I Look At You And All I See Is Failure

Image Credit: gentlemansgazette

Long hours, spreadsheets full of revenue numbers, a huge ego, weekly interstate plane trips, no partner, kids you don’t know and lots of money you don’t need.

On the outside, you’re taking the business world by storm. Your MBA helps you talk in that C-Level business language that some people aspire to speak their entire career.

You can throw huge statistics out there at a dinner party and you’ve done business with more brand name companies than I’ve had hot dinners.

You can roll up to a meeting late because you’re so busy and no one says anything. You can put your luxury leather goods on the boardroom table like it’s nothing and make the finer things in life look like the goal of human existence.

Image Credit: Maxwell Scott Bags

Many people aspire to be you. They don’t know better.

Your life and your career look like a dream that we should all want our children to have some day.

You’ve got a million dollar house that you’re paying off (maybe forever), you get to go on a nice holiday twice a year and pretend to unwind (even though you can’t stop checking your phone for messages so you can feel loved), and you drive that shiny new luxury car to work and don’t have to take the train like us simple people.

I know a secret, though.
You’re not happy. 
You long for a romantic partner.

I also know you want children but don’t have the time to have them because you work crazy hours and respond to emails at midnight. Going on dates takes time and no prospective partner wants to hear you talk about your soulless existence that you call ‘work.’

The numbers don’t give you any meaning even though you look in-between each decimal point hoping to find the reason why you do this job that doesn’t make sense.

This is not living. That’s why I see you as a failure.


Many of you reading this can relate to some of what I just described. I’ve had times where I’ve lived parts of this life too.

When we don’t question what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, we fall for this type of life.

We chase what we think makes sense. We listen to what we read or see on TV and think that it’s the answer.

It’s so easy to be misled into a life that doesn’t make sense.
Image Credit: 123RF

With so little time in our calendar to stop and think, and disconnect from our life of work, we’re not consciously making choices that will benefit our future.

There’s one chance to live a human existence and to do anything that focuses on soulless work or a primary goal of pursuing money, is a waste.

Nothing I just said should be new to you. We all know what this life of failure looks like yet we can easily slip into it.

How do you avoid this trap?

  1. Keep family and romance front and center
  2. Live a simpler life that doesn’t rely on money
  3. Choose work you love doing

Real living.

I was once a man in a suit that fell into the trap of chasing the life I saw on the internet. This life worked out okay for a while. It even felt good at times.

That was until I came home each night and felt empty. I tried to cover up the emptiness by watching a never-ending list of Hollywood Movies in the hope I’d find another way.

There were also many late nights out on the town trying to ‘network’ and forget what I wanted to really do through the abuse of alcohol.

Then, I’d wake up the next day dehydrated, even more sad, smelling of alcohol and suffering a hangover. This would knock me out for most of the weekend until I had to build up the courage to face it all again on Monday morning in my nicely tailored suit and tie.

I wore the fakest smile you’ve ever seen.

This vicious cycle repeated itself.
Until I broke it.

My standards changed. I wasn’t prepared to be single, lonely, unhealthy, pissed off or fake anymore. I’d had enough of being a failure dressed in a suit.

The first thing I did was lose the suit. Nothing against suits but for me, it was where this life of failure started.

The suit was a metaphor for being someone I wasn’t.

I still see the person described in the story above wearing their suit every day. I long for them to exit this life of failure. Some days I dream of walking up to them and shaking them vigorously while telling them “It’s time to stop!”

That dream hasn’t played out just yet.

I’m hoping this blog post can be a softer way to get you to stop living this life of failure.

Question everything. 
Commit to doing more of what you love. 
Take money off the top of the list.

Most of all, don’t forget LOVE.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +395,714 people.

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