“Try not to become a man (woman) of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” -Albert Einstein
I have been thinking about this quote a lot lately. The two words- success and value are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are vastly different.
It would be much easier to label something or someone a success- than of value. Often, success can be determined at a glance…a quick judgement.
Value requires more time and effort to uncover. Not too much effort, but just enough that requires a closeness not all of us are comfortable with. It brings the visual to mind of a person inspecting a diamond. Diamonds are costly, but you don’t know what their value is until taking a closer look.
I will never forget reading Steve Jobs’ last thoughts about life. It was heart-breaking. By all accounts, he could be seen as one of the most successful men on the planet. However, when he was on his death bed- he assured us that none of that mattered as much as time spent with his family or friends. He had regrets.
It wasn’t his success that he questioned- it was his value. I imagine at the end of this life, we will all carry our little suitcases of regret, and play the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” game with ourselves. Human nature almost requires it.
I believe every life has been gifted with value, and that all of us have a unique ability to share that as we travel on this round globe. Value looks different to everyone. We do not all share identical passions or love for the same causes, but we can support each other in them.
When the whole world is clamoring for success, it takes a lot of courage to concentrate on being of value. Be brave.