This is a picture of a referee from a football youth league in Kenya in Africa.
Earlier this year I gave away all my football trophies to the league.
A box full of trophies I’d won during a winning streak in the 1990s with a super team. At one point, these trophies proudly sat in a cabinet in my lounge.
But 10 years on, I see them as just bits of metal. Today, I place a much higher value on the stories, the memories and the friendships I built up during the football tournaments instead of the trophies themselves.
What’s more, knowing how kids in Africa are crazy about football (soccer) – it gave me a huge buzz knowing that those “bits of metal” will be like pure gold to the kids in Kenya. A buzz which felt almost as good as winning the trophies.
If you think about it, this is exactly what happens during the lifetime of our careers too:
1. You spend years chasing after trophies (job titles, promotions, pay rises and bonuses)
2. You win some, lose some and collect plenty of bruises along the way
3. But at the end of your career, you’ll treasure the stories and memories far more than the trophies and titles
4. And ultimately, you’ll achieve a sense of meaning when you start giving away some of your trophies. (If you don’t believe me, just look at what Bill Gates is doing).
So as you reflect on 2010, be sure to reflect on more than just the trophies you won (or lost) this year.
Your true success and joy lies in the stories, the lessons and friendships you gained this year.
And ultimately, your success will not be measured by the things you acquired in 2010, but by the contribution and impact you made on the businesses, clients and people you worked with this year.