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You’re more successful than you think

Who has it all figured out?

Whatever your problem, it’s likely one of 3 things – health, wealth or relationships. But those are all big things.

You might need longer than your 20s.

Who has it all figured out?

Here’s what’s funny.

Chances are you’ve solved at least some of life’s puzzles. You just haven’t bothered to pay attention.

For me, the relationship side was easy. I have one wife and zero ex-girlfriends. I’ve got mates with exes, but they never seem to like them, and I hadn’t really counted myself lucky.

My 20s end next week.

“I hope to God I never have another decade like that,” I told a friend.

“What? Happily married? Travelling the world? Working wherever you want? In a creative job?” he replied.

Did I ever feel like an ungrateful sod.

I was busy thinking about money, and how I wanted to (you won’t believe this…) secure an extra $2000 a month.

But don’t you find – as I do – that you’re always looking at those little gaps you haven’t yet filled?

I consider my mentor a success solely on the basis that he’s a millionaire.

I ignore his 3 divorces and how, “The second wife cost me an awful lot of money, dear boy.” 

He once owed the tax man so much money he lived under a false name for 7 years. Loan sharks called in the night threatening to break his legs. And all of this happened when he was 10 years older than I am now.

None of that matters any more of course.

Now he has lots of money, I don’t. I want lots of money, so I feel comparatively unsuccessful.

Did you see George Clooney sold a Tequila company the other week? Banked something like $170million.

“Man, George Clooney is crushing it,” I told my wife, peering over my gossip mag. “A movie star, and a big fat Tequila win…and a house on the Italian lakes…and…”

“…30 more years behind him?” she interrupted.

She’s right.

Though it’s doubtful I could become George Clooney in 30 years, I could certainly achieve more than I have now. You can too.

It’s just so hard staying positive at your start when all you see are other peoples’ middle.

Looking back helps, but only if you’re aged 30+.

You’ll need at least 10 years of solid adulthood behind you.

I remember myself 10 years ago, pouring over my David Ogilvy advertising books.

‘If I only write one proper advertisement – so I can say I was a copywriter – I will be forever happy,’ I said.

Well I’ve done that now. Several times over. I’ve even worked with one of David Ogilvy’s former creative directors. But the line for success has moved.

I’m trying to publish a novel now.

If I only have one novel published I will be forever happy. 

My wife tells me her last 10 years were wasted.

“I haven’t any transferrable skills,” she says. “I’m so stupid. All this time I’ve sat in my comfort zone, in this job, and haven’t done anything to better myself.”

Her job, in case you’re wondering, is recording and verifying what’s said in the Canadian Parliament. I tuned into the Parliament channel once. She was there on the television, sat within reaching-distance of Justin Trudeau.

Yes, it’s a pretty cool job. Certainly not a waste of 10 years. Though it takes me – somebody on the outside – to point this out.

So my question to you is this:

Are you unsuccessful? Or do you just keep moving the marker for success?

When you look back 10 years, how much has changed for you? I’m willing to bet you’re the same.

You’re more successful than you think.

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