In the United States, the concept of “Jonesing” is well established – eyeballing our neighbors to check out their purchases so we can outdo our “opponents.” This highly competitive and individualistic tendency unfortunately does not end with possession envy.
Unhappy with our phenotype and dissatisfied with our talents, we sometimes desire those of others – with the tragic consequence of depleting our own energy which, if focused on self-development, could result in an end product that would surprise (not only ourselves) but the objects of our jaundiced eye.
Our true purpose cannot be fulfilled through covetous wanting. Lately, have you taken inventory to discover at which activities you excel? Are you, in Maslow’s terms, moving toward “self-actualization?” In the classic career primer “What Color is Your Parachute,” Bolles explains the importance of finding what pleases us.
But unearthing it is not necessarily the pathway to nirvana. In his NY Times bestseller The Road to Character (a case study on “how to be good”) Brooks suggests that our primary focus on resume building does not build qualities that people will discuss (or even remember) at our demise.
No one is ever eulogized for the amount of money they made during their lifetime. While it’s desirable to find a vocation that at once fuels and ignites our passion, the pursuit of this goal should be secondary. We should instead spend as much time crafting our character as we do our professional profiles and successional plan.