Like many things in life, there is a dual model view of materialism and happiness. In other words, our culture simultaneously believes that money cannot buy happiness, and that everyone needs to work as hard as they can, or ‘grind’, to make money and be successful so they can be happy.

Of course, this love of money has gotten all Western cultures into many problems throughout history, but what’s different about American capitalist and materialist culture? What’s the right balance between a drive for success, and contentment? And what’s really important? This is an important area to think about throughout your career and success, but it becomes especially pertinent around the holidays when materialism seems to ramp up in America.

From the success that JSL Marketing has experienced, the boom of the last couple years, and the many life-moves my family and I have made, I’ve learned a few things about materialism, success, and balancing it all with happiness and a contented heart.

After all, Ecclesiastes 5:10 says it very plainly: Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

It Is About Balance (Inside & Out)

You’ve probably heard me say this before, but balance truly is often the best answer in work, home, friendship, family affairs – almost every area of life can benefit from mindful and conscientious balance. And it’s a great starting point for both happiness and success!

Balance inside and out means two things, of course: first, balance your surroundings (the ‘out’ – environment) and your feelings (the ‘in’ – your wants)

To balance your surroundings, you might have to look at what’s important and what you’re physically giving importance (your items/things in your home or the things you value the most). If you love your car, or your collection of memorabilia to the point where you obsess over them and getting more or better ones – that isn’t balance.

To balance yourself, you might want to look at the common conversations you have with yourself and what the general feel of them is. Are you grateful, worried, content, or wanting more? Many of us fall into that worry/wanting categories, which can show a love of things, gaining more, or keeping what we currently have. Practice gratefulness and contentment instead and see how your mindset changes.

Success Doesn’t Always Have to Be Visual

Your success doesn’t have to follow along with the prescribed materialistic culture, in fact, many of the most successful businessmen and women in the world today live a relatively simple life, or at least a more ‘normal life’ than one might expect. Check out these 10 billionaires living much less extravagant than their bank accounts would allow.

Of course, this isn’t saying you have to hide your success or wealth, just that showing it off isn’t necessary. In fact, being quietly successful will often bring you more peace (and praise) than having to show it to others in audacious ways.

Warren Buffet is a great example of this, as he is wildly successful, yet lives in a home in Nebraska that he bought for $30,000 over 50 years ago. And though his success isn’t immediately visible from his home, that doesn’t lessen his success in business or life.

Success is the Goal, But Materialism Doesn’t Have to Follow

Being successful is not the enemy, in fact, it’s the ultimate goal of your business – but that doesn’t mean that materialism and obsessions about money and possessions have to follow. You can be fully successful without falling into the trap of wanting more, needing more, and thinking that you’re being judged for not having the same, or more, than others.

Go into every situation with drive and hunger, but also thankfulness, knowing that even your hard work is not all your own, but a blessing. Ultimately, if you go into every business venture (and life event) with a grateful heart, then materialism and greed have a much smaller chance of creeping in.

So, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, keep that thankfulness in mind – now and for the rest of the year. And have a great holiday season both in business and in life.

Learn More About Professional Balance in Your Business & Your Life Through Business Services & Coaching!

If finding balance in success and hard work is an area you would like to improve upon, then contact me to learn more about consulting, coaching, and business services before the year ends. Schedule a business consultation on my calendar today and let’s work together to find the best path to success for your business.