Building a successful and happy life isn’t easy. It takes hard work, commitment, love, and an understanding and appreciation of your own values — to name just a few things. No magic bullet will fix everything up for you, but some simple keys and essential pieces of advice can make your life better and more fulfilling. Here is some advice to live by.
Learn to network
In most any lines of work, networking is important. While we might think of many professional callings as meritocracies, the fact is that virtually nobody out there (including hiring managers, NFL general managers, voters, and anyone else who might award a job to anyone) is operating with perfect information. You don’t just have to be good at what you do — you have to be familiar to those who can help you.
With a strong network, you will have people willing to recommend you for jobs, help you with problems, and hire you themselves — as well as people that you might be able to help and hire. It takes a team to build even the most “individual” of success stories.
Don’t throw so much away
Decluttering is one thing: If you have too much stuff, it’s fine (and even advisable) to chuck some stuff. But what about the things that you throw away and then immediately replace? What about the broken electronics, torn clothes, and cheap shoes that you toss away and then buy new versions of?
The old ways aren’t always best, but we could learn a lot from our less affluent ancestors when it comes to “buying things for life.” Why are we so wasteful? Our “throwaway society” is hurting the environment and, in the view of some experts, our financial and spiritual health. We should value and care for our belongings.
It’s a lot cheaper to repair an iPhone screen than it is to buy a new iPhone. You don’t necessarily need a warranty to get the work done for a fair price, either. Just head to a local repair shop and get your phone working again, and save the money that you would have spent on a new model for something more important — like shoes, appliances, and other goods that will last longer and are worth repairing rather than just replacing.
Always be learning
Success means different things to different people. Sometimes, it means finding a higher-paying job and more professional prestige. Sometimes, the goals are more personal and less lucrative. Whatever you’re after in your life’s work, though, one thing remains true: You need to keep learning.
Always be reading, like successful CEOs do. Always be taking on new tasks and responsibilities and pushing your abilities in the working world. Try new hobbies, take advantage of professional development opportunities, and keep becoming better at everything that you care about.
Find ways to give back
Working hard and making smart choices can lead to serious financial success. But no amount of money will make you happy — just ask Howard Fensterman, an ultra-successful New York attorney turned philanthropist. Fensterman’s career has done a lot of good for a lot of people, but he still felt that he could do more. Now, through his philanthropy, he does. Giving back is fulfilling in a way that even the most luxurious life can’t be, and it will make those lazy vacation days and luxurious goods easier to enjoy fully and in good conscience.
Not every sort of successful life leads to lots of financial wealth, and you may find that your journey does not leave you with lots of cash to give away. You can still give back, though: Your old belongings could be donated to charity, for instance, and you can always donate your valuable time to volunteering missions.