Self-Made? No. Self-Created? Yes.

by James Strock


Mike Myatt, one of the most respected authorities on leadership, recently wrote an excellent post in Forbes.com: “Self-Made Man—No Such Thing.”

Mike’s fundamental point is presented with force:

“I absolutely reject all the “self-made man” propaganda floating around business circles as patently false. The myth of the self-made person is so ridiculous that it shouldn’t require shattering….While I don’t question for a moment the legendary success of the aforementioned, I do question whether said success was solely a matter of “self.” Behind every success are significant investments and contributions by some if not all of the following people: family, friends, associates, protagonists, antagonists, advisors, teachers, authors, mentors, coaches, and the list could go on”.

Surely that’s right. The ‘self-made man’ myth can be corrosive. Any good it may have in terms of encouraging self-reliance may be overridden by its implicit challenge to humility, gratitude—and reality.

Self-Creation

There is another, separate but related reality: Each of us is creating ourselves with decisions we make minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day.

Various shrewd observers through history—from Abraham Lincoln to Albert Camus to Eleanor Roosevelt—have said that everyone makes their own fact after 40.

Whatever talents and gifts and advantages a person is born with are, over time, overtaken by the cumulative results of how he or she chooses to live.

What About You?

Serve to Lead urges that we live with an awareness of the power we have over our fate. No matter how many demands we face, even in our most challenging moments we have a great capacity to decide how we will interpret and respond.
What is the self that you are creating in the course of your daily living?

–are you learning each day, exercising and strengthening your cognitive capacities?

–are you tending to your physical capacities that underlay all other aspects of your life?

–are you challenging yourself, making use of old muscles (metaphorically as well as physically), and building up underutilized ones?

–do you have a vision of the self you are striving to create?

–are you making progress, measuring progress?

–if not now, when?

James Strock is an author and speaker on 21st century leadership. He serves business, government and not-for-profit organizations. His books include Serve to Lead, Reagan on Leadership, and Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership.  He blogs about leadership, citizenship, and sustainability at www.jamesstrock.com .

Wishing you Success and Prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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