You Can’t Put a Number on Success

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs

[a quick post on some things i’ve been ruminating about]

I love reading success books, because they often give me ideas for how to live my life better, how to make a bigger impact. I especially love books that teach you to live your soul purpose and develop your talents, rather than follow the herd.¹

Some success books, and some people, talk a lot about numerical figures. For example: the words “millionaire” and “billionaire.” What do these words mean? Quite simply, they are numbers. We are using numbers to describe people.

To me the words “millionaire” and “billionaire” have very little meaning, because you can’t put a number on success. Was Gandhi a millionaire or billionaire? Was Mother Teresa? If there is a number, it should be the number of people’s lives that you helped change.

If you use your millions or billions to fund your soul purpose, to change the world, to bless other people’s lives, that means something. But to have lucre itself as your end goal is shallow and nihilistic.

1 Such as Garrett Gunderson’s Killing Sacred Cows.


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