I read a book many years ago titled The Millionaire Mind. In it, Thomas J. Stanley explores the common threads between self-made millionaires in the United States. Interestingly, just about all of the people Stanley interviewed had started a number of businesses. When one business would cease to be viable, they would take what they learned and create something new. They “failed forward.”
One of the key understandings in that was the idea that the businesses themselves were never the commodity: The entrepreneur was the commodity. The business of the moment was simply a place of expression for the entrepreneur.
This is also true for us ordinary, not millionaire-ish folk. We are the commodity in our lives.
I recently had to make a decision about office space for my practice. I was choosing between two options to try and determine which would best serve my clients and my practice. After hours of rankling my final conclusion was this: There wasn’t a right or wrong answer. I will keep serving my clients to the very best of my ability in whatever space I have. I can be effective wherever I am.
In the stress of life and finances and relationships, it’s so easy to forget that the outward things are not the “it” of our lives. Our security does not come from controlling the externals – choosing just the right office, taking this job or that job, living in this place or that place – Our security comes from being centered in ourselves first and letting the rest fall in line from there.
Good things will happen and bad things will happen. Mundane and seemingly ordinary things will happen. Sometimes we will feel like we can’t go on. Sometimes we will be doing well and be afraid to embrace it because we fear how painful it might be if we lose the success we found. I have a quote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill on my office wall that reads, “Success is going from failure to failure with no poss of enthisiasm.”
If we move through the stuff of life connected to our unique purpose, giving what we have to give and learning what we have to learn, whatever comes will take its place as the expression of our purpose, even when it feels like the gifts in our lives are wrapped in barbed wire. The common thread – the core – is not what outward successes we appear to have, but rather, the life we are living in the middle of it. We are the commodity.
If you are struggling to find your purpose, or if things like anxiety, depression or trauma seem to be blocking your path to a satisfying, meaningful life, contact me today. Let’s work on it together.
As Maya Angelou said, “Surviving is important, but thriving is elegant.” It’s time to start thriving.