That headline may sound awkward, but think about it. Are you trying to achieve something just to get the recognition, award, people patting you on the back saying, "There's the guy that did that thing!"? Or is it more than that. Is the ultimate achievement satisfying yourself that you took on the challenge, met it and surpassed expectations?
The latter sinks in a whole lot deeper. I find my most successful and sincerely happy clients are the ones who can put ego aside on their journey to growth and success. They gain both financial in inner success by answering noble motivations: the good of the company, the person they are quietly helping, the contractors they hire that contribute to their successes.
I'm sure many powerful company leaders don't agree with this. They need everyone to recognize their perceived greatness to justify the means they achieve it. As I reflect on Julia Child's 100th birthday celebration and her quotes and philosophies I'm reminded that I like where I am. I get excited working for my clients to help them achieve their goals – not to make me look good, but to have a part in their success knowing I helped.
It's also my parent's anniversary. I'm reminded of their 40th in 1989 where my dad insisted that only our immediate family and grandchildren attend their luau party. He didn't need a lot of people telling him, "Good job" for sticking in a marriage for 40 years or giving them more "things" for their house. He wanted to celebrate the results of that marriage – his children and their children. I respected his wish, even though my sisters-in-law were not happy because they wanted their families included, as we have all been one family for many years. It was tough to stand firm, but not really. He asked so little of me, I did it gladly and with relish. His motives were pure. I also think he knew the end was near and wanted to leave others with the picture of a more robust man.
The next morning, my father and mother went to his favorite golf course, Dad Miller in Long Beach, for breakfast. Looking out on the course with his Denver omelet in front of him, he sold my mom, "Jo, I'm going…" he slipped down and died of a heart attack before they could call for help. I was invited to that breakfast – just me. I declined – don't know why, but I did. I remember how frail he looked the night before, but how happy to be with his family – the family he and my mom created. I have no regrets. I helped him get his last request – other than the waitress who brought him the Denver omelet.