I’m big believer in the concept of original thought. While I admire people who can run a business, play an instrument, or perfect a process, I have always been more interested in people who write the music, invent new technology, or essentially have the ability to create something that is totally original. Some of us have been taught that whatever it is we want to accomplish, there is somebody who has already done it, and rather than “reinventing the wheel”, we should just model ourselves after someone who has already accomplished it. Some people believe there is no such thing as original thought and that all ideas are derivative of something that has already been done. I don’t totally disagree, but there is definitely such a thing as originality and it’s unfortunate that we don’t do more to encourage creativity. The greatest contributors to our society are the ones who bring original expression, new business models, and fresh solutions to our lives. They are also among the most successful. Two books that I like on the subject of business creativity are The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry, and Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Making money is important, but I firmly believe if we dedicate our careers to solving problems and making other people’s lives better, not only will we be more successful, we will be happier in the process…
Discover why happiness comes from solving problems.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.
We live in a capitalistic society. Economics drives everything. We work hard and we have more money to provide for our families and do the things we want. But what actually makes us happy? Some of us spend our lives looking for that answer and never find it. Some look for it in church, others pay life coaches, and some think the more money they have the happier they will be.
I teach my kids that they can do anything if they put their minds to it and do the work. I also teach them that life isn’t always fair, but you can’t let that deter you. I think we all try to teach our kids the value of grit and hard work. For most people, success is about perseverance and overcoming obstacles.