What is Success?
Welcome to the Titanium Life podcast. This is your host, Arman Sadeghi, and I’m so thrilled you joined me today because today, I want to talk to you about what is probably the most important topic of all: success and fulfillment. See, when I say “success and fulfillment,” most of you think that’s the order that it comes in. Immediately, you think to yourself, well, if I can attain a certain level of success in my career, my marriage, my life, and whatever area of your life on this quest that we have on this planet, you feel like if you have that success, that’s when you’re going to have fulfillment.
Most people spend their entire lives looking for fulfillment and happiness, but the way they go about trying to get it is they try to attain success. As I always talk about, there’s an order of operations to just about everything in life. What that means is just like in math class when there’s an order of operations that you must multiply and divide, before you add and subtract. There’s an order of operations to everything in life. And probably the most important order of operations is the fact that you must learn to have fulfillment and happiness prior — and that’s the key — prior to ever trying to attain success.
In fact, I go as far as saying, “Attaining success prior to learning the art of fulfillment could be the most devastating experience in life.” That’s why today I want to talk to you about this. I want to make sure you understand this order of operations because at the end of the day, what you really want and what I really want for you is fulfillment and happiness. What is success, anyways? For most of us, success is something that was defined by our parents. Something that was defined by our friends. Maybe even something that was defined by people on TV. It’s not typically something we came up with you. Most of you, unless you’ve been to one of my seminars, have never sat down and actually defined what success is for you in your own words.
So what you’re doing is you’re living in someone else’s world. More than that, when we’re living in someone else’s world, trying to attain all this success, we’ve never really tested to see if all this success that we’re going after would actually give us fulfillment and happiness. Even though in reality, that’s all we really want, right? So we want fulfillment but we’ve decided at some point in life that in order to have fulfillment, I have to have success.
Today, I want to talk to you about this and one very simple example I can use is recently there was some information that came out about a gentleman named Markus Persson. You may have heard of him. He’s the guy who developed this company called Minecraft. He developed this game and then he sold it to Microsoft for $2.5 Billion — yes, that’s billion with a B. He sold this company for $2.5 Billion and let me tell you a tweet he just sent out not too long ago. It says, “Hanging out in Ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people. Able to do whatever I want and I’ve never felt more isolated.”
Imagine that. He was just handed $2.5 Billion, and more importantly than that, he sold his company to Microsoft, one of the biggest companies in the world. As an entrepreneur, you would imagine he has attained every level of success you can imagine by having this done, right? Articles about him everywhere, newspapers, magazines — everything. The game that he created is all over the world. All of these people are playing it, he has all this money, he’s partying in Ibiza, and all he is able to say is that “I’ve never felt more isolated.” It’s interesting.
In another tweet he wrote, “The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.” Now this is a really interesting quote and when you break apart the two parts of this, what you see is that in the first part, he’s saying that when you get everything, there’s no reason to try. Now, I would talk to him and find out has he really gotten everything? If I had a moment to coach him, maybe that’s what I would talk about, because I want to know if he feels like $2.5 Billion and a successful company is everything. I would guess that when I spoke to him, he would admit that $2.5 Billion and a very successful business is maybe just a small part of the pie for him.
But then what he says is, “…human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.” Now this is interesting, because he’s built a world for himself of course and in this world, he feels like human interaction is impossible. But that has no basis in reality. You see, when you gain success before you learn the art of fulfillment, this is exactly what happens.
I’ve never met Markus Persson, but I’m sure he’s a very nice guy — obviously a very smart guy, right? But the thing is he has never learned the art of fulfillment. If he knew the art of fulfillment, it doesn’t change whether you have $2.5 Billion or 2.5 cents. It makes no difference. And so what I want to share with you today, my friends, as you’re listening to this podcast, is I want to talk to you about the art of fulfillment. I want to convince you to go out and try to learn the art of fulfillment. Learn to be happy with who you are today and what you have today. And once you’ve learned that, then you can focus on everything it is that you want.
You can’t do one side of the coin and ignore the other side. It’s all about understanding how to be happy with whatever you have. If you don’t have any money right now and you can learn to be happy, then the tools that you will learn in that process are also going to work if you happen to have $2.5 Billion. Now I would guess — again, I don’t know this gentleman personally — I would love to meet him one day and interview him and spend some time coaching him. But I don’t know him personally. What I would guess is that this is exactly how he felt four, five, six, seven years ago.
I bet he felt exactly the same way if you listened to how he lived his life, he often felt like there were imbalances and human interaction was impossible. Now he may have seen himself on one side of the imbalance or the other, but I bet that’s how he felt before. Here, he says, “The problem with getting everything is that you run out of reasons to keep trying.” I bet you as motivated of a guy as he obviously is, as intelligent as he obviously is, he’s spent a large portion of his life where he stopped trying because he felt like he already had everything.
