Like many of you, I was told at a young age that the recipe for success requires three ingredients: education, hard work, and a good-paying job. And while that advice isn’t totally wrong, there is one problem with it: It just scratches the surface. The truth is, at the end of the day, success looks different to everyone. So, it only makes sense that everyone’s journey to finding it will vary.
1. Strive for harmony instead of balance
We’ve all heard the term “work-life balance,” but Formost isn’t a fan. She believes the term can inadvertently shame you into thinking that you’re doing life “wrong” if something requires a large dose of your attention. In addition, she also believes the word “balance” implies that everything is equal in your life, which is impossible. After all, there will be times when certain areas of your life require more focus than others.
What Formost strives for instead is harmony. “I think of all areas of my life—like work, friends and family, romantic relationships, and so on and so forth—as voices in a choir that make up my life,” she told me. “Sometimes one voice will be very loud and require my focus, but if I’ve invested in the other areas and taken care of them well, those voices will work in harmony to support the area that needs my attention.” She went on to add that during times of discord she’ll essentially “stop the music” and see which area of her life needs a “tune-up” so she can get her choir working in harmony again. The key to having harmony in life is listening to the voices from all areas of it and taking care of what’s needed in any given moment—AKA the loudest voice.
2. Taking care of your mental health is vital
Formost also firmly believes that taking care of your mental health is the only way to ensure you’re showing up to work as your fullest, most authentic, and creative self. When your mental health isn’t in check, your work inevitably suffers. The energy that lives within you will be reflected outwardly into the world. “Sure, you can ‘hustle’ your way to a big payday, but that won’t be sustainable,” she said. Living with a frenetic and anxious mind will make you more liable to forget important tasks, miss deadlines, and eventually burn out—all of which will block you from reaching your fullest potential. Taking the time to ground yourself will leave you feeling calm and confident. In turn, this will help you manifest success.
3. Stop “should-ing” all over yourself
When it comes to attaining success, there is no one-size-fits-all. Everyone’s different, which means their journey will be, too. Instead of thinking about everything you “should” do, focus on doing what works best for you. To make sure you’re prioritizing yourself and your needs, Formost recommends taking one small step each day that incorporates more of what nourishes your soul. This can be anything from meditating to taking a bath to calling a loved one and anything in between.
She also added that mental health isn’t a quick fix. “It’s the result of the compound interest of many small investments you make in yourself over time,” she told me. Essentially, doing little things that better yourself and your mind each day will add up over time. This will help you embody the highest, best, and most authentic version of yourself. And that’s a guaranteed recipe for success.