“Money makes comedy not as funny. When you have and make a lot of money, you lose your edge.” Jerry Seinfeld once said. “The edge is what makes you funny. When you have money, the jokes just get bigger. The sets more elaborate and the jokes more complicated. It was so much better being broke.”
Ain’t that the truth!
Here we all are, trying to do more and be better – trying to elevate our business and lives with material trappings.
But how often does the success we enjoy change the way we get to enjoy it? It’s like the old joke that by the time you can afford to buy a hot new convertible, you don’t look good in it anymore.
Success also changes who we enjoy it with and how deeply we actually experience the milestones, as we often fall victim to diminishing returns.
But when you’re young (and ostensibly broke), the victories have ever-so-much-more meaning.
I remember my first great glass of wine, my first cigar, my first time flying first class on an airplane.
Each time I got to experience one of those moments, I told myself that I’d “made it.”
But did I?
Should I have focused on something else as I ascended and climbed the ladder?
There’s something far more important than how WE feel once we’ve made it: what we DO and how we go about making OTHERS feel. How we serve our fellow man or woman is the only real way to add significance to our efforts, not just superficial validation.
So, do you remember the specific time that you felt like you “made it?”
Do you remember that first big sale? That first promotion to the corner office? The first date when you fell in love?
How did that feel?
How special would it be if we could harness all of that emotion and energy and convert it into what drives our success, our passion, our results, who we are and what we are destined to become?
But success and happiness don’t have to be fleeting. They are real and they are forever. However, they are NOT the big show – the car, the watch, the expense account, the big house.
Who cares?! What’s so important to some is so meaningless to others.
Instead, don’t deviate from your internal compass, no matter the external circumstances. Be you! And be happy with who you are and what you’ve built.
The greatest gift my profession has given me is perspective. I’ve had clients make it all and lose it all, then make it all back again. (And on and on in some cases.)
But what’s truly important to them is the narrative: how we got here and how we worked, earned, and achieved along the way.
The money is fleeting, but the IMPACT we make along the way is what really matters – our legacy.
And if we focus on that, we can never lose.