In another tweet, he says, “In Sweden, I will sit around and wait for my friends with jobs and families to have time to do stuff, watching my reflection in the mirror.” Interesting. So he recognizes the fact that he’s got all these friends and family; people he cares about, but they’ve got their own lives. He’s obviously living life on his terms and wondering why he can’t have other people living life in his world.
Then he says, “When we sold the company, the biggest effort went into making sure the employees got taken care of, and now they all hate me.” Again, think about that and understand that this is a man who has just been given $2.5 Billion and he’s sold this company. He has this impression that all his employees hate him. Now whether they do or not, I don’t understand. I don’t know the details of it. But what I can tell you is all of this comes down to one simple thing: if you have not learned the art of fulfillment, I guarantee you if you find success, you’ll find that fulfillment becomes that much harder to find.
When you don’t have everything you want, it’s easy to look into the future and say, “Hey, one day when I have X or one day when I have Y…when I lose 20 pounds…when I meet the man of my dreams or the woman of my dreams…when I make a million dollars…when I buy that house or car…” You say, “When I have these things, then I will be happy,” and see, that’s the mistake. That’s the mistake that so many of us live in. I lived it for so many years, because I worked so hard to attain financial freedom. I finally did and I was a kid when I attained it. I was a 16 year-old kid and I started my own business and I was doing very well financially.
What I discovered very, very quickly is that it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. I was absolutely miserable and borderline in depression. Why? Much of the same reasons that this gentleman here is pointing out in his tweets. We didn’t have Twitter back then in the 90s, but if we did, I’m sure I would’ve sent out many tweets just like this, because that’s where I found myself.
I would call up my friends and say, “Hey, let’s go to the movies!” And they would say, “Well, I can’t really afford to go.” And then so what I found myself doing was telling my friends, “No, no, no, it’s okay. I’ll pay for your movie ticket.” And at the time at the age of 16, most of my friends were pretty young. It’s not just the movie ticket. You know, they need gas money. Literally I found myself having to pay for my friends’ gas money, buying them movie tickets, and things like that if I just wanted to hang out with them. After a while, they started feeling guilty and felt weird hanging out with me, so I felt like I had no friends.
Then on certain nights where I had nothing to do — see, back when I had no money, I didn’t feel that bad. I’d just say, “You know what? I have no money. I can’t go out tonight.” So I would work harder to try to make more money, thinking that one day when I have enough money, I can go out and do everything that I want. But see once I had the money and I was sitting at home without anything to do, there were no other excuses because now it was just down to me. I could bring up money as an excuse. My circumstances were not the problem. You see, I had to face the fact that the problem was me. And Markus Persson, that is the fact that he is living right now. He’s realizing that the only thing that comes between him and happiness is him, and nothing else.
It’s interesting. In another tweet he says, “Found a great girl. But she’s afraid of me and my lifestyle and went with a normal person instead.” Interesting. Finally, in another one he said, “I would musk and try to save the world. But that would just expose me to the same type of a-holes that made me sell Minecraft again.” Now think about that. Here he’s had this $2.5 Billion transaction and apparently he’s of course unhappy about it. But more than that, he thinks that if he goes out there and he tries to save the world — and I’m assuming by this, he means he’s going out and doing nonprofit work, which is what many of you are thinking. Hey buddy, get off your butt and go do this. Well, it’s not so easy because see, in his world, he’s built a world where he feels like if he goes out and does that, he’s just going to get taken advantage of.
Well, I bet you that this gentleman probably spent a lot of his life feeling like he’s getting taken advantage of. Think about that. How do you have a $2.5 Billion transaction and then feel like you got taken advantage of?” Well guess what? You can only do that if before that $2.5 Billion transaction, you felt like you were taken advantage of for other things in your life. You see, success doesn’t change any of that. Now here, we’re talking about success and in this particular example as it relates to finances, but I see this all the time with relationships.
I see people who go out there and say, “When I find the right guy…when I find the right girl, that’s when my life is going to be perfect. That’s when everything is going to come together. Oh my goodness, I’m going to have everything.” Then they go out and find that person — they get lucky. They find that one person that they’ve been waiting for their entire lives and then they look around and they go, “Wow, nothing is different. I’m still the same person I always was.” And it’s a very eye-opening moment for a lot of women I’ve seen in their thirties, especially women in their mid to late thirties who are single and are basically coming through this thing where they’ve spent most of their twenties and thirties thinking that a man — a relationship — an incredible man, their Prince Charming, is what’s going to change everything for them.
