While circling around the Arc de Triumph in Paris, I had realized peace and clarity are not just found in the lush green meadows of the Alps. Peace is in the beauty that is always around us.
Twelve different roads, including Avenue des Champs-Elysees, terminate at Place Charles de Gaulle, the 10 lane wide road that tightly circles the Arc.
This is a busy intersection.
As I entered the roundabout, the chaos, confusion and stress of fighting for a position with thousands of other cars vanished when I realized, Wow- I’m in Paris, a place with deep history and beauty at every turn of my head.
Life is like this.
We are programmed to keep our eye on the ball, to play by the rules and to obey authority. The people who live in the moment, break the rules and challenge authority are viewed in 1 of two lights. They are problem makers or problem solvers, a Lindsey Lohan or a Steve Jobs.
There is a very fine line between problem makers and problem solvers.
I am beginning to believe that the more I am drawn to a stressful situation or the more challenging I find an individual, the more beauty, peace and genius there is around it. I just have to shift my focus to see it.
It is hard to argue that hard work is a key ingredient to success. But it is not THE key ingredient. Success is defined in many different ways. I define it simply as this- Are you choosing your day or is it being chosen for you. Do you see the hidden beauty in chaos or do you just feel stress. You need not focus solely on what you are driving towards. Pay attention to the scenery along the way. There are lots of lessons, and talented people along the way.
If hard work is not the key ingredient to success, what is?
The people you chose to surround yourself with are more important than the goal you seek, the effort you put towards your goal or the tenacity you drive it with. While a clear vision, hard work and relentless drive are essential to achieving success, it is impossible to accomplish with the wrong people.
If your business is chaotic, look around for people who are peaceful. Hire your weakness, hire people smarter then you.
David Ogilvy is considered to be one of the greatest ad men ever. Back in the early 60’s he gave new managers a Russian babushka doll. Opening the nesting dolls, each smaller than the one before, the manager would find a message typed on a piece of paper inside the tiniest doll: “If you hire people who are smaller than you are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If you hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants.” Today his advertising empire is the 2nd largest in the world.
Always be looking for people that will lift the others around them. This gift may exist in people you already have, but if you are too caught up in the chaos to see it, they will disappear. Some go to your competitor where they can expose their gift and other stay on your payroll and let it burn out.
Find the beauty and let it let it blossom. Peace and success will follow.