One of my clients who happened to be a billionaire invited me to his office near Toronto. When I arrived a lady greeted me and gave me a tour of the whole building. Then she brought me to my clients office. The office was massive, mahogany wood like I expected and those leather chairs with the brass buttons in them. As I sat there waiting for my client I couldn’t help but look around. I got up and slowly walked to the wall that was filled with trophies. Winner of this, winner of that. It seemed that he had won every business award there was to win.
He finally arrived, I sat down and he asked me if I wanted a glass of scotch. I hate scotch but I said yes because I was a little nervous and figured it’s probably like a million years old or something. It turned out to be a really special day for me. Here I was drinking with this baller of a client and the best part is I could ask him anything. As the hours passed we drank and talked and drank and talked some more.
Then he said something I never forgot. I had just shown admiration for his trophies on the wall. when all of a sudden his tone changed and he got really passionate. He said something like this:
“you see those trophies on the wall?” as he pointed at them.
“Those trophies don’t mean shit. They’re absolutely meaningless. Destructive even. You see most people are addicted to validation from the external world. From a young age we are trained to want straight A’s. But we’re older now and some people still want a gold sticker, to be told they are doing a great job, maybe a pat on the back or a trophy on the wall. They’re distracted doing things because because what their friends may think instead of looking internally at what the core of their being wants them to do. You have to start patting yourself on the back and focus on the change you want to make.”
Also published on Medium.