In many cases, God forbid they actually find their Prince Charming. You see, if they find their Prince Charming before they find the art of happiness and the art of fulfillment, what ends up happening is they end up more miserable than they’ve ever been before. Now they don’t have any excuses to feel like crap, yet they will feel empty anyways. They feel like this person is going to fill a hole inside of them. The reality, my friends, is that no one will ever fill a hole inside of you. The only person that can ever fill that hole or void is you. There is no amount of information, no amount of money, no men, women, husbands, wives, or anything else in the world, no amount of fame, no amount of fortune, that can ever fill the void inside of you.
But here’s the beauty of it: you’re one decision away from being happy! Happiness and fulfillment is simply just a decision. It’s all about focusing on the things that you have around you and looking for meanings that give you fulfillment. So for example, you might be in a situation where you’ve sold your business for $2.5 Billion. All you have to do is when you’re sitting in Ibiza or in Sweden, instead of focusing on the fact that you feel isolated or focusing on the fact that your friends “jobs and families have stuff to do so you’re staring at yourself in the mirror,” instead of doing that, what if you focused on the fact that you’re so blessed and lucky to have this opportunity to have the freedom to do whatever you want to do.
This includes starting a new business, have a nonprofit — heck, maybe go help take care of your friends’ families. Go babysit their kids. I don’t know. I’ve got two little girls at home. I would love for him to come babysit for us every once in a while.
The bottom line is finding fulfillment and happiness is simply about learning to change your focus; focusing on different things and then giving them different meanings. You see, when you focus on positive things and when you give positive meanings to things, and I’m not just talking about positive thinking BS. I’m not thinking about running around and just saying, “My life is great. My life is great. My life is great. My life is great. My life is great.” No! You know, if your life sucks, don’t say, “My life is great.” That’s not going to help you any.
What I want you to do is find out why your life is great. Last night as I was driving, it was a beautiful full moon with some clouds right in front of it. As I was driving, I just looked at that full moon and said, “Gosh, we’re so blessed! Look at this moon! It’s amazing!” It’s something like that that’s going to make you understand what focus and meaning is. See, I wasn’t focused on the fact that it was 8:00 at night and I was driving home after a long day at the office on a weekend. I was focused on how beautiful the moon was. And then when I got home and I got to catch a glimpse of my daughter before she went to sleep, she was already in her room, the lights were mostly out, and I could barely see her face. But you know what? I got to give her a kiss and she gave me a kiss before she fell asleep. Had I gotten there five minutes later, I wouldn’t have gotten that kiss.
Now it would’ve been very easy to focus on the fact that one of my daughters was asleep and the fact that I didn’t get to see them in the light. But you know what? I chose to focus on the fact that one of them was awake. I chose to focus on the fact that I got to get my one kiss and I got to hold her hand for five minutes before she fell asleep. You see, that’s changing your focus and changing the meaning you give to things. That’s what it’s all about, because when you focus on the right things and when you give powerful, empowering meanings to things — not just positive but empowering meanings — the next thing you know, you suddenly start making different decisions and you start taking different action. That’s what makes the biggest difference.
When you start to take different actions, now you have no choice but to focus on different things because now you have positive things all around you to focus on. You have different meanings that you give to things because you get used to giving things a positive meaning. So my friends, as you’re out there today, and I know that you’ve heard of Titanium Success — we always talk about success in business, your health, finances, in your relationships, and yes, I’m going to help you find success in all of those areas.
Through this series of podcasts and in the next few podcasts, you’re going to get secrets that are going to help you take your business to levels you never thought possible. Let me tell you, I guarantee you that if you apply the things that I teach you, you are going to be able to do things with your business that you did not think were even possible. With your body, with just 25 minutes a day, I’m going to share secrets with you that no matter how busy you are, no matter how crazy your life is, no matter how much you travel or what kind of a schedule you have, I’m going to share secrets with you where you can have an incredible body with just 25 minutes of exercise a day.
And hey, guess what? You can even enjoy treats like pizza and ice cream! Imagine that. Now hey, if you have a great business, you have incredible body, and I’m going to help you with secrets that are going to help you attain and keep the relationship of your dreams, whether you’re already in a relationship or if you’re looking for one. I’m going to give you tips and secrets that are going to help you have an incredible relationship. Again, no matter how busy you are or what you’ve got going on in your life or what your past track record is, we’ll get you the help. We’ll get you the business. We’ll get you the relationships of your dreams. We’ll help you fix your finances to the point where you have true financial freedom and financial abundance to where you can do whatever you want and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. All of those secrets I will share with you.
But my friends, all of those things are the secrets to success. They have nothing to do with the art of fulfillment. So today, I’m sharing with you the gift that I believe is the most valuable gift I can ever give you. That’s the concept of understanding that prior to attaining success, you want to go out there and you want to put your effort into learning the art of fulfillment. Learn to be happy with who you are and what you have, while still looking and going after everything that you want. I don’t want you to sit at home and meditate for 14 hours a day and just be thankful for what you have. That sounds like a great idea, but within a couple of weeks, you might run out of food to eat.
