Which comes first value or success?

Sep 01, 2022
Photo by <a href=Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash " />

Try not to be a person of success, but try rather try to become a person of value.


Recently someone tagged me in a social post as someone who delivers value. I'm humbled and grateful for that – especially with the opportunity to get in underneath this statement.


You see, it's very fitting and proper. At Neon Juno, we try hard to offer value to our community and beyond. You'll have heard me mention that we populate our Instagram feed with quotes intended to engage and inspire. For me, every post that goes out is like a pebble thrown into the pond. The ripples will keep spreading out, and the posts will reach people when they need them.


Sometimes, I question whether the task is worthwhile, primarily when judged against success. Let's expand on that more – success for a post (especially if you listen to the experts) is around the levels of engagement and likes. In that case, I'm not a success in this realm. Nevertheless, we keep posting and will keep posting.


You see, in real life, on the street or on public transport, I am the person who offers a smile. Not always, but often. I give that smile freely – it makes me feel good; if the person smiles back, I feel better. I hope that the person on the other end feels a little lifted rather than thinking I'm a crazy lady and perhaps even pass it on.


I realised that I'd become attached to that for many years, almost as a justification for the exercise. Let me explain. I would smile at a person with an expectation that they would pass that smile either to me or someone else. Instead, as I've grown in my practice, I've learnt that I have no right to that expectation, and even with that micro thought, the smile I am offering is not free. I give that smile with conditions attached, with an agenda, however small it is.


Shift that argument into a different setting. Perhaps around the boardroom table. In many discussions, people offer their perspectives with an agenda. They want to be acknowledged or heard. They want to be seen as an authority or their positional power. How often are views given with a pure heart and mind? How usually are they offered to help move forward a situation or enable the other person to grow?


I'm not advocating giving with complete abandon. Boundaries are essential to ensure your own needs are met and to avoid exploitation. Instead, reflect on what you offer in your interactions and relationships the following week.


Are you freely offering value, or if you're honest with yourself, is there an agenda in there? Do not judge whether one option is good or bad. Just be genuine about your intentions.


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