Story on Finding Your Dreams
City: Los Angeles
I decided to value my life differently.
After reading the book "How Will You Measure Your Life," I realized I was living my life based on superficial milestones – what car I drove, what size dress I wore, how much money I made —and needed to change. Growing up, I always had goals. Graduate, land a job, get promoted, lose weight, travel to a destination.... You get the picture. This book pushed me to think more about why I measured my life’s value based on my corporate title and the car I drove and made me focus on how I wanted to live my life going forward.
Through research, the book chronicled what happened to students following graduation from Harvard. Each reunion declined in attendance because many were embarrassed about their life. Divorce, drug issues, work failures, weight gain. Things they couldn't brag about. The pressure to be great was so strong that they would rather not attend than have people find out they were human too. This is why living a values-based life is rewarding.
My life at the time consisted of working long hours in banking, attending prestigious events for work, staying up late at networking events in order to gain business, driving an expensive car to fit in, and barely being able to appreciate the home I purchased or spend quality time with friends. I never felt like I had "made it" or was doing well enough. Then I decided to analyze what I was doing it all for.
From then on, I decided I would live my life based on values and I would value my life by the lives I am able to influence for the better. Mentoring, being a good friend, a good spouse, a reliable co-worker, a volunteer and, hopefully, being more involved in politics one day. All of these things (minus the political aspiration) can be done regardless of net-worth, age, the size of my waist, or the title in front of my name. Living this way has made me feel better about myself. Content, happy, and most importantly…ENOUGH.