I want you to get out there and make things happen in your life. Get things done. Push things to the next level. When you do that, you’re opening yourself up to a million different opportunities. But you don’t want to go out there and push for success because you think it’s going to bring you happiness.
So here’s the good news and the bad news. The bad news I’ll start with is that if you were to find success today or maybe you’re listening to this and have already found success, well in your case, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. But if you haven’t found that success yet, then what I will tell you my friends is this: go after success. Absolutely go after it with everything that you’ve go. You deserve an incredible relationship, incredible financial freedom, a beautiful, healthy body, you deserve an incredible business, and all of those things. But please understand that you must first find the art of fulfillment.
The good news is fulfillment and happiness are simply a decision away. That decision is what you are going to focus on. Now if you want to get a little bit more complicated, focus on two decisions: what are you going to focus on and what kind of meanings are you going to give the things that you focus on? And finally, when you’re focusing on the right things, you’re giving positive and empowering meanings to things, then what are you going to do about them?
So when you look at the world, of course there are going to be problems. In any situation, whether you’re in Ibiza partying with famous people, you’re in Sweden hanging out with your friends and family, or whatever it is that you’re doing, there will always be the positive and there will always be the negative. There will always be the good news and there will always be the bad news. The question is what will you choose to focus on?
What I challenge you to do is starting today, focus on the things that empower you. Again, the key here is empowerment. I’m not talking about running around and just telling yourself things that are not true. A while ago, there was this famous book called The Secret. People were running around, telling themselves all kinds of positive things. And I do think that The Secret works to a certain extent. But when The Secret works, it’s not when you’re running around lying to yourself. You know, I’m 5’-8.5”. I could run around and tell myself, “I’m seven feet tall. I’m seven feet tall. I’m seven feet tall,” and then go try to dunk over Shaquille O’Neal. I don’t think that’s going to go so well.
Maybe instead of telling myself that I’m seven feet tall, maybe I should say, “You know what? I’m 5’-8.5” — by the way, I throw that half in there because all the short guys like to make sure we get that extra couple of little millimeters there. I could run around and say I’m seven feet tall but instead, what if I just say, “I’m five foot eight and a half and you know what? I like it because I work harder than anyone else to be the best that I could possibly be. I will put in an extra two hours at the gym everyday so that I can jump higher than everyone else and then I will be able to get up and dunk.”
And by the way, those of you who know anything about me, you know that I used to be able to dunk a basketball when I was in college. These days, I can get pretty close and grab the rim. So when you’re talking about things, it’s all about putting your focus where you have empowering meanings to things. Focusing on the fact that I’m 5’-8” and then giving that the meaning that what that means is I’m going to work harder than everyone else and put more in it than anybody else possibly does, that’s the empowering thing. Or when I’m driving home on a weekend at 8:00 p.m. because I had to be at the office all day as much as I didn’t want to, focusing on that moon or focusing on the fact that I had the privilege of working in a business all day.
There are people who dream about having their own business and they don’t. Well, I do. I can give it the meaning that I have the freedom to do whatever I want but I choose to go to work on a weekend. See, that’s empowering. When you focus on the right things and when you give powerful meaning to things, you start making different decisions. And as you make those different decisions, you start taking different action and everything in your life will change.
The best part of it is once you learn the art of fulfillment and then you add success to it, oh man, that’s when you’re going to be unstoppable. Because when you see, when you have success, for example, financial success, and you know how to have a fulfilling life, now you can really take that money and put it to good use and have an even more incredible, more fulfilling life. When you’re fulfilled on your own, when you feel whole on the inside and now you meet an incredible person, now you can be even more fulfilled with them. But you’re not going into that relationship so that they can complete you. You’re going into that relationship because you’re complete and they’re complete and together, you have incredible intimacy, love, and passion. That’s what you’re in it for; not the part where they complete you.
The same goes for your business, your children, and every other area of your life. So today as I leave you, I want to remind you that the secret to life is living for today in terms of being happy with who you are and what you have, while pursuing everything that you want in life. Focus on both sides of that equation and watch what’s going to happen with your life.
And again, I want to remind you that attaining success prior to learning the art of fulfillment can be an absolutely devastating experience. So get out there, focus on the right things, give them empowering meaning, and take the right actions that are going to propel you ahead. And remember, you’re fueled by what? Rocket fuel — that’s right. Take that rocket fuel, get out there, and enjoy life. I love you all and I’m always here for you. So as always, I’m going to leave you here today with my favorite message of all for you: lead with your heart.
And join me next time as we talk about how the last five years of your life are going to compare to the next five years of your life, based on the decisions you’re making today.
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