He got a pair of dogs because he was selling WEED and people knew his stash was in his apartment, which was broken into and all his stash stolen. In the argument that followed, he punched him in the face…which is why he believes he was fired.

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    Pj

    2 weeks ago

    Thank you for writing such a great article. It was very empowering to me. I’ve always been the kind of person who compares myself to others….always feeling envious of the things/opportunities others have. I’ve struggled with this my whole life (middle child syndrome perhaps). I’m not a outwardly hateful, jealous person….it’s more of a negative voice in my head. Always wondering things such as why I have trouble making friends when it comes to others so easily, why my neighbors never include in me in their weekly happy hour outings, why my employer won’t promote but will promote the office clown, etc… The biggest struggle I have faced is my husband of 10 years is a Brazil with the band and I am told no? Your article forced me to look inside myself at what is important to me and I realized that fancy trips are not as important to me as being home with my son and daughter. I am a good mother and wife and having a happy, thriving family is what matters most to me. Thank you for making this old brain think outside of the box!

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    Juan Pablo Arbeláez

    2 weeks ago

    I enjoyed this work very much.
    I´ve been reading your blog for a week now, and its one of those rare things you can find on the internet, and I suppose this article explains it, the mind-set is really the key of it. Cheers Mate. Keep on the nice work!

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    Zunikar

    1 week ago

    Hi Mark, I like your articles and book Models. Keep writing inspiring stuff. Your writing makes me reassess my life and how I view it.

    I am one of those who turned to PUA because of having no success with women, which brought me success but not happiness necessarily. My measure of success was “how many women I sleep with” or “how many hook ups I can get” – and my life started to revolve around these metrics for about 4 months. I found myself, however, turning into the kind of person I never wanted to be, a bit of an asshole. I also slept with women who didn’t overly excite me.
    Then I read your book Models – and I started to review my life goals following that. 2-3 months I recognised my passion (after reading Models for the 2nd time), and have decided to pursue it. Ever since I did that, I am feel aligned with myself on an emotional level, and also I am able to share this good energy with all people. I encourage others to pursue their passions etc.

    My yardstick changed from “sleep with as many women and live an adventurous lifestyle” -> “pursue both your passion and your ideal lifestyle”. You contributed quite a lot to this.

    Thanks Mark

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