As the CEO of a corporation walked down the hall towards his office, he saw a familiar face. “Joe!” he said as he greeted the man delivering the morning’s interoffice mail.
“How are you Mike?” responded Joe with a warm handshake. “It’s been a while.”
The two men happily exchanged pleasantries and caught up on how the years had passed.
Then Joe paused and said, “Mike, can I ask you something? You and I started working here at the same time down in the mail room so many years ago. Working for mere dollars a day but we were young and I was so excited to get that paycheck each week. So how is it, all this time later, I’m still in the mail room and here you are with the big corner office?”
“Well,” responded Mike, “all those many years ago, you came to work for the paycheck. I came to work for the company.”
I heard this story many years ago and it has stuck with me. The moral of it can be applied to many aspects of our lives. When we are in school, are we attending classes simply for the credit or are we really looking to learn from it? When we are in a relationship, are we in it for comfort’s sake or are we trying to build each other up? When we take a job or a new position is it because of the bump in pay or because it presents a challenge we can grow from?
The outside world cannot truly assign a right or wrong answer to these personal questions. But if we are honest with ourselves, discovering our true motivations will give us a clearer understanding of the results we see.