Taking the time to recognize our accomplishments and those who have helped us achieve them is a crucial part of success. It’s one that we workaholics often overlook. In our drive to succeed, we are so focused on the goal to reach, the next hurdle to overcome that we often don’t give credit where credit is due—whether to ourselves or to others. We don’t live in a vacuum; anything we achieve comes with the help and support of others. What’s the point of working so hard if we don’t stop to appreciate how far we have come?
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Many of us work for and aspire to professional success. We have worked hard and long to get where we are, and we deserve the rewards of our position.
It is important that we periodically take time to take stock of where we are and who we are. Do we judge ourselves by our accomplishments? Does accomplishment mean worthiness in our book? How have we been able to get where we are, and do we feel good about the way we did it? Do we need to make amends to some people and express our gratitude to others?
It is important to recognize that our achievements not only speak well for us, they speak for those persons and forces, seen, unseen, and unnoticed, that have been active in our lives.”
Life is about more than just our professional and personal successes. If you get ahead by cutting down those around you, by stepping on others in your climb to the top, how much does your success really mean? What kind of person are you? More importantly, what kind of person do you want to be? This meditation is quite timely in my life, as today I reached out to make amends to a friend. We had a misunderstanding, and it was quite reasonable for her to react the way she did. While I was being truthful with her this time, she had every reason not to believe me, as I had been dishonest so often in the past. I feel badly for how I have treated her before, and I let my anger and shame get the better of me and avoided talking to her for months. Today, I decided to put aside my feelings because the relationship we have is more important than any guilt or resentment I hold in my heart. I reached out to her with honesty and vulnerability, and she responded positively. While not directly related to my professional success or “climbing the corporate ladder,” I firmly believe our integrity spans both personal and professional realms, and by building it in one realm, we positively impact the other. Our behavior with friends and family is just as if not more important than that with our colleagues. I always try to recognize people who help me in my career, and express gratitude for those people who are in my life and make it worth living. I want to be a better person, and that starts with treating others well and being honest.