I turned 52 yesterday and it’s kind of cool to be the age that most people (myself included) swore I’d never reach and I’m in some pretty good company. Michael Jordan, Jonny Depp, Rand Paul, and Japan’s Crown Princess Masako, will all be getting their AARP card the same year as me. 1963 was a pretty cool year to be born. Postage stamps were $.05 each, gas was $.30 a gallon, the first push-button phone and cassette tapes were brought to the market, skateboards and lava lamps were hot, President Kennedy was assassinated (not cool), Martin Luther King shared his “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the capital, and the Dow was at 762!
Each year on my birthday, I look back at my life and evaluate how I’m doing. In my past, I would get a feeling like the one I had when I went to my 10 year High School reunion, wondering how my life would stack up against the others. I’ve since moved past the need to compare myself to others, but now I ask myself if I’ve done the best I could with what I’ve been given, and what has been my Life ROI?
As the leader of your company, you are very familiar with the concept of Return on Investment (ROI). It is a measuring stick for us to evaluate the success of our efforts, and can help us determine if what we are doing is working, or help us see if we need to try something else. Your life has an ROI also, and you should look at the choices you make, the situations you face, and lives you affect with the goal of having the greatest impact possible.
Maximizing Your Talents
I’ve accomplished a lot over the last 52 years, and not all of it was work related. However, I have always pushed to do my best in whatever I committed to, and to use the “talents” GOD has given me to their fullest.
You may have heard of the Parable of the Talents in the Bible. In this story, the man in charge gave his servants a certain amount of coins called “talents” and directed them to use these wisely until he returned. One servant was given a lot of talents, another a little less, and the third was only given a few talents. Sometime later, when their master returned, he praised the first two servants because they had doubled the talents entrusted to them, but was very angry with the third who did nothing with his talents. The point is that we should be doing all we can with whatever we have in the pursuit of EXCELLENCE.
Talents do not refer to coins but rather to our skills and abilities, and we all should consider how to use them to their fullest in every situation. My talents are not the same as yours, but they are the talents GOD wanted me to have. You too have been given talents and you should use them to be the best Owner, Leader, Parent, Spouse, Friend, Neighbor, and more. Regardless of how much talent you have, you should still use them in the best way possible, to generate a Life ROI that is worthy of the gifts you were given. I love the saying that we have two lives; the one we’re given, and the other one we make. Make the most of both!
Life is not about how much money you make, or how big your company is, or how many mountains you’ve climbed. It’s about the multiples you can generate from the amount of talent (blessings) you’ve been given. We are blessed to live in America and not in a hundred other places where just living is a challenge. That automatically gives us more responsibility to make the most of this life in gratitude for all we have; things most of the world will never experience.
What will your legacy be?
I recently saw a plaque on the wall of a local coffee shop that was dedicated to a patron who spent many days keeping that specific seat warm. It made me wonder what type of tribute would there be for me someday to represent the life I lived.
Too many people are content to just do something, because other things are too hard. They take what seems to be the easy road, or maybe just the road in front of them, or even the one someone else is taking. The result is a life of missed opportunities to use everything you have been given in a way that is truly EXCELLENT.
Look at the skills (talents) you have and see what you can do with them. Determine what will give you the best results. Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods, Warren Buffett (heck, Jimmy Buffett), were all given great talents. Maybe Warren Buffet would have also been a great farmer, but he chose to use his talents in ways that created the best return possible, and create a legacy of financial success that few have ever come near.
It’s not too late.
Don’t think it’s too late to make a decision to pursue excellence in your life today. Colonel Sanders didn’t get his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise started until into his late 60’s, so I guess my passion to set up Peer Groups for Top Executives in DFW is not such a crazy dream at my ripe old age of only 50. I have seen how Renaissance Executive Forums helps leaders surround themselves with other experienced leaders who will support them as they work to reach their goals in the pursuit of excellence. My vision is use the influence I have here in Dallas, to help others maximize their Life ROI with as many years as I have left. I have a clear purpose for my efforts and I chose to mentor, encourage, challenge, and support those around me with this in mind.
So, how would you define the ROI on your life so far? Not just your investments, but the relationships GOD has entrusted you with. Are they Excellent? If not, what’s holding you back today? Read this article from Business Insider entitled “15 Excuses That are Guaranteed to Waste Your Life Away” and see if any of this rings true in your life. I hope you will go listen to this and see if you are letting any of these excuses hold you back.
The members of our Top Executive Peer Groups meet each month to motivate, support, challenge, encourage, and hold each other accountable to pursue excellence in their lives. I hope that you have others in your life who help you remove anything that keeps you from reaching your goals. If not, come join us!
No matter where you are in your life, if you’re reading this article, you still have time to do your best in whatever lot in life you have been given. Choose the road that leads to the best results possible with the talents you have been given today. Need help? Call me (469) 791 – 0455 or email me at RobertH@REFDallas.com.
I have a lot to be thankful for and my family is the biggest. My beautiful wife and loving children are a joy to me and I am truly a rich man.