The way most people think of success has a whole lotta struggle and hustle packed into it. All those heavily curated Instagram feeds with their perfect grid patterns and branded color schemes. All those strategic Facebook Lives. All those Pinterest boards (Okay, I still don’t get Pinterest. I just don’t).

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Struggling less to succeed more won’t have you gasping for air under the deluge of all you have to do to get ahead. If you learn to struggle less as you work to crush your goals, you won’t get crushed by them in the process.

Imagine you’re going on a backpacking trip and you have to carry everything you need into the wilderness. What are the most essential things that you stuff into your backpack to carry up the trail?

Similarly, when it comes to success, instead of making fulfillment something you think you’ll have once you get where you want to go, make it what you bring with you.

Just as it’s foolish to hike into the woods with an empty backpack expecting to find what you need at the end of the hike, it’s unrealistic to expect fulfillment to be waiting at the end of a long, grinding road to success if you haven’t cultivated the direct experience of it along the way.

Here’s the kicker: if you’ve been empty on the way there, emptiness is what you’ll have when you arrive. If you’ve been insecure on the way there, insecurity is what you’ll have when you arrive.

You get the idea.

On top of that, there’s no such thing as “arrived.” When you get to one peak, there’s always another peak to climb. So you might as well build fulfillment into the journey from the start by carrying what you want with you.

  • Get clear on what your top five values are and keep them close. They’re what you pack in your backpack for the road.
  • As you move through each day, ask yourself if what you’re doing brings you closer to alignment with your values or if it doesn’t.
  • Shift to have more of what you’re doing be in alignment with your values and delegate as much as you can of the things that aren’t aligned.

By the way, delegating what’s not aligned doesn’t mean fobbing the dishes off on your partner or roommate every night. Don’t be a jerk. If doing what it takes to cultivate a great relationship forms part of your values, then doing the dishes is in alignment with that value.

You can experience fulfillment right now because you’re actively choosing to live in alignment with your values. Bottom line, integrity feels great, no matter how much money’s in the bank or how well-known you are.

Everything else on top of this becomes gravy, which, in fact, is what it should be.

Nobody gets where they want to go alone. I’m thinking beyond having a great team, which is essential for every entrepreneur to have to be successful, so for sure get yourself a kickass team if you’re an entrepreneur!

I’m thinking about the amount of love and intimacy you have in your life.

Don’t let yourself get so driven that you forget what matters most: connection.

Hopefully, you chose LOVE as one of your values, but even if you didn’t, you need people in your life who know and love you for who you really are. Because the more outward success you have, the more you’re going to need your peeps to keep your head on straight.

It can get very lonely on the success pinnacle, and you’ll be surrounded by a lot of fakery and grabby people who want a piece of you. If you haven’t cultivated grounded relationships on the way to the top, it’s way too easy to spin out and lose yourself.

Do the work to have your experiences, high and low, grow and deepen you as you go through life. This is the most important work, to become the fullest expression possible of yourself through your particular calling.

I’ve watched people contract as they age, becoming rigid and small-minded, their life-force shriveled and tight. They ended up cut off from the richness that exists all around them because they let the events of their life shrink them.

I’ve watched others deepen and expand as they age, to meet events in life with wonder, humor, and resilience. They’re a beacon of compassion and authenticity in their communities, regardless of what size home they have. There’s a brightness in their eyes that’s contagious.

Are you on a path to becoming shriveled or a beacon? The choice is yours. If you want to end up somewhere different than your current heading will take you, start making changes now. Like tacking a sailboat, it only takes a tiny correction now to end up somewhere completely different down the line.

It’s up to each of us to decide what success means and what combination of inner and outer success feels like the perfect mix for which to strive. May you find your perfect mix without struggle and with great success!

The relationship you desire is possible! Click HERE to discover what missing pieces are stopping you from having the connection and passion you desire.