“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Albert Einstein
What a profound quote by one of the most successful and intelligent minds ever. What does he mean by this? Don’t we all want to be successful? I know I do. What is your measure or definition of success? Is it how much money you make or the accolades you receive? Success in the modern world is typically defined by the job you have. You are “successful” if you have the C-suite office, start a thriving company, etc. While these are great accomplishments we should be proud of, they are not all that matters.
What matters is the path we took to get where you are? Did you cut corners, lie, cheat, and deceive or did you get there through hard work, dedication, and honesty? Sometimes we put people on pedestals because they appear to have it all, but at the end of the day they are in this world only to stroke their own ego and beat everyone else. When we live our life for achievements alone, we can lose sight of what really matters….how we show up for others.
To me, “a man of value” positively contributes to society and tries to make the community a better place. You can attain all the achievements in the world, but if you had to step on everyone to get there, what good did you actually do? As I started out in my career in finance, all I really cared about was how much money I was making and how could I move up as quick as possible. I had a desire to be noticed. I wanted people to see me as a success and I believed this occurred through money and power. I was chasing external achievements to make myself full. Now that I’m older and have more life experience, I realize that this is not the path to happiness and fulfillment. There is no amount of money that can make you happy if you don’t already have an internal sense of well-being. I spent most of my 20s and early 30s chasing the dollar and trying to appear successful to my friends and family.
Now I am more focused on adding value to my community. Yes, I still need to make a living and can’t give away my services for free. If I do that, I won’t be able to provide them for long. However, what I can do is look for opportunities to help as many people as possible. I can continue sharing my story in hopes it might help just one person. I frequently reflect on the Memento Mori coin I have on my desk which says, “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” We only have so much time on this earth. It is best to do as much good as possible in the time God gives us. Stop worrying about what others think and living in fear of their perceptions. Let us all work to add value to this world and see all the great things that can happen because of it.
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Originally published at www.thelonggame.co