You’re Successful… So Why Are You Still “Hungry”?

First, to be clear, this is not about the existential threat of hunger (starvation).  Although that’s a very important topic, this is about the hunger to achieve and what an awesome, positive motivator it can be.

Everyone’s “hungry” for something. Perhaps greater control over time, desire to do more meaningful, purposeful work, achieve greater financial success, live/work where you want, improve the lives of others (employees, customers, communities), and create a lasting legacy for future generations.

Simmering Hunger

Years ago, a mentor told me, “the harder you work, the luckier you get”.  I subscribed to that line of thinking for many years.  It drove me to out-work, out-deliver, and out-sacrifice for the sake of career growth, the achievement of individual, team, and organizational excellence, and of course, higher earnings.  This “failure is not an option” mindset appears to have served me well during the most difficult periods of market tumult, economic crisis, and organizational upheaval.  By all accounts, my work life, family-life, network, wealth, and community/non-profit activity were tangible evidence of success.  Decades later, I found myself oddly still feeling hunger pangs and wondering why. 

Masking the Pain

The absence of the things we’re hungry for can cause us pain.  Some of us have a higher “pain” tolerance, so we mask the “pain” by justifying inaction as a more “responsible,” “safer” path.  Invariably, we all decide for ourselves whether to feed or suppress the “hunger.”  As one of the greatest sports figures of our lifetime said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretsky. 

Finding 'Why'

While good in many ways, this traditional definition of “success” gave me an excuse to subvert my true potential.  I knew something was missing, yet I chose to ignore opportunities for “enlightenment”.  My ability to innovate and create value became muted.  I was too “comfortable.”  For me, my water-shed moment was experiencing a loss (lives, work, stability).  These losses ultimately led me to ask questions like those Simon Sinek has made famous – “what’s your why?”.  Being shaken to my core re-awakened my “curiosity” and led me to realize that I was still very “hungry.”  This hunger reignited my desire to learn, grow, achieve, help, and share things that energized me earlier in life.  I knew I had to break the cycle – “stop the insanity” – So I took stock of my life, examined my path to date, defined my “why,” explored options, built a plan, sought counsel, took action, and embraced change as an opportunity. 

If Not Now Then When?

It took time for me to realize this… and then to take action to address it.  And there’s no shame in that… no one is born perfect, and with a life expectancy pushing 100 years, life really is a marathon, not a sprint.  That said, aside from our health, time is the most precious commodity.  We can’t predict when our time will be up – as my most valued mentor in life frequently asked, “if not now, then when?”.  

So if you feel successful yet still hungry… what will you do about it?  It begins with taking action – perhaps re-evaluating existing goals, setting new goals, or making a conscious, disciplined effort to explore your options. Here’s a short read about “taking action” that is sure to help.  Whatever you decide will be the right one for you – even inaction, because that’s a conscious decision. It’s your journey — cheers to your continued success.   

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Phil Harvey

Phil Harvey, franchise consultant and founder of Prosperity Services, is an accomplished franchise industry veteran and trusted franchise advisor. He consults with first-time and serial entrepreneurs alike, helping them find, evaluate and select the right franchise to achieve their goals.