I believe there are seven fundamentals or “benchmarks”
in assessing one’s success in life.
Family: When all
else seems transitory, family is forever. That secure base is vitally
important in the world of ups, downs and uncertainty. It just makes
good sense to give priority to these relationships. Do not jeopardize
family by engaging in unethical behaviour.
The network of friends and associates you develop over your life
will be critical to any success. I believe in the old saying that
“you are assessed on the basis of the friends you keep”.
Finance: The absolute
size of financial numbers is not significant because it depends
on your choice of lifestyle. However, relative financial independence
enhances freedom of philosophy and choice. If your entire objective
is financial success and you do it at the expense of your family,
health or reputation, is it worth it?
Career: A career
in which you can take pride is important because, in the eyes of
many people, it often defines who you are. If career becomes so
important that you give up your friends and hurt your family, there
is a large question mark around how successful you really are.
Health: It is obviously
important to maintain a lifestyle that promotes good health. A positive
attitude and a keen sense of humour are the best defenses I know
against stress. On the other hand, behaving in ways you know are
unprofessional or questionable is one of the fastest ways to negatively
affect your health.
a catch-all phrase that simply refers to all the support systems
around you—your country, city, community, home, workplace,
church, social clubs, charitable associations, family, friends and
Reputation: In my
view, reputation is the sum of your personal integrity and the professional
ethics which you apply in your personal and business affairs. There
is a great temptation in today’s world to take advantage of
situations that may be technically legal, but basically, not ethical.
That practice almost always leads to damaged reputations. In the
final analysis, all you leave behind is your reputation.
The inter-relationships of these benchmarks is very important.
Unless all seven are maintained in a responsible manner and are
balanced against each other, I believe you will not be recognized
as truly successful—at least, not by the Dick Haskayne definition!