On December 12th I wrote an article about keeping the priorities right. That is very important and I slightly wrote some words about, but I feel it very important that we have the right perspective upon life and upon our work.
As you can see from the illustration I have divided our life into a time frame from A to D. When we speak about success in life we often consider the time frame between B and C to be the important one, and this is when everything should happen. But, I believe that it is a very incomplete picture. The real success in life is to be where you are supposed to be and to do the right thing all the way from A to D. There will of course be a period in life when you work a lot and invest time and energy in getting a business up and earning the money you need. But, this should not happen in such a way that you will have to suffer because of it between A and B or C and D. Let me give you some examples of what I mean.
Easy mistakes when we have the wrong perspective:
If you feel that your life is all about the time frame between B and C you can easily fall into one of the following mistakes:
1) You work crazy much
In this period you will often find yourself working like crazy to get your business up and running, to earn enough money to pay for all you need. Once this is done you work like crazy to get rich and buy nice car, nice house and luxury articles. Once you reach this level the only way to continue is to earn even more money!
2) Everything to get to the top
In your fight to get to the top you will often sacrifice sleep and physical training. Instead of going for a walk, visiting the gym and instead of eating some fruits and vegetables, you rather eat fast food, frozen food and you work from early morning till late at night. The results of these decisions might look nice at once, but some years from now the „fruits” might not be as nice as you get heavily over-weighted and in a poor health condition. When you are supposed to enjoy the fruits of your job as a pensioner you are in such a bad shape that you are not able to enjoy them at all!
3) You ignore family and friends
On your walk towards the top of the business world family can sometimes feel like a hindrance you need to jump over. When time is money they hold you back and stop hinder you from reaching even higher. The same is valid concerning good friends. This is a very dangerous pit to fall into, because it is a much higher success to succeed in building and keeping a strong family together, than in reaching success in a business. Your family is also something you work on from A until D, so they will be there both before B and after C. You need them and they need you, so do not ignore them between B and C, because if you do, they might not be there for you between C and D.
Once again, the right perspective is needed when out there in the business world. We do not live between B and C only, but our life is much more than that, and we must watch out not to loose perspective and only live for the present and for money alone.
Based on the quote from Paul life has greater values than money and success at work. Work is great and we are created by God to work (read: Work with joy), but we need to make sure we are having the right perspective. Good luck!