He’s a good man. Like a number of men in his circle of influence he has enough work to keep his hands dirty and a six pack in the fridge.
One particular morning with a cup of coffee in his left hand he cranked the engine on the ’92 Cougar; the one with duct tape keeping the rust away from the left tail light. It was his usual drive past the chain link fenced yards, some protecting cars on cinder blocks, and onward leaving his zip code for a neighboring five digits where the gated communities and the guard gates took the place of wire and pipes. The guard knew the car and lifted the barrier to let the man in. On the job site he was greeted by another carpenter, “Hey Buddy, what’s up?”
“Same old, same old,” he answered.
As soon as the words were out, there appeared something different this morning. He looked up gazing at just one of the gables sculpting the roof line of the second floor. There it was. A small dim glimmer in his eye. A wonderment of what might have been.
Each person is actually two people. Earl Nightingale wrote that for one of his radio broadcasts. Like the line identifying this blog, “The way the world is, and the way the world can be,” we too as individuals live a dual life. The way we are. The way we can be. Or, more accurately; the way we are meant to be.
The true measure of a person is not the things they have in the present. A real measure for all of us is the imaginary line between what we settle for and what we can become.
Earl in his broadcast said, “To visualize this, get a picture of a person standing inside the outline of a considerably larger person. Let this outline represent the highest potential for the person.”
Our worker described above could relate to this as the blue print of a current house with a large addition planned to double the square footage. His skills then would kick in to planning the steps needed to turn printed page into a renovated home to be enjoyed for many years. He would think of plumbing, electrical, materials, sub-contractors needed, and the long list of items it would take to complete the improvement.
Using that analogy for our own personal development, our skills should be able to identify what our next steps should be. Advanced study, new contacts, experts to rely on, communication with friends and family, and daily mental challenges to improve our focus. Earl Nightingale has been the expert millions have turned to for ‘ah ha’ moments of inspiration. He dedicated his life to shortening that imaginary line between where we stand, and where we want to be. That day on the radio, Earl spoke, “The development of people, whether directed by someone else or by the people themselves, should be a never ending process.”
Earl implied that this process should be a top line principle for businesses. The businesses should encourage people to personally grow. He continued, “To the well managed company this should be as important as its advertising; for here is profit that can be increased without plant expansion or capital investment. In terms of results that can be measured and tabulated, the cost is ridiculously low. In fact, the best investment a company can make.”
In terms of businesses today, many that are solely information and data based, human capital is the most important concern. For businesses to compete in the 21st century landscape, benefits become an advantage. Imagine a company that offers benefit packages for today’s people like time off, work from home, childcare, vacation perks, financial incentives, and a program of lifelong learning through applied personal development programs. Earl concluded that daily program, “Every person is, in reality, two persons. The person today and the person tomorrow. There is an exciting and rewarding area of development awaiting each of us.”
To make the most of this, here’s a simple and quick self test.
- How big is the outline of the person I want to become?
- Have I already filled that space, or can the image be stretched?
- What steps or actions do I have to complete to get what I want?
- Are there specific skills that can be developed?
- Do I have a motivational or inspirational resource to charge my creative thinking?
A final thought: There is no competitor standing in your way to get what you want. Circumstances are excuses for losers. The greatest competitor blocking the path to who you really are to become, is the person you see in the mirror today.