Do you realize that you have an innate desire to live a life that is significant, and leave a legacy that outlives you?
If you don’t, then you may keep running on adrenaline, chasing the next thing – hoping it will bring you the satisfaction you are looking for and the answer to the question: How do I make a difference?
After selling PayPal for $1.5 billion, the 32 year-old co-founder, Max Levchin, still couldn’t turn off his drive to succeed, and started a new company. I was fascinated when his fiancé got part of it right, telling a New York Times reporter on camera that it’s not about the money for him, it’s about the competition within him. However, Max himself diagnosed his own disease.
Max: “On a grand scale I worry about being irrelevant. That is sorta my number one concern in life is I don’t want to wake up and be in this sorta ‘Where-Are-They-Now’ file.”
Most successful people are unconsciously trying to prove something to someone. As we read in Week 11 of Clarity, it is a constant searching after the answer to the question, “Do I have what it takes?” and a desperate run from the fear, “What if I am found out?”
In short, we have a deep wound of insignificance: the feeling of having little or no meaning, value, or importance just as I am. The only way we feel worthy is when we keep producing, keep selling, keep moving – with the hope that one day we will achieve enough to stop having to prove ourselves to the unknown voice in our head. Mr. Levchin discovered that $1.5 billion isn’t enough. What is?
I suggest that we start from the inside out. When we settle the issues inside of us, we usually accomplish so much more with so much less – and also give to our spouse, our kids, our neighbors, and the world.
Good for Max Levchin for speaking truth on what he is really after: a relevant, meaningful life. I wonder how long he will work 100 hours a week and how many companies he’ll start before he realizes that relevance and significance are only found in what you do in the lives of others, meeting their needs – and many times those are intangible things without price tags.