“…must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, nineteenth-century dramatist, poet, and polymath
I like quotes by famous people (and some by not so famous people). I happened upon this one while reading The Personal MBA: Master The Art of Business by Josh Kaufman (A really, really great book by the way; truly a MUST read). As I read this and many other quotes, I reflect on my own life and how I can apply this little bit of wisdom to make me a better person. Am I focusing on the things that matter most to me?
How many times do we work long hours to get ahead in our careers and to provide for our families? How often do we schedule our lives around that meeting we must attend but has no value? How frequently at work do our thoughts wander to our home lives and family?
When I make a list of the things that are most important to me, I want the really important things (faith, family, relationships, etc) to never be at the mercy of the less important. Easy to say, almost impossible to do… or is it? Who says that you must work 80 hours per week to be successful? Who says you have to travel for business all the time, leaving your family to miss you and wonder when you will be home. Who sets the standard for success? The world? You?
I want to define success for myself. I want to focus on the important things, the truly lasting things, the things that no matter what happens in my career or financial life will still be there. I want to focus on my faith, my family, my relationships, and perusing my purpose. Yes, there will be sacrifices. Yes, there will be hard times. Those things that are important and valuable in life rarely comes easy. You may get criticized by friends, family, and even complete strangers. You may even doubt your definition of success but in the end, focusing on the important, lasting things will provide you with success beyond your wildest dreams.
I want to be successful…
(photo by janoon028)
Things which matter most... by Alan Reeves