I met a billionaire acquaintance a few days ago. This was my 3rd discussion with a billionaire this year. I was really curious what made them mega successfully financially, versus others.
Surprisingly all 3 were very humble, and very different from what you’d think of when you hear about billionaires. One of them said:
“Compared to the other centi-millionaires and millionaires, I was just pure lucky”.
Another said that his pursuit was that of being very successful, but becoming a billionaire was “accidental”.
As the year comes to a close, I was taking a run yesterday and thought about what separates the “ultra successful” from the merely successful.
Defining success purely in financial terms is very narrow and un-enlightened. Many people believe that success should be along multiple dimensions – relationships (friends and family), financial, intellectual, work, spiritual, health and fame (celebrity-style).
Then there are those that believe you have to choose from 3 of these.
There’s one thing that I learned from all 3 of the billionaires.
They focused on one of them, not more than 1 during a period.
All three of them have seriously under-invested in other aspects of their life for any given “period”. That period has been days for some, weeks for another and many years for the 3rd person. I cant argue that it was a good thing or a bad thing, since they made the choices consciously.
All three of them now have families, with kids and the things that life brings.
But they choose to put work and their pursuit of it above all else.
There’s one thing they did tell me which caused me to think more.
“Enjoy what you do. More than do what you enjoy”.
Late, yesterday evening I was going for a run. I have a pair of shoes that are relatively new and so the laces untie often. I am pretty scheduled and regimented, so not hitting my distance milestone bothers me quite a bit.
I had to stop for 2 minutes to tie the shoe lace, which knew will delay my distance goal by 2 min, which then would delay when I slept and hence to make up the “wake up on time” schedule, I would have to sleep for 2 min less.
I dont like tying my shoelaces more than once for that reason. I hate wasting those 2 minutes.
That’s when it hit me.
If you cant do the things that you enjoy and love, for whatever the reason, you better enjoy and love the things you are doing.
So as 2014 comes to a close I realized all those cosmetic resolutions I made over the years were banal.
I am going to live every single moment. Even if it means “enjoying to tie my shoelaces” by thinking about the shoe or the knot or that many others cant tie their shoelaces at all.
I wish you all a very happy 2015. I hope to write more frequently this year compared to 2014 and hopefully closer to my 2013 productivity schedule for blog posts.