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By Michael Yardney

How do you balance ambition with happiness?

When you’re overly focused on the future and always want to accomplish more, it’s very difficult to be happy today.

After all, it is never enough.

I see many people who want more, who want to have a better life.


And it’s not just more money or more properties.

Some want more degrees or academic qualifications.

Others want to:

  • Achieve more in their career.
  • Read more books
  • Visit more countries
  • Put on more muscles
  • Run more miles
  • And so on

To deal with that dichotomy, I’ve adopted a philosophy for the life I call “Short-term contentment. Long-term hunger.”

Today, we can be grateful for what we have and be at peace with the way our life is.

And at the same time, we can have a hunger for improving ourselves in the future.

Let’s take getting rich, for example.

For most people, it takes 2 or 3 decades to build substantial wealth.

And many people are unhappy until they become rich.

But not if you live by the philosophy of “Short-term contentment. Long-term hunger”.


You’ll invest, work hard, and learn new skills; but you also enjoy your life now.

This is one of the secrets of living a happy and wealthy life.

One way to do this is to see how far you've come, rather than how far you still have to go.

Rather than looking at how much longer it will take to achieve your financial goals, look at how far you've come from when you first started building your wealth.

Have you noticed how insecure people have to buy things that are better than the one their neighbour just bought, or that the person on Instagram just bought?

The easiest thing in the world is to be discontent.

The fact is you'll never be wealthy if you're not grateful for what you already have.

I've often said you have to enjoy the journey otherwise you won't enjoy the destination.

I’m not saying don’t strive.

I’m not saying don’t be ambitious.


Truth is, you can be happy today even if you are ambitious.

But long-term goals are for the long run.

As you go through your days, try to remind yourself that you’re content right now.

When you combine that with a long-term ambition, you have the best of both worlds.

About Michael Yardney Michael is the founder of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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