It’s the thing everyone seems to be striving for. By last count, that hashtag is used in 6.8M Instagram posts and has more than 1.B views on TikTok. Click through to either platform and you will see perfectly curated lives — sandy beaches, palatial homes, expensive cars, six-pack abs, and a lot of avocado toast (2M!) — that honestly can only exist on social media.
Best life? Maybe. Don’t get me wrong, aspiring to a certain lifestyle or achieving a personal goal can be healthy things, in and of themselves. (My own Peloton bike was a well-earned “goal” and arguably healthier than a top-shelf cocktail.)
But, here’s what you don’t see on Instagram: the social media influencers with thousands of followers who say they are lonely. Or riddled with anxiety. Or, despite appearances, are heavily in debt. All in the name of chasing their best life. As I’ve told my daughters repeatedly, what you see on social isn’t always what you get.
So it’s not surprising that at the recent Irresistible 2022,conference I was struck by something I heard and I had to race back and share with my girls:
Live your best life.
Do your best work.
Fulfill our purpose, together.
My immediate thought was “yes!” As I’ve gotten older (and perhaps a bit wiser), I’ve found that these things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You CAN support others while taking care of yourself. You CAN want professional success and personal fulfillment. You CAN achieve your personal goals and make the world a better place. In fact, as we come out of a global pandemic, I’d argue the world needs people, and organizations, that acknowledge their interconnectedness.
According to a recent labor study by Manpower Group, The Great Realization, “People want employers to offer more — to prioritize well-being and purpose, while providing flexibility, competitive pay, good working conditions, and skills development. Many today crave a stronger stance on socio-economic issues — shared values matter.”
I’ve been thinking about my own “best life” a lot lately. As my daughters grow up, and my personal time shifts away from their needs, my vision of what that looks like has grown, too. Over the years, I’ve made it a point to work for companies, like Skillsoft, with missions I believe in, and that offer solutions that truly benefit our customers (and society). I call this “staying North of Center.” In other words, at every step, I intend to do good in this world. And, I want that for you too.
Almost a year ago, just as we had passed the one-year anniversary of COVID-19, I wrote a letter to my daughters. I suppose it was, in a way, advice on how to live their best lives, despite the disruption and they (and we all) were facing:
“Find purpose in what you do, be curious, and always look for the ‘why.’”
Avocado toast aside, having nice things is all well and good, but I truly believe that the most and best fulfillment comes from knowing that you’re doing what’s right every day for your family, for your team, for the world, and most importantly, for yourself.
*This* the very foundation for #livingyourbestlife