“Try not to be a man of success. Try to be a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
I remember listening to a story told by Darren Hardy, Success Magazine Publisher about an old man who spent the better part of his earlier years amassing wealth by all means. He went for it with all he got; it was anything goes so long as he attains his dream of creating massive fortunes. He got what he wanted but not without debilitating effects on his health and other facets of his life. At around age 80 and on his deathbed, he told Darren, when i was younger i thought wealth was all that mattered and i used the figures on my balance sheet as the score card, but now i understand, true wealth and none of it reflects on the balance sheet. If i had the chance to do it over again, i’d be more careful to build up relationships as much as i create wealth. He ended by telling him, “Don’t make the same mistake like I did.”
It is American business philosopher Jim Rohn who said, “Beware what you become in the process of getting what you want.” He went ahead to cite the example of Judas, who out of his greed, got the money, betrayed his Master and lost his soul. What kind of a man or woman are you becoming as you pursue your dreams and aspirations in life? How is the balance sheet of your life? Is your focus mainly on the external metrics of success or achievement or are you balancing it with caution to create and become a person of value as you proceed down your life path?
In his bestselling book, Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life, Kevin Mason writes: “As leaders of organizations and communities, we receive recognition for our external mastery. Our success is measured by the degree to which we have mastered our external environment. Revenue, profit, new product breakthroughs, cost savings, and market share are only some of our external competencies. Few would question the value of achieving and measuring external results. That isn’t the real issue. The core questions are: Where do the external results come from? Is focusing on external achievement the sole source of greater accomplishment? Could it be that our single-minded focus on external results is causing us to miss the underlying dynamics supporting sustainable peak performance?”
The surest premise for sustainable peak performance is to focus more on creating value and that means recognizing and living the essence of the fact that the door of success indeed does swing from the inside out and not the other way round. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t strive to achieve or go for success – whatever that means to you – but what I’m driving at is the fact that success or achievement in and of itself is fleeting and can be pretty fickle. I’m just saying that having a healthy perspective is vital as you inch towards your aspirations in life for that would help you become a man or woman of value indeed and not peg so much on achievement or just the external metrics of success that don’t really constitute the things that matter most on the balance sheet of life.
Quote of the Week:
“The journey is better than the inn.”- Miguel Cervante, Spanish philosopher