How Do You Measure Your Success?
- Posted by chicagosean
- on August 6th, 2011
As Traders, we have a no-nonsense scorecard that tells us in real-time how our day/week/month is going. A simple green or red number that constantly fluctuates, mercilessly measuring the correctness of our trading/investing decisions. This is one of the aspects that I find attractive about trading. You’re either doing well or not. And you know it by looking at this number.
However, measuring success in life is a little more vague. Is it your level of happiness? Is it your achievements at work? The plaques on your wall? The money in your bank account? The trophies in your display case? The places you’ve visited? The family you’ve supported or raised?
I’m here to tell you success is most accurately measured by the people and the lives you’ve touched.
This past week, my wife and I traveled 9 hours by car to Buffalo, NY to be with my Mother and attend the funeral for the untimely death of her husband. It was untimely because I promise you couldn’t find a more healthy, active, and energetic man in his 70′s on this or any planet. He played competitive tennis weekly, went hiking in the Grand Canyon recently, hiked in the mountains of Peru just months ago, etc.
The service wasn’t actually a funeral, but in fact a “Celebration of Life” held at the church where he and my mother are active participants. Any time you are honoring the life of someone who’d passed, there are always tears and hugs. And as people arrived at the church to pay their respects to my mother and his children, there certainly was a bit of that.
Before the proceedings got underway, his children and grandchildren, my mother and my siblings, and my wife and I were escorted to our seats in the first pew where we remained, faced forward, for the remainder of the service.
In was a beautiful service. One by one, grand children and children went to the podium to give heartfelt stories of the man who had meant so much to them. At times, the speeches got a touch emotional. But for the most part, there were laughs and smiles and admiration for a life well lived. His children especially delivered amazing speeches. I was beyond impressed.
And my mother. I can’t tell you how proud I was of my Mother on this day. The proudest I’ve ever been. She was the last to head to the podium to share her stories about her husband with the audience. He accomplished much in his time here, but my Mother proceeded to launch into a cheerful recollection of all the small, unnoticeable accomplishments her husband was so proud of. The things he would do behind the scenes for his church, his co-workers, and his family. Things that for the most part he did without need for recognition or thanks. Just things he did because they were the right thing to do. She never wavered. Her voice was strong and her message was delivered all the way to the back row. Like I said, I’ve never been more proud.
How do you measure success?
When the service was over and our family stood up in the front row and gathered to exit down the center aisle, it was at this moment I noticed for the first time how incredibly PACKED the church was. Nearly every seat was taken and there were people standing in the back and along the side. It was 85 degrees outside. With no air conditioning and little ventilation, this church might have actually been a few degrees warmer. It was hot. But despite this, a standing-room only crowd came to celebrate the life of a man who touched each of their lives in a way that can’t be measured.
This, my friends, is success.
The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.blog comments powered by Disqus
Sean McLaughlin - Editorial, Curation, & Investor Relations Solutions at StockTwits. Also, former Member of the Chicago Board of Trade who trades his own account in Boulder, Colorado. More »
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