In contemplating what has been the prime motivation or philosophy for myself and my business enterprises over the last thirty years, I have realize that the quest to create a successful enterprise and a respected reputation have been my primary goals. These long term goals were the gift and the responsibility laid on to me by my father who had this same gift and responsibility placed on him forty years earlier by his father.
I was fortunate in that my primary goals were so understandable. Many individuals, the vast majority, need to primarily work to “make money”. My father and I both entered a going family business with a tradition of ethics, but most importantly, a business that was not struggling to survive the day to day financial worries most people face. I was assured many times, although there was frequent self-doubt, that if I was primarily honest and secondarily careful, conservative, patient, and well educated, all the rest of the things necessary would fall into place. What my grandfather told my father and what my father told me has proven itself correct both times. Maybe there is something very special about taking the honest path.
Every day comes with opportunities to take the easy route, the quick buck, or take a dishonest direction. When you have to decide each time to take the correct path, rather than the wrong one, your life is full of indecision. However, if you practice taking the right path as much as humanly possible, your way becomes less confusing as you age. The honest path is a clear one, especially when the other alternatives are so infrequently taken. Since the process of making choices is so reduced by knowing which direction you are going to go in, you can simply get to where you want to go without a lot of false starts and off the path treks that don’t lead to a desired result.
When you have made the decision to let honesty be your main guide everyone around you; friends, relatives and employees, all know which way to mesh and work with you. There will be less strife and much less misunderstanding. With the honest outlook you can allow the process of becoming careful, conservative patient, and well educated to proceed as time and circumstances allow. It does not happen overnight, but if you have the ability to learn, time and effort will give you these secondary attitudes and achievements.
We live in a time where honesty seemingly has lost its appeal where the powerful have often risen to high status by taking alternative routes to apparent success. One must keep in mind the fragility of success and power built on a false and weak foundation. In due course, the corrupt have always sunken to their true level in history even if not in their own lifetime. False markets have built vast wealth, but from time to time we see the weakness of their underpinnings. Time will, no doubt, let us see what the actual value of these vast markets really amounts to.
All the job training, education, desire, and talent in the world will not get the dishonest individual very far in the long run. We see this in our daily lives and can read about it in the historical records. The world may be quickly changing, but certain elements of our lives are invariable.