It's not all about work

It's Not All About Work

“Success is about the quality of the journey, not about the destination.”

We’ve all heard the phrase above, but most probably, not many business people follow its inherent advice.

One day, a ranch owner who had decided to retire after fifty years of arduous work called a real estate agent to put his ranch up for sale.  He was ready to enjoy his life after so many years of struggle and hard work. 

The real estate agent paid him a visit and they spent a big part of the day riding around the ranch, to see what it had to offer a potential buyer.  About a week later, the agent went back to the ranch to settle the listing and to get the owner’s approval for the ad he was going to post to sell the property.

The ad was thought for a city person.  There was a large city about 200 miles away, and the ad wanted to appeal to a person tired of the congestion, contamination, and poor quality of life in the city.  It talked about the freedom the fields offered, about how the river that crossed the property sang its way down the hills, about the peace that was felt in the presence of the bright colors that painted the beautiful sunsets every single day, about how rewarding it was to sit on the front porch at the end of the day to watch the horses play and eat. 

After the agent read the ad, the ranch owner walked to the window and just looked out for a few minutes.  Eventually he said to himself: “Seems like this ranch is really not for sale”.  He turned to face the agent and told him that the ad had just described his dream, and that he was finally aware of how much he possessed.

A hectic life and the obsession to restlessly do more and earn more, sometimes blinds us and tires us too much to be able to enjoy what we have accomplished.  Most of the time we are only thinking about what we have not achieved yet, and it seems to be the tragedy of human nature to always postpone living.  We dream, and dream, and dream some more about the shiniest day, instead of noticing the bright sunshine that every day brings.

There is no soul on the planet that is not guilty of this.  Even the biggest leaders, the best motivational speakers, and the most illuminated of persons, have fallen prey to the anguish of daily routine.  The difference is that they eventually discover that by not slowing down to enjoy and smell the roses on their path, their accomplishments become less rewarding. 

When you stop and take a moment to enjoy and honor where you are, your life takes a deeper and more fulfilling meaning, and it helps you get energized to follow through.  When things are tough, there is nothing better to keep you going than to focus on the things you have succeeded at and on everything you are thankful for.  

Radical changes and aggressive leaps forward are very frightening; equally, constant change and improvement can consume you.  True leaders design a progression route that is composed of short journeys, allowing time for celebration and for taking pleasure in the successes achieved along the way.  This is how effective leaders invigorate their teams to aim for the next goal.

There are many ways in which leaders show their appreciation for their people, and even more ways in which they energize and inspire: by taking the time to celebrate every achievement.  These leaders always strive to make everything fun and fulfilling.  Just as shown in the animated movie, Monsters, Inc., they know that laughter and happiness are far more empowering and energizing than fear and constant struggle, and that a happy team translates into a winning organization.  

In order to become such a leader, you have to let go of the deeply set belief that business is a very serious matter.  Being successful in business never meant you should stop smiling; much to the contrary, it is just another way to experience life and its most meaningful rewards, the ‘simple’ things that we normally take for granted.  True leaders take the time to be grateful.

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