Probably most of us want to achieve success in our chosen career. That’s a normal part of human nature, and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, if career success at any price is your motivator, you might be barreling along in the wrong direction. After all, you don’t get to go back and do your life over if you mess it up the first time and finish without making a major change in direction.
If you’re familiar with Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” you know that Scrooge was visited by the three Ghosts of Christmas because he had spent his adult life focusing on squeezing every cent he could out of people in his business and ignoring the human relationship factor as irrelevant to successful living. Only when he got a good wake-up call did he make a major change.
Now, I’m not suggesting that those of you reading this are actually like Scrooge! On the other hand, if you’ve been cherishing a vision of your career success that focuses on it to the exclusion of other factors–including those that can’t be measured monetarily, you might want to take some quiet time over the holidays to explore whether that’s really the way you want to pursue success.
Speaking personally, I was pretty sure when I started my business 20+ years ago that I wouldn’t be one of those people who became multimillionaires or even a millionaire. I also knew that was okay with me, because what I loved then about what I do (and still love) was the immense pleasure and satisfaction of working with clients who needed and valued my expert help. Yes, I wanted to earn a decent living and have, but that’s not what gets me going every morning.
This outlook has kept me moving through many challenges over the years. Along with it is the understanding that I need to do the best I can for everyone in my life–family, friends and clients–as well as for myself, because as I said earlier, I don’t get a chance to go back and re-do it.
To quote a Quaker missionary, Etienne de Grellet (1773-1855), “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
I can live with that!