There are No Guarantees

by Chris Widener

I just read the following story in the Washington Post about four members of a Forbes 400 list:

“Four of last year’s billionaires were wiped out entirely – Swiss shareholder activist Martin Ebner, German media tycoon Leo Kirch, Brazilian television mogul Roberto Marinho and Turkish banker Mehmet Karamehmet.”

Amazing. One year you have over one billion dollars and the next year – poof! – it’s gone. WOW!

So what does that mean? Well, for one it means that your one million could go too. Or your $100,000, or your $50,000.

“That sounds kind of hopeless Chris.”

Not at all. I am not suggesting that we should in any way give up the pursuit of success. I just think we need to understand that there are no guarantees in this life and we should hold all things loosely. The harder you hold on to things, the harder it is for you when you see them go. Wealth and achievement are fine and should be pursued, but they are not the most important things in life, and they can go as quickly as they came. As the old saying goes, “Easy come, easy go.” So what should be our perspective?

I think there are a few things we should keep in mind as we pursue success while understanding that there are no guarantees.

Give it all you have! Above all, give your life everything you have. Go for broke! Try it all, and reach for your dreams. Get to the end of your life knowing you didn’t hold back.

When you get it, hold it loosely. The tighter you hold on to something the more it is blown out of perspective and the more dangerously close to an unhealthy idol it becomes in your life. And the harder it is when it goes. We should enjoy the things we have, whether it is fortune or achievement, but they should not be our whole life.

Keep the best things in life as central. Money isn’t the best thing in life. Neither is achievement. Those things are merely means to an end, not the ends themselves. The true riches of life are people, friends, family, character, faith and the like. Make sure you give these things the proper place they deserve. For example, don’t give up your family to get wealth, because one day your wealth may be gone, and when you return to your family, it may be too.

Share. When you achieve success, share with others. I mean, if it is going to go away, you may as well distribute a little to others before it goes! When you get, give. When you have, distribute. Who knows, if you ever lose it all, one of those friends you gave to may be the one to help you back on your way.

Some of you may say, “Chris you aren’t being appositive thinker.” I sure am! But I am also being realistic. Think of those four billionaires. Had you met them two years ago and walked through their swank offices and mansions you would have thought they were the greatest possibility thinkers on the planet! Maybe they were. But what are they now? BROKE.

There are no guarantees in this life. We should live each day as though it may be the last. Enjoy it to the fullest and plan for what we will do if we are given a tomorrow. If good things come we should enjoy them. If bad days come, we should enjoy them too. It is all part of life and its processes.

Go for all you can but don’t sacrifice the good things to get it – and when you do get it, hold it loosely – because there are no guarantees in this life.

Chris Widener is a popular speaker and author who has shared the podium with US Presidents, helping individuals and organizations succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams. Join subscribers in over 100 countries for a free weekly success eZine by clicking here.