Growth – What is your Metric?

Most of us are focused on professional and personal success.  We set goals, we measure them, we track progress, we modify as required, we drop those that are no longer important and we add new ones based on changing times, conditions and experiences.  What are your metrics for growth?  How do you define growth and success?  What are you focused on?

If you have worked in the corporate world, your professional success in measured in the impact you make on the business, the ratings that you receive in your performance reviews, the raises that come with it, the occasional promotion, the relocation for the next opportunity, considering career moves to other companies to accelerate your growth curve, focusing on what is necessary to get three levels above where you are.  If you work for very competitive companies, it is an up or out mentality, and the under performers get left behind.  So you need to set different goals to make sure that you are competitive – go back to school, take on-line courses, find mentors, get more political, make sure you are standing out from the crowd, being different.

All of these areas are crucial for professional growth in a highly competitive company. Do these things well, kick ass and take names and you will benefit from increases in your income that provides you with the buying powers that you strive for.  You want income growth, you want to demonstrate your success to your peers, your family, your friends.  For those in the corporate world, do you remember the first time you went to your bosses home?  Impressive huh!  I want to live in a place like this.  Or how about when you hopped in their car for a team dinner and you found yourself sitting in that BMW you have been admiring but not yet in position to get,  Hmmmmm.  This is sweet, I need to get one of those.

So many of us really focus on growing our income as a primary measurement of growth and success.  We get that fine home, great car, make some money in the markets, take that fine vacation, send your kids to the best schools, join the country club, you know all of the status symbols that we hold in such high regard.  Hey, when you look good you feel good.

Of course there is a considerable downside to this measurement of growth.  What happens if you don’t get that raise or it is less than anticipated? What happens if you are impacted by a layoff?  What happens if your boss is a real jerk and you flip him or her off by mistake or just when you are bitching about them to a colleague, you turn around and they are standing being you?  Unfortunate, yes.  Just one event, just one disturbance in the force can impact your success.  So if you do not have a straight path to more income have you failed?  Are you still growing?  Are you any good?

But why do we primarily focus on one measure, financial, as a sign of growth? If I get a 10 percent raise next year but eat less healthy food, spend less time with close and extended community, or do more self-serving work, did I really grow? Just because the number is easy to measure, is that all that matters?

Here’s a few other ways to grow besides financial:

– Grow in giving/reduce taking
– Grow in caring for others
– Grow in ‘lifestyle habits’
– Grow in knowledge
– Grow in family/community
– Grow in balance/wisdom
– Grow in joy

What if, at the end of every year, we took stock of ALL of these measures, along with financial? Would that change behavior?

All of these ideas are tough to measure, but you know it when you have it and when you don’t. Conversely, focusing solely on financial growth is actually destructive in the long-run. In the macro, we build a transactional (rather than trust) mindset into the culture. In the micro, as our financial capabilities grow, so do our waistlines/stress levels, our debt averages, and our disconnection from our fellow man.

So what to do?  Here we have a reason to practice focusing on us. Over time, it may become easier to not react to such desires and really begin to act in a way that brings true growth. If that starts to happen in many people at once, you have the start of a movement away from constant, insatiable, unbalanced financial growth. And then! Who knows what will emerge? Start to think about your metrics of kindness, wisdom, health, fun and balance in addition to your financial growth metric.  Your view of life will change and you will be so much happier and better off without that stress 🙂  You can win everyday in so many other ways.

This blog was encouraged by the Daily Good.  www.dailygood.orgCheck it out.

Webman

“Let’s End the Deficit Now”

Today I am going a bit off road with the blog.  I received this from a friend yesterday and wanted to share with each of you.   Hopefully you will find the same inspiration and perspective as I did on how to make politicians accountable – Enjoy and pass it on!  You may have already seen this but it is worth seeing again.

Subject: Warren Buffet
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law
that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all
sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. The 26th
amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months
& 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in
1971…before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to
the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the
land…all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of
twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
message. This is one idea that really should be passed around:

*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.  The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on.
If not, just delete. You are one of my 20. Please keep it going.

Webman