We Need to Build Up Our Lives and Not Just Our CVs

  • Published on:
    August 7, 2016
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We need to learn no matter how many times life will tread on you, life will crumple you, life will scrunch you, and life will squeeze you, you will always keep your value.

A university professor started of his class by picking out of his back pocket a 20-pound note. And in this lecture hall of about 200 people he asked, ‘’How many of you would like this note?” Naturally, all 200 hands went up. He said, ‘’interesting’’. He then said, ‘’Before I let you have it, let me ask you this question’’. He took the note and folded it in half twice, and then he said, ‘’ How many of you want this note?’’

Still, 200 hands went up. Now he said, ‘’Let me try something else’’. He took the note and he crumpled it. And he said, how many of you want this note now?’’ Still, 200 hands went up. Finally, he chucked the note on the floor. He screwed it with his shoe and crumpled it even more, picked it back up, now with dirt, and said, ‘’How many of you want this note?’’

All 200 hands were still up. He said, ‘’Today, you’ve learned an important lesson. No matter how much I crumpled that note, how much I scrunched it up, how many times it was trodden on, you still wanted it, because it was still worth 20-pound’’ ‘’In the same way that that 20-pound note held its value. So do you.’’ No matter how many times life will tread on you, life will crumple you, life will scrunch you, and life will squeeze you, you will always keep your value. That spark within us all of bliss, knowledge, and eternity that exists. That spark will never be taken away. Our value is not created by the price of our clothes or our bank balance or the job title that we have. See, we should be building life and not just building our CVs.

In the middle of 2009, he was the software engineer that no one wanted to hire. He had 12 years of experience at Yahoo, but he was rejected by Facebook and then rejected by Twitter. He’d been to a great university. He had a great CV. But he decided to team up with one of his alumni members at Yahoo and started to create an app. And focus on the start-up space. In five years’ time, he sold that app. For $19 billion to Facebook. Believe it or not that was Brian Acton. The co-founder of whatsapp. When he was rejected from Facebook he said it was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people and look forward to life’s next adventure. When he was rejected by Twitter, he responded by saying, ‘’Worked out it was quite a long commute.’’  It’s so interesting to see that someone rejected from two of the top internet companies actually responded with humor and actually responded with positivity.

This lady was diagnosed with clinical depression. Her marriage had failed, and she was jobless with a dependent child. She was on a four-hour delayed train journey from Manchester to London when she came up with this idea. And she started to write, this book about this wizard. And as she started writing, she then finished her manuscript, took it to 12 publishers, and was rejected by all 12. Believe it or not that’s J.K. Rowling.

This man watched his first company crumble. He was a Harvard University dropout and his first company’s demo didn’t even work. He went on to build Microsoft. His name’s Bill Gates. Therefore, failure is just a sign. That we need to widen our scope.

We need to be ready and build ourselves up for the next level. Actually what we end up achieving is far greater than what we’d envisioned for ourselves. And this divine plan, this orchestration can’t be happening without this intervention that occurs, because if we had it our way, we’d just settle. We’d just accept what we thought was our goal. What we thought we were chasing. But actually I’ve noticed that when you don’t get that, later down the line you look back and you reflect and realize that what you’ve gained is so much greater.

Failures are only failures when we don’t learn from them because when we learn from them they become lessons. And we actually extrapolate all of these teachings. And actually get more insight into how we can improve the way we work and how we can actually drive with a different energy. The challenge we have is that we only talk about people’s failures when they succeed. And that’s why they become this taboo, or we feel like their failures never happened.

We need to share these stories earlier. We need to bring out these stories and experiences on the journey so that people who are on the journey can actually follow in those footsteps. And that’s why Steve Jobs said, ‘’You can’t connect the dots moving forward. You only can when you’re looking backwards.’’

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