At a recent family gathering my 12-year old nephew asked me, "Daniel, why is your house twice as big as everyone in our family?"
Deeply startled by his question, I realized that he was right. How did I have a house that was twice as big as everyone in my whole entire extended family?
After deep introspection, I thought about the times when a dozen of us were cramped into a small, two-bedroom apartment. Since my youth, I knew I wanted a home big enough to host my big family. This purposed was engrained far before I even knew what I wanted!
People always ask me, “Daniel, what separates you from other people?” There’s one answer that keeps playing in my mind:
In the midst of dozens of family members, I began to study each one. I wondered, "What have they achieved? What have they done for humanity? What was their greatest achievement in life? When they are gone from this world, what will they be remembered for?"
After inspecting each family member, I noticed that most of them had never achieved notable success. Some of them have had claims to fame. Few of them have served a massive amount of people. However, none of them were great achievers. They haven’t contributed much to society and had little to show for it.
Your wealth is the sum total of your entire contribution to society.
Perhaps they did in their own mind. The majority came from a foreign 3rd-world country, which could be considered a success. Others had held a job for twenty years. Another person donates 50% of her monthly income to the church. One person had eight children. But were these earth shattering successes? Did they dramatically improve the world?
That night, it dawned on me that this was the best question I could ask myself:
What did I produce in my lifetime?
This question could change your life. if you look at your entire life, you'll realize that you've either done a lot or not enough. It's black or white. There's no gray area. You either served many people or you didn't.
When I talk to elderly people (Over 70 Years), I find that they usually regret one thing: They didn't take enough risks. In short, they didn't get enough done for a multitude of reasons.
Now there could be four major objections:
The family person could say: "you can never spend enough time with your family." But did we say you had to sacrifice all your family time to reach your goals?
The broke, but 'happy' person could say, "Money doesn't make you happy." They could have had a happy life because they spent all the money they earned with the people they love.
The materialistic over-achiever could also say "those who die with the most toys win." Yes, he or she could have achieved much, but material wealth doesn't always determine success and happiness.
The disadvantaged person might say, "I was born in a 3rd world country/didn't have the time or resources/didn't have the health." But who said they couldn't produce bountifully, even with these obstacles in life?
Regardless of all these objections, the main question the world will ask us is "What did YOU produce?" The world won't care about your family, your money, your status, your predicament, or anything else.
The world will ask you, "What did you produce?" -Daniel Ally
For instance, if you don't work, you don't eat. It doesn't matter where you are. However, if you were disadvantaged in some way, the world would consider the circumstance and favor you in some way. History has proven this through the lives of millions of people.
Moreover, external circumstances will never stop the real achiever. It's more about what you do internally. For instance, saving money is the same, no matter where you are in the world. So is writing your goals on paper or making major decisions in life. It's what you do with what you have that makes you successful.
What have you produced in your life? What did you do for others? How did you serve on a higher level? Degrees, awards, promotions, and certificates can count, but only if they've helped you to serve on a higher level.
List your achievements on paper right now. What products did you create? What services