MEN&WOMEN: A guide to a happy living for everyone

By CHRIS HART
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You must have the right attitudes to succeed. And they’re all ultimately about effort. Because there’s only one sure way to succeed and that’s to work harder than everyone else — at things that reflect your values and goals.

Are you doing that? Make a list of how you feel you should be spending your spare time. Studying maybe, reading, perhaps volunteering or planning a new business. Now keep a diary of how you actually spent your time. And compare the two.

Chances are they don’t match too well. Most people spend their time on low benefit activities. The challenge is to reallocate your time to reflect your goals and values.

And what are they? Write down 25 phrases that describe what you think is important in life. Around words like ‘love,’ ‘fame,’ ‘family,’ ‘friends,’ ‘excellence,’ ‘wealth,’ ‘wisdom,’ and so on. Choose the five that best describe your core values.

Some will probably conflict. For example, excelling in your studies might be incompatible with your social life. The challenge is deciding what to do about that.

Do you remember the story of the happy fisherman? After fishing for a few hours every day, he relaxes for the rest of the time with his wife and children.

A visitor tells the fisherman he could be rich. Catch more fish and start a business — but here’s a new twist — and donate some of his money to feed hungry children.

“Then what?” asks the fisherman. “Then you could relax with your family, but you’ve also made a difference. You’ve fed some poor children, instead of just lying around all day.’

Apply this story to your own life. Is it important to you to spend time with friends and family? Or to become rich? And what about making the world a better place?

Most people find those impossible choices. The challenge is balancing what really matters to you — family, wealth maybe, with what you feel you owe to your community.

Because life’s short, and it’s important to use your time wisely. So think hard about what you want to achieve, and be sure your goals reflect your values.

Stand on your own two feet as early as you can — independence will also build your confidence. Like find paying work all through college however scruffy! Paid work does wonders for your CV, saying that you know how to get up in the morning, fit in with a team, and so on.

Avoid getting in with the wrong crowd. You become like the people you mix with, so surround yourself with good people. Not hustlers or losers.

For most people, a ‘career’ is just chasing after higher salaries. Successful people don’t do that. They think of each job as a project that can improve their reputation, while networking to find their next position!

So set yourself tough goals that match your values. Then you’ll succeed. Because success is really all about becoming the person it takes to get there.

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