Sunday, June 23, 2013

What you believe matters...a lot

Recently, I've noticed quite a few people on Facebook sharing a quote sometimes attributed to David Orr.  It goes something like this:

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."

It is also attributed to the Dalai Lama.  In that attribution, it seems to normally go like this:

"The planet does not need more 'successful people'. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture is the set." 

I believe the frequency with which we see this quote indicates a problem with how people perceive success in our culture.  I have friends who define success solely in terms of money and finances.  Interestingly, these are the friends who seem most likely to be engaged in a long-term struggle to keep their heads above water.  Those who truly define success otherwise, while not viewing financial security as inherently evil, are on the whole far more financially secure.  I believe there is a clue here.

First, success is about a whole lot more than finances.  "Success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or ideal" was Napoleon Hill's definition.  Many life and executive coaches use this definition.  Notice that it doesn't mention finances at all.  It remains the best I've ever heard or read.

Second, while success involves far more than finances, there is one very good thing about using financial stability as a kind of gauge.  Money is very easy to count.  Thus, it's pretty easy to tell if a person has his or her financial house in order.  If it's not in order, there is, I believe, a pretty good chance that other areas of life will also be out of order.

Third, no success, including financial success, can be built around an obsession with money.  I've never met anyone obsessed with money who couldn't have achieved and become more in every area of life if he or she hadn't been so consumed with making more money.

Fourth, what the world does not need, is more people who deny the reality, desirability and "achievability" of success.  We have more than enough of those running around, doing their best to convince everyone else to adopt their hopeless and negative view of life.  Their beliefs about success inhibit their ability to experience and enjoy what life has to offer and are toxic to those looking for a way to truly change things.

Fifth and finally, this leads me to a conclusion.  The world does need more successful people, and desperately so.  It needs people who are actively engaged in the progressive realization of  worthwhile goals and ideals.  It needs people who are constantly striving:
  • to improve themselves
  • to improve their situation, and
  • to positively impact every situation and everyone they meet in meaningful ways
If you're ready to become one of those people, if you're ready to begin experiencing the progressive realization of worthwhile goals and ideals, welcome aboard.

Change your mind...change your life.

Stay tuned...

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