Business OR Virtue? No, they must be one and the same.

 

Principles Matter Most, principles in business, business tips, business ethics, business, virtue

Principles Matter Most

  CREDIT TO: principlesmattermost.com – for the image!


Business OR Virtue?

Are you grounding your business with a principled approach? Don’t roll your eyes…is this even a consideration for you in the race to acquire more and more $$$$? Does the well-being of those that depend on your leadership and your example to prosper really matter to you? (By ‘really’, I mean beyond what it profits you financially?) Does providing a quality product or service that gives a fair and reasonable chance of giving them success make you happy for more reasons than your commissions, residuals or increased advertising? Have you cultivated enough compassion in your heart for others by learning to truly appreciate and value what those relationships can give to you in intangible commodities, in the essence of a smile, a handshake, a hug, or even tears?

If your answer to any of the above questions is NO, then you are losing far more than money and you are failing. You are losing something more important and more vital to your own growth than the amount of dollars you can pile up in a bank account, you are losing what it means to be human.  This is more than a matter of business ethics, it’s a matter of your own virtue, how that affects your relationships and your life overall.

You see, Milton was really on to something profound when he wrote that “No man is an island” and the same is true in business as it is with any relationship. This doesn’t mean everyone you associate yourself with, or interact with should be afforded the same honored position of a close friend or family member in your life (that’s impossible), but it does mean that everyone who shows that they are serious, that they have some degree of integrity and motivation and sincerity should be granted the same POTENTIAL to be in the lofty positions in your life. EVERYONE.

Will everyone that you come across in your business make it? Of course not…and we can breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Is that mean-spirited and contradictory?…NO! We simply can’t be a friend or even a close acquaintance of everyone. (Even the most altruistic among us accepts this or perishes) – This is true for two reasons:

1.) Before a person can reach out more and more with compassion, that person must focus real effort on oneself first…they must develop the habits that make them successful and often-times get dragged in the mud of life a few times (alone!) in the process, and by success I don’t mean merely financial success, I don’t mean merely success in a business, I’m talking much deeper here. Ask yourself: If you removed all money and all business and all work from your life, (and still could survive) what would you really have left? Would you stand up and say you were proud of what remained, or would you slink to the nearest shadow to conceal yourself?

2.) Real growth and success requires some sacrifice (including some failure) and sometimes that comes in the form of taking time away from the things you enjoy most or even people you love, but always with understanding that you have the correct spirit and motivation for doing so… it requires patience and dedication to uphold a higher standard; one that you’ve set for yourself, one that you aren’t about to relinquish for anything. I’ve come to understand on a deeper level that I want to grow my business and adopt the most valuable traits in myself that promote it, not for the potential only of being filthy stinking rich (I mean who wouldn’t enjoy that?) but rather, because I know these things will empower me to accomplish what I truly want and need: more free time to be with the people I love (my wife, daughter, mom, family & friends) and to improve their quality of life in the process; and simply having more time OVERALL to experience things that matter more in the end. Having more money generally means having more time to ENJOY THIS LIFE, not merely SURVIVE through it.

Are you working for your own dream OR for someone else’s dream?

If you believe it doesn’t matter which, just ask yourself:  Am I empowering my own principles and enriching my own life in what I do, or am I just paying some bills and wasting time whenever possible and only LIVING on the weekends/time-off? I’ve spend many years of my life doing the latter, but my mindset has changed and I’m working toward more independence in my life now! More posts to come as I continue to share my epic journey to greater success in LIVING, thanks as always for reading my posts! I hope this has given someone out there something to think about, as it’s something I think about quite OFTEN.

MUSIC TRACK REVIEW – Songs I love, and why – This Place is a Prison by The Postal Service.

MUSIC TRACK REVIEW

Artist: The Postal Service

Song: This place is a prison

This is my favorite song by the Postal Service.  I love the general dystopian feel of it, and how it eventually climaxes into a driving and masterfully precice drum rhythm.

This Place is a Prison by The Postal Service for me captures the powerful struggle we all endure, simply living on this earth. We rebel against any higher callings in life that is possible for almost any person to answer, even ones we have real cause to believe and hope in; grounded and proved during the course of history and the great actions of heroes and heroines recording in it, as if done to inspire us. We would rather not adhere to any real cause on a regular basis, because it’s just too damn hard, and we are too preoccupied with “everyday life” to change ourself in such a profound way – so we very often retreat from what is truly important, and embrace the distractions instead, clinging to the most basic and instantly satisfying things in life that feed our selfish ego and our addictions, and these immediate attractions pull our strings mightily; wether it be food, drugs, sex, dancing, partying, etc… – we deny ourselves…and it’s not that these things are intrinsically evil (but rather in a proper context of a well-lived life they CAN be good things to integrate into our existence) but we deny ourselves on a deeper level, because we refuse to accept that our decisions and our activities in life are subject to real error.  Consider that these same activities in life can reveal profound truth and to know the difference we need to accept an objective standard to judge them properly) OR the error is that we deny objective standards all-together (at the same time objectively deciding this is so…just think about that for a moment…) – or we just choose to ONLY integrate these sorts of things into our life, evaluated or not, and we call it a day. We stop right there.

Why don’t more of us strive to grow every day, learn something new, do something kindhearted, experience something creative and positive? it’s so easy to put ourself into a prison, at the same time pretending we are free, and we imprison others around us under the same illusion that we are exercising some greater freedom by rebuking any judgement or evaluation of ourselves by others; but we are anything but free…these “things” consume our minds, our hearts, until we are changed into something else; someone else who we no longer recognize in both our will and our deeds as the years go by…still waiting to be rescued, “How long must I wait?” we bemoan.

Yet sometimes, some of us caught in this seductive and egotistical circle of self-destruction and pettiness catches a glimpse of the ‘outside’ (those of us who are not wholly lost, being bound as captives in a mad cycle of repetitiously self-destroying habits) we perceive something wondrous out there, “almost too bright to see” – visions that perhaps we lost when when we were very young, something we remember now in only a fleeting way, things like a children’s naivety (before it’s crushed by the spiteful callousness of other more “mature” people), or that heart aching crescendo during your first kiss; feelings you are convinced you can never experience again…

Perhaps we waste too much time perceiving (or ignoring) the kindness of others, the power of genuine grace and mercy in someone’s more developed heart, how they act in a manner we can only envy, but can’t find ourselves trying to actually replicate. Not that many of us would exclaim aloud that feeling any envy for compassion is a strength, it’s not something that lends itself to the braggart, but how many of us would NOT embrace it AS a strength when being recipients of such virtue? Very little I imagine.

Out of this joy, this desire to help others, this need to live for others as much as for ourselves (careful to never sacrifice yourself in the process, and this is KEY, as any extreme altruism is indistinguishable from suicide) comes what it means to BE ALIVE in my humble opinion; it sets us human beings apart from all living things. That is what it means to set free from any prison; to be human. Then why not strive, even struggle, to be a very GOOD human?

LYRICS:

This place is a prison*
And these people aren’t your friends
Inhaling thrills through $20 bills
And the tumblers are drained
And then flooded again and again

There are guards at the on-ramps
Armed to the teeth
And you may case the grounds
From the Cascades to Puget Sound
But you are not permitted to leave

I know there’s a big world out there
Like the one I saw on the screen
In my living room late last night
It was almost too bright to see*

And I know that it’s not a party
If it happens every night
Pretending there’s glamour and candelabra
When you’re drinking by candlelight

What does it take to get a drink in this place?
What does it take, how long must I wait?