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How to reach success

Lessons from the advice of a billionaire




Wow, impressive, isn't it? Inspiring? Not so much.


This guy's testimony is a wonderful example of the archetype of success in the orange paradigm. In Frederic Laloux' s adaptation of Ken Wilber's stages to workplaces, the orange paradigm describes the dominant set of beliefs and value system in the corporate world today. When you see the world with orange glasses, organizations have to compete with one another to survive. Success is mainly measured by the degree of wealth, material possessions and power an individual holds in an organization. Money and power go hand in hand, and most members see their career as a race to climb the hierarchy ladder as fast as possible, in an urge to possess and reign as much and large as possible. Sounds familiar?


The problem with this vision of success is that it separates. It creates a boundary, a distance between those who 'make it' to 'have it' and those who don't. For some very few to be winners, there need to be a whole bunch of losers. If you want to win, it means that consciously or not, you also want others to lose. I believe this is the wrong direction. And I'm not the only one. Research now shows that if we allow the rich to get richer, it doesn't have any impact on the poor's income. The trickle-down effect is a legend that has been proven wrong by systematic measurement. We cannot all possess 500M€. There is only a finite amount of money or material possessions that we can have, as a whole ecosystem stuck (for now) on one planet. If I have more, you have less. Can't we find another game to play?


It's time that we go for an infinite game, with no finish line. A game where collaboration, compassion, and sharing are the mark of success. A game where the central values are not ones of competition and opposition, but of contribution and togetherness. A game where I flourish if you flourish. Where I grow when I give.


Of course, this guy has some good points. Here is one: "You will never achieve anything greater than your highest aspiration". I believe in that. Then what about we set infinite highest aspirations? My highest aspiration is to contribute to make a world where love, help and understanding is at the core of any business. My highest aspiration is to see a world freed from avidity, greed, and anger. To transcend oppositions so that we realize that there is a simpler way to live, to organize, to contribute. I know we can get there. And I believe that our actions make a difference. Are you in ?

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