I recently heard a definition of an adult that said “ An adult is a human being who has realised that life is not about themselves but is about other people”. This is indeed a profound statement and it made me realise how we spend most of our time focussing on ourselves and have therefore by definition not grown to become an adult.
In today’s materialistic and fast paced world everybody is out to achieve success and success is defined as the achievements that one accomplishes in the journey of life. The big house, the flashy car, the fat pay-check and the fancy designation are all indications that we have arrived. And if we were to look at all this a little more deeply it would become very obvious that it is all about us. There is rarely a thought given to other people or how our mad chase could be impacting people around us. Have we ever stopped to think of the impact that our so called achievements have had on our spouses, children, friends and work colleagues.
True success, the kind that brings about lasting peace, joy and fulfilment in our lives is not so much about what we have personally achieved but is more about what has been our contribution to other people’s achievements. Going beyond ourselves….this is the real challenge in today’s world. The moment we stop focussing on ourselves and start looking at how we can contribute to others, we realise that this is the secret formula for true success, the kind of success that is lasting.
When we change the focus from “getting” to “giving” we will find that our life will be magically transformed and things that seemed difficult if not impossible, will start happening and we will find an energy and abundance that will surprise us and make our life a wonderful journey.
There is no better example than that of Ted Turner, Owner and Founder of CNN who was named Time’s Man of the Year, a media mogul who turned the globe into a village that watched itself on cable 24 hours a day. He was a symbol of money and power. He had all the wealth that a man could want and all the power in the world and yet he is a changed man today.
Ask him about his role in his company, he freezes and folds his arms across his tie, “I’ve talked enough about that,” he says sharply. But ask him about all the money he is giving away–hundreds of millions of dollars he has donated over the past five years to a dizzying array of causes–and he gushes. You can see the joy written all over his face, a joy that was never evident when he had all the money and power.
Turner gives about $50 million each year to the Turner Foundation, sending the money to causes ranging from promotion of population control to saving wolves and black-footed ferrets.
This is the power of giving.
If we were to search the pages of history, we would find that the most successful people had understood this magic formula and thus were able to create a legacy that will last long after they have gone.
Is there anything stopping us from doing the same ?