DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?”
SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?”
SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “If you must know, I make $100 an hour.”
SON: “Oh! (With his head down).
SON: “Daddy, may I please borrow $50?”
DAD: “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.”
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $ 50 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.
DAD: “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $50 you asked for.”
SON: “Oh, thank you daddy!”
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.
I cried after reading it. Lately as I have been job searching, I have fallen into the rat race and mindset of ” I am a Wharton MBA, I should be at this level and making this much by now.” Even when I am at home with my kids, part of my brain is still contemplating career questions and job search strategies. I have forgotten my own definition of success. It’s not measured by job level, salary, or comparison with others. This story reminds me that I have new values and rules for my success and happiness.
- Love and family – be mentally and physically there with my husband and kids after work. I can’t do that if I have a stressful job where I still worry about the work after getting home or worse stay at work too long or travel. I also want to spend time with my parents who are getting older
- Making a difference – pursue my passion in helping others with their career success – every email, comment, tweet, text, call sharing with me how my articles or coaching affected their lives inspires me to do more and feel grateful that I can help others in this way
- Having fun and experiencing life – Be bold and try new things even if I make mistakes. Life is too short to do the same old thing over and over again
- Abundance – redefine abundance to be more than financial assets. Appreciate the diverse type of friends that I have. Be grateful of the family structure and loving bond I have build with my husband and for my kids. Be thankful for my overall health and the health of my family. We all place so much value on money. As I get older, I am realizing that time is even more valuable than money. There can be an infinite amount of money to be made but we all have a finite time on this earth. Success for me is having the freedom to choose how I spend my time.
- Learning and Growing – Be open to learn from anyone and extend myself to try new things and learn new skills. Just yesterday alone, I learned 3 things – one from my boss, one from a co-worker, and one from my friend and neighbor. It was an awesome day!
I am still in reflection mood. It’s uncomfortable but necessary to step back once in awhile and make sure I am consciously choosing how I work and live. Am I following what I think others expect of me or am I following my own values and rules to achieve success and happiness?
Best wishes to your success! I am always in your corner
Your comments: What is your reaction to this story? What are your trade off for career vs. life? add your comments below
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