Constant & Never Ending Improvement

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” John Wooden

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. As I meander along this weeks blog ask yourself this very simple question, “Are you searching for constant progression or perfection?” According to my good friend Merriam-Webster progress is defined as, “A forward or onward movement toward an objective or a goal.” With that being said, what is your end goal for 2017 and beyond?

Throughout the past hundred plus years who have we defined as leaders and geniuses in the marketplace? Thomas Edison cracks the Top 5! Without his innovation and struggles we would be sitting by candles and fires right now. Judging by the fact that it’s about twenty degrees here in Philadelphia maybe we could use a working fireplace and lantern!

Moreover, Albert Einstein’s work with the theory of relatively and E=MC² surely tops this list. His ability to explain abstract concepts to the public was remarkable! I’m still working on that one as we speak…

Who else comes to mind? Nikola Tesla, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, The Wright Brothers and Benjamin Franklin definitely have molded this nation since it’s inception.

More recently individuals like Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Elon Musk have made a dent on the Internet, space travel to Mars and the electric car industry. So you may be asking yourself right now, “What point are you trying to hit home on?”

Regardless of the sectors all of these people invented, or are still innovating, they’ve relentlessly focused on solving problems and creating a better world than the one that exists today. Your sole goal here should be to search for constant progression, not perfection.

No matter how successful we become we all deal with disappointment, frustration, failure, and certain events in our environments that we can’t control. In retrospect, the only things we really have control over are 1) our thoughts, 2) our decisions, and 3) our value systems.

As you’re moving-toward discovering your own value system (if you haven’t already) I believe it would be helpful if I elaborated on mine. For a while now I’ve been crystallizing the reason why I do the things I do. I wholeheartedly believe it’s associated to the following values listed below:

  1. Family
  2. Health
  3. Freedom
  4. Personal Growth
  5. Adventure
  6. Passion
  7. Happiness
  8. Love
  9. Finances/Investing
  10. Power of Contribution

Once you know what your values are, you can clearly understand why you head in the directions that you do on a consistent basis. Also, by visualizing your values, you can see why sometimes you have difficulty making gut-wrenching or split second decisions or why there may be conflicts in your life.

Knowing your own values helps you gain clarity as to why you do what you do and how you can live more consistently, but knowing the values of others is equally crucial. Might it be valuable to know the values of someone you’re in a relationship with, or somebody you’re running a successful business with?

Understanding a person’s values gives you a fix on their compass, and allows you to have insight into their decision making process. More importantly (and this is 100% alright too), your values will change overtime with experience, turning points in life and other milestones.

As an example, after coming out of W&J College and landing a job in financial services here in Philadelphia in May 2015 all I was truly fixated on was generating money in order to start paying back my student loans. Boy did I have this one backwards!

Unfortunately, this wasn’t in line with the bigger picture. Which, at the end of the day, is my family, health and freedom (time and financial freedom).

Knowing what I know now, which isn’t a lot as we wrap up 2016, I’m looking to seriously build upon values 4 — 7 throughout the duration of 2017 and beyond.

By raising myself through reading more books and listening to more audios I’ll continue to gain valuable insights from successful business tycoons and entrepreneurs. The thrill and excitement of traveling and having more adventures with business and friends is something I’m very much so looking forward to. And lastly, the passion of my life’s work and internal happiness I create is always going to be better than the money.

At the end of the day life’s a daring adventure or virtually nothing at all so I seriously hope this was helpful to get a snippet of my value system and understand a portion of my reason why.

Write down what you’re truly passionate about because I guarantee you that Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Larry Page, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and millions of others have done this at a crucial point in their lives too. Their successes were either directly or indirectly linked to their value systems.

By drastically changing, monitoring their value systems, failing forward and changing for the better these pioneers set out for constant and never ending improvement in their personal lives, family situations, professional careers, overall health and vitality, financial situations and their ability to contribute to a cause greater than themselves.

For things to change for you, you have to change. I promise, YOU CAN DO IT!

My Very Best,

Donovan Vogel

Written by

Philadelphia based teaching financial literacy | Prospering all other hours | Writer | Lifter | Reader | Traveler | Freedom & Wellness

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