This post is apropos of nothing. I’m 41 as of a handful of days ago. I just wanted to write down some thoughts for posterity. The blog still has my name on it, so I can do that.
Success, Such as It Is
Sitting here at 41, I am successful by most people’s measure. I have a loving family, smart kids, interesting friends, a successful (and profitable) job (or 3), a New York Times bestselling book, and some reasonable level of health. I support some great charities. I drive my dream car. I read books that I love. I get out to the movies once a week (my little secret pet pleasure: movies). I travel the world (not always sexy, the travel part, but I *do* get to go to nice places).
By most people’s measures, that’s success. Mine, too, but I can’t allow myself to think that way. If you’re successful and feel successful, what happens to ambition.
Ambition and What Will Be
I’m driven by ambition. I know this because success doesn’t ever seem to quell that hunger. The day that Julien and I hit the bestseller list, we both felt good for what might have been five minutes. Then? I wanted to hit some other milestone. It was almost immediate. Groucho Marx said he never wanted to belong to a club that would have him. It felt kind of like that, to me.
This is probably a flaw. Ambition isn’t something that has a finish line. It has no satisfaction point. That’s the point. Ambition just keeps pushing people forward, whether or not it’s useful. Ambition is the disease of “it’s never enough.” It seems useful, because it drives you professionally, but it’s also a bit of a big empty hole.
Ambition is what will drive me to build out my goals for Human Business Works. The company’s goal is to help people grow their capabilities. I want to help people take their unique spark inside of themselves and build businesses that they love and nourish. Ambition is why I still work closely with Stephen Saber and Nick Saber on The Pulse Network and what we think is a big idea. So, I can’t fault it too badly. I just have to pay close attention to how I use it.
What Comes Next?
I’m still a bit foggy about what comes next. I started the year with one vision, and I think I’m midway through readjusting it. I bit off quite a lot in 2011, partly because that’s how I learn. I lab things. I test them out. And then I take what works and move it forward.
Between now and next April, what will happen? I guess I’d better make sure I know.
As always, you take too little credit in all of this. What you do for me is what drives me forward. What you accomplish with what I share is what makes me eager to share more. I’m not doing this all for my own entertainment, amigos. That’s for sure.
So thank you. And stay tuned.