Whenever I say the name Bill Gates what comes to mind? Is the first thing that pops into your head that he is (and has been for a while) the richest man in the world? For most of my life I can remember associating him immediately with his enormous amount of wealth.
Yes, I knew that he founded Microsoft and had a hand in making personal computers available to the masses, but all of that was almost an afterthought. It has only been in the last few years that I grasped the gravity of his contribution to modern society and learned of his endeavors to benefit different aspects of the human experience. Just in case you haven’t seen some of his philanthropic work, check this or this out.
Through his actions it is clear that Mr. Gates cares deeply for others and has tremendous passion for leaving the world better off than it was when he arrived here, so why is it that we focus on his money instead of the value he provides in improving the lives of those around him?
I’m thinking that most of us look at someone like Bill Gates and say we want to be successful like him so that we can help others, but we have it backwards. To reach a high level of success you must provide the value first.
So today I ask you, what seeds of value can you plant today?
As a leader what can you do today in order to provide something GOOD to those around you instead of just doing WELL for yourself?
If you are a manager, you might look out for their best interest of your team or only considering your climb up the corporate ladder. As an entrepreneur, you could ensure that the product you are providing isn’t a fad but something that improves lives. As a politician, you could legislate to benefit your constituents instead your reelection chances.
The truth is that regardless of your career choice, the best energy that you will ever expend will be the work that you put into benefitting those around you. You will experience no higher high nor will you find any opportunity that will pay off as well as your investment into the well being of others.
This week’s quote (the one at the top of the page) first made its appearance to me about a year ago. The words were painted on a canvas in one of the rooms of my mother and stepfather’s house. It was just in passing the quote first caught my eye and I really didn’t pay too much attention initially, but every time that I have walked by that canvas and looked again the words have sunk deeper and deeper into my mind.
It reminds me that it is ok to want to do well in life and to make sure my needs and wants are met. It also reminds me to work hard to maintain a path to success that benefits others too.
I encourage you today to get away from the goal of being rich and famous. Instead seek to contribute to the well being of others. If you do, I think that the wealth and recognition will come. Even if they don’t, at least you made a positive impact.