I had mentioned a quote by Albert Einstien recently, “Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.” it is a quote that I’ve known for a while and been trying to apply it to my life in various ways. Over the course of many years, I’ve sought to learn from this principle, bringing about growth in my life. Recently, when I have had to take personal growth into my hands that I can understand what it truly means.
I find it hard to separate value from success, in a way to measure how far I have come or how far I still need to go, success becomes a perfect measuring stick. The value of something becomes how many times people have acknowledged it, how many awards I have won or how much I stand above the rest. I’ve played that game before, acquiring titles for the sake of gain the prestige of that comes along with it. It’s unsustainable; it requires title after title to satiate the constant hunger created from emptiness. Frustration comes from my need for acknowledgment, falling short of where I think I ought to be, becomes devastating. Needing to pull forward without actually contributing just because I seemly have the capability is stupid. It leads to this growing idea that I am and must be better than the person next to me. Chasing after those types of acknowledgments doesn’t get me anywhere at the end of the day. Success by itself only creates a temporary figure, something that will not stand on its own because there is nothing there to hold it up.
I finally understood the quote after some time of evaluating where I was at in life. I am currently not going to school, and I have a job that doesn’t require me to learn a lot of new things or progress outright. Other than story and world building in Dungeons and Dragons, this blog and doing various activities with my friends I don’t have a driving force asking me to progress. None of the things in my life have titles of note or some easy way to gauge how well I am doing and what the next logical step should be. It becomes my choice, whether to grow or wither. Now that may seem like a non-sequitur, but this time is where I realized that I will not always have something tangible to push my life along. Sure, there I still have goals (grad school and world domination included) but in this interim time, as I wait, it become my choice to add value to my life, to expand myself and all that I do further than I have ever reached before. To set down this foundation of growth and start back on the quest to enrichment. This value is the solid building blocks in which I achieve. It is achieving something beyond just success but the creations of something that not done for a pat on the back but a higher purpose. Giving myself fuel to grow into someone better, something a title can only do for appearances. It allows me to learn how to better myself so I can better the world around me, not just conquer it.
I am not saying that I will not seek awards, recognition, or titles, but ultimately I want to gain something greater, value, so that at the end of the day there will always be more worth for having gone through the journey, not just for the results. I hope to continue to add value, and things will change as I expand what I can do. Hopefully, in the future, I can become a man of value (with maybe some success).