How do you measure success? October 8, 2015
So this chap’s sitting in an Italian cafe in Leicester square. It’s been a long time since he last walked amongst the hustle and bustle of sightseers and tourists, almost 30 years ago he queued in the rain to watch the latest blockbuster; “Crocodile Dundee”. Boy doesn’t time fly!
Having finished a business meeting early he finds himself with a colleague looking around at all of the glamorous pictures on the wall of this non-authentic Italian restaurant. Just above his table are 6 “high res” photographs of well known A-list celebrities. Now they are people who are dripping with money and fame and power. Combined we estimated that their net worth must be well over a billion pounds. They can probably do anything they want; buy whatever they want, travel anywhere in the world, dine at the finest restaurants and rub shoulders with the elite. What’s not to want? But instead of looking in awe at these hugely successful people, our chap seemed to be looking at them in a different light. He looks to his younger colleague and says; “If you were to look at success through the world’s eyes, you’d be looking at it right now,” as he fans his arm towards the wall of fame. His colleague agrees. Our chap asks; “Do you recognise all of these people” to which he replied; “yeah all bar one”. “Interestingly enough;” our chap continues, “they may have reached the top of their game, but do you know how sad many of their stories are?” “What do you mean?” replies the colleague. “Well, look at the couple top left – they’re divorced after a bitter court battle over assets (including their child), who years later refused them both to attend her wedding and the dad is now caught up in a cult.” “Look at the chap below, an amazing, gifted singer who has suffered for many years with drug addiction and depression and has attempted at least once to take his own life after spending a period of time in prison.” “Look at the woman top centre, without doubt the most photographed woman in the world, who was trapped in a lifeless marriage, betrayed by her spouse and terribly depressed and unhappy for most of her adult life. Eventually her life was cut short in her prime.” “Look, at the singer song writer below who’s spent many years in and out of rehab, as well as leaving a trail of broken relationships in his wake and remains to this day a very bitter and angry man.” I could go on and complete a similar story for all six, so is this just a coincidence or is our desire to accumulate and compete at our highest level, in order to achieve success, a fraud? Are we being sold a pup (buying in to something without checking 1st)? Is there an alternative?
How about, if for only a minute, we jumped off of our gravy train and considered what was more important in our everyday lives. What would happen if we lived for contentment rather than chasing rainbows? How about stopping to help others around us rather than helping ourselves? What would happen if we gave this life our best shot at all times without accepting second best. How about embracing change and always looking to strive forward. How about being grateful for what you have or who you are on a daily basis. How about not taking for granted the basic everyday essentials you have in your life. How about looking around at this world and taking in its majesty, even if it’s only in your back garden. How about using the amazing gifts we all have within us and not burying them because we are too embarrassed or shy. I reckon even if we attempted just a fragment of these challenging statements then we would be potential world changers! You can still receive and enjoy the rewards that will come your way but just be less focused on them. Enjoy your day and the success that is coming your way!