Most of us go through life very focused on our goals, our desires, our “things”, our experiences, our careers and our personal life.
We make plans and try to better ourselves.
We make lists and try to check off items from those lists.
We set interim tasks to reach our bigger goals.
ALL of that is good. There is nothing wrong with ambition.
So … what is the problem?
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela
If our life is so consumed with only those things then we run the chance of missing something very important.
I believe that to be truly happy we need friends, we need family and we need to find ways to give to others who are in need of a hand up.
If we don’t have friends and family then who will we share those “things” with?
If we are not willing to help others then we have lost our humanity. I truly believe that people who give, get just as much from their giving, as the recipients.
The danger in the journey to financial success and career success is that we lose some or all of those other important aspects of our lives.
“Money often costs too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
If we are self-absorbed then people will not want to be our friend.
If our selfishness alienates friends then it will most likely also alienate family.
If our selfishness means we don’t give to others, then we miss out on that significant reward we feel through the act of helping.
I often suggest that if people feel unhappy or down that they should find ways to give back to others. The gift of time or money or better yet both! The very act of helping others will make them feel better!
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” Maya Angelou
So … as you pursue your career and add to your toys remember that ending up rich and lonely is not going to feel good.
Yes, it is probably better than ending up poor and lonely!
I would suggest it is better to aim for just a little less rich (because we helped others) and happy!