blog, on being

Measures of success

I love reading other people’s annual reviews just as much as I love writing my own. One of my favorite to read is Bill Gates’. This excerpt in particular resonated with me:

Today of course I still assess the quality of my work. But I also ask myself a whole other set of questions about my life. Did I devote enough time to my family? Did I learn enough new things? Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones? These would have been laughable to me when I was 25, but as I get older, they are much more meaningful.

Melinda has helped broaden my thinking on this point. So has Warren Buffett, who says his measure of success is, “Do the people you care about love you back?” I think that is about as good a metric as you will find.

Our measures are dependent on our age, values, circumstances, and definition of success. It is important to step back every so often to ask, “Do my actions align with my measures?”. Alignment can be achieved by simple adjustments in our focus and strategies.

On another note, I admire how human thinking shifts when we age to focus on the more meaningful, intangible aspects of life. It makes you remember that though we are different in many ways, there also have undeniable commonalities that connect us all.

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2 thoughts on “Measures of success

  1. Bill says:

    I could not agree more.
    Recently my sister passed away.
    Fortunately, I did get to tell her that I loved her before she died.
    Yet, I also told her that my biggest regret was not visiting/communicating with her more often.
    Nevertheless, my conscience would not let that sentiment end there, so about a day later, I suggested to my nephew that I was going to make a conscientious effort to communicate more frequently with him. About a day later, my nephews asked me for email addresses for all of my family members. You see, we had both come to the conclusion that “family” was important. We agreed to stop the same thing (i.e. living with regrets for failure to stay in touch) from happening all over again.

    Like

    • Caroline Luu says:

      Hi Bill, thank you so much for sharing, reading, and being vulnerable. I send you and your family my deepest condolences. It’s never easy to lose a loved one. Fortunately, in the loss came a huge blessing: an important revelation and the opportunity to reconnect with those you care for most. Bill, I’m happy you were able to experience the silver lining and are more aligned with what you value most. Happy New Year.

      Like

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