I wrote the following post almost 5 years ago. In some ways timeless. I'm convinced everyday that I don't "have time." A great sadness that many live everyday thinking they do.
I'm all for finishing strong/well. However, the myth of your best years being found in some future day is insane. I say that due to the importance of the choices you make now and how they will determine those years-taking for granted that you'll see them. Forever now!
I can't think of a more fitting place than our career to illustrate how this type of logic reigns. It's subltle and deceptive all at the same time. If a leader doesn't see his or her life as a whole, then a incongruent outcome is almost always certain.
As leaders seek to navigate a career and a life, I would suggest the following:
- Think long and hard about value. Specifically, the value you're creating over time. In many ways it's like starring in your own motion picture. Create Epic Value for all those playing a part in your story. Keep in mind, there are no do-overs. You will either create value or you won't.
- Before you read that next journal, newspaper or marketing pitch take a step back and question the motives of the messengers. For example, many marketers are dying on the vine, so selling is job 1. What they're selling might be designed to move you in a direction that isn't aligned with your destiny.
- Stop thinking you have time. We're all terminal, its just that some know and some don't. Don't mean to go morbid here, but seeing life as a limited time offer should inspire you to stop screwing around with small desires (titles, money, fame, and power).
- Be Authentic! Let the world see who you really are! If you don't like who you are or think that who you are has no value, then contact me and I can prove that you have a reason to be who you are.
- Place more value on people than math, no matter how much the numbers say to do otherwise. Besides, if you're in a position where numbers matter more than people, be afraid, be very afraid.
"The accident happened on June 19 1999. King was strolling alongside Route 5 near his home in Bangor and looking forward to seeing a film with his family later that evening. As he walked, a Dodge truck barreled towards him. It was driven by Bryan Smith, a drug user with multiple driving convictions. A Rottweiler called Bullet was loose in the truck and had jumped on to a seat where there was a cooler of hamburger meat Smith had bought for a barbecue. Smith became distracted by his dog, swerved across the highway and hit King. The writer managed to turn his head a little before impact and thus missed being struck by a steel support post on the truck that would probably have killed him.
King's head left a many-tentacled crack in the windscreen. He broke his right hip joint, four ribs and his right leg in nine places. His spine was damaged in eight places. "The accident gave me a real sense of mortality, a sense of hurry that I didn't have before. Not immediately, but about a year after the accident I was able to say: 'That guy nearly killed me.'" Smith died of an overdose 15 months later on September 21, King's birthday."
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008