You would think I would be all about the self-made man, being the creative, artistic sort. And in those areas I am. But the man or woman who thinks they really created themselves and their wealth all by their lonesome are usually overly ego driven and somewhat delusional. They can also tend to think that the ‘self-made’ label excuses them from being kind, respectful, well-mannered and appropriate.
I am reading the biography of Steve Jobs right now. He was brilliant and he was also a jerk. That’s ok, I have been a jerk myself. But the problem comes when a casual reviewer of his life thinks his accomplishments as a self-made man means that his jerkness was ok. That it was important to his success. I don’t believe that to be true. I believe he could have been a success while still being a kind and thoughtful person. Millions of people do it every day.
For every Picasso the jerk there is a Matisse the good. For every Bernie Madoff the criminal there is a Warren Buffett the good. They made their way in the world; making fortunes, families, empires of business and fantastic art all while being kind, respectful and good.
Don’t make your success an excuse for your idiocy and meanness to blossom. You might have an obligation (or obsession) towards your business or creativity. But you have a greater obligation, at least in my mind, to working just as hard to be the good and kind person you truly want to be. Work on that just as hard as your business, be obsessed with that in equal measure, and THEN let them write a book about your greatness.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Anonymous