January 19 – The measure of success

”Money is merely a reward for solving problems.” (Mike Murdock)

The book from which I am taking these daily quotes is written by Zig Ziglar. As many of you know, he was a motivational speaker and consultant on how to be more effective and successful in the business world. Today’s quote doesn’t speak to me personally, as some others do.

I have never really been a person driven by the pursuit of money. I make a good living at what I do professionally, but I have never measured my success based on the size of my paycheck, or my bank account, or by the things I can buy. So, for me the rewards in life are different.

To be sure, the author of the quote is right. If you want monetary success in life, you have to find what the need or problem is, and make yourself  or your product available to solve that problem. Whether you are selling automobiles, solving process improvement issues, providing smart phones, tending to patients’ medical needs, or anything else, the monetary reward is driven by the size of the problem, and your unique way to solve it.

For me, though, that isn’t how I measure success, or the “rewards” of my life. Almost 31 years ago, my wife and I embarked on the journey to raise a family. Along the way we made decisions and took actions that may have been counter to the idea of growing our bank accounts. But, we made those decisions the way we did because we were driven by another measure of success. Our goal was to raise smart, self-sufficient, loving, caring children. Along the way toward that goal we were right sometimes, and wrong others. We had our share of successes and failures. Sometimes we did things “by the book”, whatever the book of the day was promoting. Other times we made our own decisions that were counter to current thinking.

As I sit here on a snowy morning, which happens to be the 25th birthday of one of my children, I am struck by the notion that we have been quite successful in our primary goal. I am probably never going to live in a mansion (who really wants the maintenance headaches anyway?). But, I will always live surrounded by the love of my family. For that, today, I am grateful.

For me today, it isn’t the quote which inspires. Today I am inspired by the fact that my wife and I have built a great family together, and that success continues to grow with each passing day.

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