One of my mentors spent his second career building and moderating leadership forums with executives from hundreds of different organizations.
Arthur’s philosophy is, life’s journey happens one pebble at a time. Growth is continuous improvement in incremental moments.
One of the pebbles that always stuck out for me was about the opportunity cost of a career.
Meaning, what we give up to pursue our dreams of professional achievement.
During one forum he advised the group:
We often remember what things we missed for work, but we rarely remember the things we missed them for.
Like the anniversary celebration, the school play, the soccer game, the family holiday or the community fundraiser. Those events stick in our minds forever.
But the all nighters at the office and the presentations to the prospective clients who weren’t going to hire you anyway, those supposedly important events disappear faster than a flat screen television in a crack house.
This proves just how we misalign our priorities.
It’s like the movie character, typically a man, who puts in an insane amount of effort for a big promotion at work. But once he finally receives it, he loses everyone who was important to him along the way. And left standing in the closing scene before the credits roll, he discovers that whatever he wanted, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
It’s more than a trope, it’s a truth.
We rarely remember what we missed it for.
In fact, most of our deepest regrets are failures of priority.
All of those greedy, narcissistic, dysfunctional moments when professional achievement became more important connection. Shame on us.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Where are you meeting other people’s priorities at the expense of your own?