Weekly Thought Archives > Three Important Realities
Three Important Realities
I was once associated with a university executive development program who awarded an “industrialist of the year” recognition. It was customary that the winner lecture to the seniors. The brief, but extremely wise, speech burned into my memory. He gave the students three questions to keep uppermind during their career:
1) Do I enjoy what I do?
2) Am I enjoying the way I do it?
3) Am I content with who I am becoming?
1) Enjoying one’s work indicates focused interest, energy and concentration. This is lacking in work that is unenjoyable. It gives meaning in the work through the utilization of talent. Enjoyment gives you the feeling of fulfilling your purpose in life.
2) Enjoying the way points out that the journey, as well as the destination has meaning. I thought of one day when I traveled to San Francisco from Los Angeles choosing to drive Highway 1 (The Pacific Coast Highway) rather than the freeway. The time seemed shorter because I really enjoyed the way I went. A key part of enjoyment of associating with the right people. A young graduate of the Wharton School came to see me. When I asked him where he would be in five years he said he knew one thing, “I will be working with people I respect.”
3) To me this is the most important question. We know that our actions and activities over a long period of time form us. We can either develop as a person or continue to as a mere function. Am I becoming who I want to be? If not, why not? I find it helpful to describe the progress that I want to make year by year. We need to be careful not to lose the tension between “where we are and where we could be,” as John Gardner points out.
At 91 I still have mountains to climb. Caleb asked Joshua to give him mountains and giants at 85 ----I am right with him!
This week think seriously about: 1) How do I define enjoyment? 2) What can I do to help others answer these questions? 3) What measure do I use for where I am and where I could be?