Friday, February 5, 2010

The measure of success

How does someone measure success? Some would say by the accumulation of stuff (houses, cars, boats, and other motorized toys). Others might say by size of the bank account (inclusive of stocks and bonds). I disagree with both.

I was told a very long time ago by a very wise person that I should measure my success by how much I help others succeed. In other words, the more I help other people achieve what they want in live, the more successful I will become. It took me a while to grasp on to the concept that helping other people be successful would some how make me feel successful.

However, having embraced that philosophy for nearly 30 years, I can honestly say it does work and I feel incredibly successful for having helped so many other people achieve their goals. In just the past several months I have provided coaching to three persons who want a career in the fire service. As their coach, it’s not my job to tell them what they want to hear. It’s my job to give them the unvarnished truth about their chances of success and how to improve those chances.

I also had a conversation with an associate of mine whom I helped with some advice more than 15 years ago. I told him that when he became successful, he would have an obligation to help someone else the way I helped him. The purpose of his call was to tell me that he had done for someone else exactly what I had done for him so many years ago. And so, the cycle repeats itself. Helping others makes me feel successful. Give it a try. You may be amazed at how good it feels to help someone else get what THEY want.

Fire Chief (ret.) Richard B. Gasaway, PhD, EFO, CFO, MICP

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