What do you think of when you hear the word prosperity? Money? Wealth? Influence? I’d probably think of the same sort of things too. It’s a word that is tied to the furtherance of material wealth, to people who ‘have it made’. Often the word is linked with one specific person or with the success of a specific company, charity, or organisation, with the CEO or brand representative. But today I saw this word prosperity from a different perspective. It wasn’t from the glorious end product, it was from the early stages of development. The struggle, endeavour, uncertainty or early beginnings. The truth that was brought to me again today is that genuine prosperity cannot be attained without surrendering control. Not just in business. But in life too.
I’m a perfectionist
Well, sort of. I always say, if you’re going to do a job, do it well the first time. I don’t like having to do things twice, to go back and re-do a job that could have been done better the first time around. As a result this makes me a bit of a perfectionist with certain tasks. I can appear controlling and have seemingly very high standards. This is because I was raised to do a job well. Both my parents displayed the behaviour of diligence to tasks which resulted in a high quality finished product, regardless of the task at hand. As such, I have learned this behaviour myself.
I am however aware that many people don’t share my behaviour and are not so worried about high standards. An example of this is when we moved into the home we bought last year. It’s our first home buy which means we can alter and decorate as we please. However, I noticed the more we paid attention to the little details, the more we realised the very different standards we had to the previous owner. The level of finish, the sloppy workmanship, the standards of cleanliness. All of these things are of course fixable, but it served to highlight that we can have a certain expectation of how we believe things should be, but often are not.
This often makes doing certain things in life somewhat of a challenge for me. My expectations are often unmet because my standard is different to another’s. It has certainly been something my husband John and I have had to work through in our marriage. We were brought up very differently and therefore have varying expectations and standards that we work towards. But more than that, we have discovered what we find important will receive different levels of attention. This may seem an obvious statement, but it can cause strife when one partner isn’t giving a task the attention the other believes it requires. This is when my controlling side can rear it’s ugly head and an argument of some sort could ensue.
Recently, however, we have been getting better at understanding one another’s perspectives and learning to be more mindful of each other. This week for example we were painting our kitchen cabinets. We easily delegated the finicky details to me, and the bigger, easier sections to John. Together we are learning to trust each other better. We are recognising strengths within each other, and accepting that my standards, although seemingly perfectionism personified, are okay when I don’t expect John to perform my way. By allowing each other to shine where we can, we can get along with life more peaceably.
Together, in this way, prosperity becomes achievable. If I was to be bull-headed and demand things be done my way, John would leave me to do it myself. I would be setting unrealistic expectations upon him and harmony would disappear. Plus, it would have taken me twice as long to complete the task and I would have felt abandoned to a task we should have been sharing. By acceding control and trusting each other to do our bit, we prospered in our task together.
We must surrender control
Control is one of those illusions that most of the world lives under. We strive to control all that we can so that we feel steadier in our path through life. Yes we should aim for stability, yes we should take responsibility for what is in our lives. But that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone. People who learn to delegate, to share the load, find better balance and prosperity in what they do. People who try to do it all themselves, who cannot see past their own sphere of vision, will burn out and find themselves alienated.
How do you think any successful person finds prosperity in what they do? Because they surround themselves with people they trust, people who are willing to share their vision, share the load.
The path to greatness consists of having a strong and genuine desire, a good purpose, and good company along the way.
Peter Economy @BIZZWRITER
That old phrase no man is an island is so true. We need people around us to help us prosper in life. It’s not about the financial gain. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who support you, build you up, believe in your vision, and are willing to walk with you along your path. But in order for prosperity to blossom in your life, you have to surrender your control and let them live, work, and prosper, alongside you. So choose wisely. Choose faithful people, those you can trust, people with the same work ethic and drive. And then chase it together.
We were made for community
As I said above, prosperity isn’t just about business and economics. Prosperity comes into it’s own when we recognise that it isn’t possible without others around you. We were made for community, to be a part of a collective. But not just any collective. One in which you feel a part of, connected to, and able to apply yourself with. That’s how any relationship works and prospers be it professional, romantic, friendship, or family. Any relationship will break down if there is no shared vision or understanding. It will also be unsuccessful if we try to be controlling within it. Control leads to resentment, to suppression and is the antithesis of prosperity.
So in order to make the most of the communities we are a part of, and should be part of, we must surrender the control we feel we need in order to let it flourish and prosper. Let people bring their strengths to the table, let them express their opinions and ideas and be who they are. You will discover the hidden beauty of who they are and grow to appreciate them all the more, thus allowing prosperity to bloom in what you are setting out to achieve, be it related to business or otherwise.
When it’s not a fit
Sometimes, we need to recognise when we don’t fit in with a certain vision, or when someone else isn’t sharing your vision. Prosperity will not occur if someone is working against you, your vision, or is just not on board with what you are trying to achieve. This is completely natural. People will not automatically land where they are a best fit first time in life, with any kind of relationship. Often times we need to dip our toe in the water and see how it feels. If it’s not just right, we need to take the experiences we have gained, learn from them and seek our place elsewhere.
Similarly, if we see that someone else isn’t right for us, be it professional or personal, we need to take the hard decision to end that relationship and encourage them to find the right fit elsewhere. This is not a bad thing, but is often a difficult one. It requires tact and compassion, but is necessary if either party are to find prosperity in their lives. If a vision is not shared, it will only lead to disappointment on both sides.
Be observant, be realistic, but be kind. To yourself, and others.
Build each other up
Not only is it important to recognise a shared vision in the people you surround yourself with, no matter how big or small, it is also important to not only encourage the talents and strengths in others but to praise them for it too. So often prosperity fails when we forget to recognise the good deeds and strengths in others. It’s easy to feel resentful or jealous of other’s abilities, but it is so much better to rejoice in what they can do and what they achieve. We can be a part of their success when we embrace them and use their talents.
Jealousy kills prosperity. We either push people away because we wish we had what they had and our resentment sends them packing. Or we shun them and their abilities by not recognising and praising them which leaves them feeling wasted, unused and unfulfilled. This quashes their creative spark. Either way, jealousy is a form of control. We see something we want and seek to control our world by doing something in reaction to what we are jealous of. Prosperity then fails through our own actions.
So build each other up. Rejoice in each other’s gifts. Allow people to shine at what they do best and together you will find prosperity far more easily, and more joyously, than if you try to control everything yourself.
I do hope that you will find this encouraging in your life. It’s not easy relinquishing control, especially with things that are so important to you. It’s a lesson we all must learn in all aspects of our lives, but is one we can start small with. When we realise the freedom we feel when we allow others to be a part of what we are doing, we embrace a whole universe of unknowns that add colour, vitality and beauty to our own world.
Prosperity isn’t just the end product of our vision, it’s the glorious journey along the way too.
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