As a young man, much of my identity was intertwined with my profession. My ability to achieve professional goals was paramount to how I felt about myself. Yes, there was the occasional girlfriend, good deed or great trip, but generally, my work was my life. This value was reinforced by living in New York, where “What do you do?” kicked off 90 percent of my conversations.
Eventually, I realized that my concept of success did not have to be determined by the superficial values of popular culture, but instead depended on how I personally defined success. While this was an eye-opening moment that helped me align my goals and values, it did not free me from the deep connection between the achievement of those goals and my self-worth.
I still very much felt that I am what I do.
Fast-forward to the past few months, when I have felt notably more peaceful and balanced in my everyday life. Thanks in part to a conversation with my friend Dave Spector a few days ago, I believe I have begun to uncover why.
My evolution began when I married my wife. For the first time, there was something I truly cared about more than myself. Then my kids were born and my priorities completely shifted. Nothing could be more important than them. Eventually, I realized I had to do a better job of taking care of myself and improving my quality of life, so I started investing more energy in wellness, spirituality and how I live.
All of these experiences and many more led me to writing this newsletter and releasing my book. What is my point? My ego has been diversified. My self-worth is now determined by multiple factors, not just one.