One of the lasting lessons I received from my parents is the importance of being true to yourself, to look at yourself in the mirror and be satisfied with the reflection. The importance of being a good person, to be helpful, is the basis of my actions and thoughts. Perfection is always elusive, but the effort to attain it is critical, and should be an endeavor of everyone.
The idea of success should not be linked with how much power or wealth a person possesses, but rather the amount of value that they add for others. This is the wealth that should be shared. How much value do you add? Do you make others better for your family or in your place of business? Do you try to make a positive difference? Do you take from others to advance your own agenda or goals?
Never Compromise Your Values and Ethics
The idea of a savvy business leader can be misleading. Books and movies portray someone who can negotiate deals that are not equal or fair to both parties. They justify their decisions as it was just “business”, which somehow makes it easier for their conscious. Not all decisions will be good for everyone, but they should always be made for the greater good in mind.
Always be true to yourself and make the positive difference. Make decisions and be something that will leave a positive legacy.
Having dreams and aspiring to be the next Elon Musk is something worthwhile. Desiring high salary and power is not a bad thing, just be sure that the underlying foundation is based in positivity. I see those that pursue vast wealth, and it never seems like quite enough.
Whatever your aspirations and desires, never compromise proper ethics and never further yourself at the expense of others. Great leaders will always lift up others first.
Do Not Focus on Power, Wealth, or Perceived Status
The desire to have enough to pay off the house, cars, or any other outstanding bills is something we all crave. Not having to worry about retirement, or to be able to have things or to travel at will is very appealing. Personally, I would love to travel without reservation or concerns about how it will be paid for.
Be careful, though. What is your primary motivation? Is the motivation only about wealth accumulation or power, or do you want to make a difference? Take stock of your life and define your goals, but also analyze all the motivations. Reflection is time well invested.
Chasing salary and power can be tricky. How much is enough? Will you be happy working overtime every day, or do you value time spent with family or in the pursuit of non-work hobbies and interests? A lawyer or business executive may be making much more, but are they well beyond forty hours a week? When I reflect on my time working in higher education, I feel good that I made a difference. Our work and effort helped our students learn and grow.
Making My Parents Proud
Maybe I’ll never have millions in the bank, nor will I be featured on the cover of Money or Fortune magazines. But I am perfectly content with that. My parents provided such a positive influence over me formed my foundation. I may not be in an executive level position, but I have tried to make a difference. Who knows, I may be in the big office one day, and if so, everyone can rest assured that I will focus my efforts on being a positive influence on as many as possible. My hair has long since receded, and there is a few more wrinkles around my eyes these days, but I like the reflection I see.
For those who are in the midst of their professional life, it is never too late to take stock of things. For those who are just beginning, or have yet to start, define what makes you content and fulfilled. Being able to look at yourself in the mirror and respect the face you see if infinitely more important than selling your values to adding extra zero’s to your bank balance.
Leave a lasting legacy first, and do what you love. Things will work out in the long run, and you will be content and respected. Your legacy will shine.