How Will You Measure Your Life? When you reflect on your life, are you happy with your career and accomplishments? What do you want to be remembered for? What is your legacy? Do your personal relationships with friends and family provide happiness?
Ralph Waldo Emerson defined success with these words: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.”
How do you measure success in your career? Is it the amount of money you earned? Is it measured in how many accomplishments you accumulated? Is it based on your job title? It can be all of these and more. To be fair, I think you have to put it in context. How do you measure earnings? Measuring earnings purely based on how much you make is the easy answer. Earnings should include salary, bonus, stock options, and benefits. Work environment and potential for personal growth are also important.
Your first job may not pay a lot, but you need to accumulate experience so you are ready for the next position. Where and what is the right experience? It helps if you know where you are going and have a strategy. I always knew I either wanted to lead a company or start my own. My strategy was to accumulate enough financial experience to understand how a company works! At the same time, I was investing in income property to generate a steady income stream. It was my way of reducing risk.
My career spans insurance administration (training program), sales (Sales Engineer), Accounting (Supervisor, Accounting manager, Controller, VP Finance, CFO), financial analysis (Sr. Financial Analyst), entrepreneur (business owner, consultant) and teacher. I accumulated a lot of financial, administrative, management and business experience. Earnings through my career and businesses provided me with resources to give me choices in life. Are you happy with your career? What are you doing about it?
What do you want to be remembered for? As I get old(er), I think about this question a little bit more often than when I was younger. This thought may have contributed to my decision to enter teaching ten years ago. Throughout my careers, I was always the one who would explain complicated issues to people. The audience ranged from employees, management, bankers, and owners. I trained a lot of employees in my career as well. Teaching seemed like a natural transition for my skills. I wanted to influence young people using business and technology.
Teaching provides an opportunity to influence young people in a variety of ways. I teach them so much more than the subject matter in the curriculum. I teach them values, soft skills and business skills. I would like to be remembered for my contribution in business, but more importantly affecting in excess of 3,000 students in my first ten years of teaching. Each student may affect a family, friends, neighbors and society. A legacy, I can be proud of. What are you going to do?
Are you a type “A” personality? Are you a workaholic? A workaholic is a person who works compulsively at the expense of other pursuits. This is a person, who works at the expense of friends and family. They throw everything into their work for a variety of reasons and neglect their family and friends. They are very successful in their career, but the rest of their lives are in shambles. As human beings, we need more than money and success in our lives. What do you think?
When I was in the business world, I adjusted my schedule to be home for dinner with the family. I went to work early and still do to get my work done so I do not have to stay late. Starting work between 6-7 AM, always gave me an advantage over my colleagues. I was probably more productive or efficient starting so early. What do you do to increase your productivity?
What is your strategy for success in your career, legacy and personal relationships? Previously, I shared with you my journey to success which highlights my strategy for success. A strategy is a plan, a method or series of maneuvers to obtain a goal or result. Family, friends and my legacy are equally important to me. I am married a long time (43+ years) and maintain a good relationship with my children. I have a few close firends for over forty (40) years. I did everything I set out to do and there are still more to accomplish. What is your strategy for success? I love strategy games and it uses my strength in planning too. I remember reading a book about success that says you should act like the way you want to be. If you want to be successful, how are you performing? How Will You Measure Your Life?
Photo by: joey ganoza