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HerMoney Podcast Episode 200: Why Happiness Eludes Overachievers, Even When We “Have It All”

Kathryn Tuggle  |  February 12, 2020

We pursue money and power, and may even seem to “have it all,” so why, then, does happiness still seem to escape us? A look at what every overachiever needs to know.

When’s the last time you thought about your net worth? What about your self-worth? Did you ever consider that those two things might be related?

This week’s guest, business coach Keren Eldad, has spent years coaching executives worldwide on the correlation between the two, and serves as an advisor to entrepreneurs and executives at companies including Christian Dior, J.P. Morgan, Van Cleef & Arpels and many more. Known as “Coach Keren,” her background includes service in the Israeli Army and a degree from the London School of Economics. 

Listen in as Jean and Keren talk about what it means to be an overachiever, and what drives us to want to be among them. Why do we pursue money and status, only to find that happiness eludes us? “We are constantly pursuing greatness, but cheating ourselves out of happiness in the process,” Keren says, highlighting some of the ways we can start to genuinely feel good about the remarkable things we do on a daily basis. 

Unfortunately, many of us have a “negative radio” that plays in a loop in our heads, and we mentally beat ourselves up about silly things, or tell ourselves that we’re no good no matter what we do. (Even when we’re doing amazing, incredible things, and our friends may even envy us.) Thankfully, “tomorrow is another day,” Keren says. “You have to change the rhetoric in your head to be more accepting, more loving and gentler with yourself.” In other words, it’s okay to stop all of the “striving” and just relax and enjoy life. When you reach a stage of self-awareness or self-acceptance, you can then find clarity and get started with the process of creating real change in your life, Keren explains.

Many people may confuse self-esteem with self-acceptance — but it’s only self-acceptance that we should seek. “Self-esteem will abandon you,” Keren says. “What you’re really looking for is to have the ability to speak to yourself compassionately, and know that we are not perfect, and we are all fighting our own battles.” 

Jean and Keren discuss some instances in which perfectionism (or simply having high standards) can work to our advantage. “When the standard to which you hold yourself is born of inspiration and not fear, then you’re on the right track,” Keren says. You have to be setting goals, not creating judgement — the voice in your head should be saying, “I want to,” and not “I should.”

The pair also talk about burnout, and how people can turn their finances (specifically their savings goals) into an exciting and celebrated game rather than a hassle or worry. Hint: You should “benchmark” your way through your finances and celebrate the incremental successes that you have. If you’ve noticed, people often don’t complete their New Year’s resolutions — that’s because their expectations may be set too high. “Unless we see the fullness of the manifestation, we’re not happy, but when we look at the micro-changes happening on a smaller level, then we can be happy and feel like we’re making progress,” Keren says. 

In Mailbag, Jean and Kathryn tackle questions from a listener who is debating getting an MBA and is curious where she should invest her money once she starts graduate school. Jean also advises a listener debating putting money into a Roth 401(k) or a traditional 401(k), or both. We also break down some answers for a woman who has questions about selling her father’s home in order to protect his estate, or when the time comes to move him into assisted living. Lastly, in Thrive, Jean dives into ISAs— income share agreements, a new way to pay for college.

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