The outside observer looking at what I have been able to accomplish over the years might agree that I have been blessed with an abundance of outward success. But I tend to view life from a much different vantage point. Whereas the outward success is the result of God’s blessings, the true blessing is the vantage point from which I view my life’s work, and all the opportunities and challenges that comes along with it.
I like to call this vantage point the 60-foot view. Most people in life walk along and see only the first level. We notice the storefronts and the people in front of us on the street as we walk by. We see the traffic signs and the buses and the cars. And for most of us, taking it all in at the street level is the best we can do. But things look completely different from sixty feet in the air. You not only see the cars, but you can also see the flow of traffic. You are able to make decisions about where to turn and what route to take in a much more efficient manner than the everyday commuter.
I may not be the smartest, or most well-connected or even the wealthiest person in my circle of friends and business associates. But what does set me apart – and what I believe accounts for the majority of my outward success – is the moral ‘wealth’ I have accumulated over a lifetime of moral striving. This starts with the choices we make every day. It is the choice not to always give in to sexual temptation. It is the choice to value integrity, loyalty, and trust above all else, as well as avoid substances like drugs and alcohol that can weaken one’s moral resolve. All of these choices grow your moral bank account, and elevate you above the streets-eye view of life.
The accumulation of wealth and elevation of perspective that inevitably result from moral striving is not obvious at first. Moral wealth may not always pay immediate dividends. In fact, striving morally my even appear to put one at a disadvantage initially, as others without such scruples appear to get ahead of the game. But where moral wealth really earns its value is during the storms of life. It is during the storms of life, when things are difficult, that the moral bank account really comes in handy. These storms can take the form of business challenges, economic recessions and even technological changes that challenge existing assumptions in business. More than likely though, the storms will come in the form of more personal challenges. You may confront situations involving your own character that you may not have been prepared to deal with. Or there could be people close to you who are going through challenging times and it affects you deeply.