What Is Not Yours To Keep?

What do you want to achieve?

If it’s all about the money, the corner office itself, I think you’ll be miserable.

If all you want to do is work, for however noble a reason, and you wait for the appointment, you will not be as happy as you can be. The boss needs to know you want more responsibility, and the opportunity to do more, and that you are ambitious.

Test yourself with a healthy achievement… the true path to satisfaction.

Knowing what you want to achieve in this life is half the battle. Mapping a plan to reach your achievement(s) is fairly straightforward, but then you just gotta go for it.

Professional goals are satisfying to have, but it is a lonely life if that is all you want.

When you’re gone, what will you have achieved?

Will it even matter that you had the last cubicle on the left, or the corner office?

Will it be more important to your peace of mind that you coached that team, wrote that book, or started that business in your kitchen? Or that you worked like a donkey for a fair paycheck, but that turning out the office lights every night garnered derision instead of recognition?

Appointments, achievements, accomplishments.

The corner office, learning to play the guitar, or getting that master’s degree. Which is more fun? Which holds the promise of potential advancement? What cannot be taken away? Which is not yours to keep?

Yes, I am splitting a hair with achievement vs. accomplishment. The subtle point is that playing the guitar is an achievement which must be exercised to continue maintaining the skill, while getting the degree is the fulfillment of the achievement of hard study and good habits. Both are yours to either put on the mantle or tuck under your arm and run with ‘em.

Achievements and accomplishments can never be taken away, but appointments can. The corner office will get filled the moment you leave it, and don’t think people will be singing ballads to your great leadership.

Write down what you have achieved and accomplished. Know what is yours to keep… these things will define you for all time, whether good or bad.

Although the last cubicle on the left is just a job, it doesn’t look so important right now when measured against your life’s achievements.

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(c) 2019 Kevin Horgan, www.corps2corporate.com

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FROM THE CORPS TO CORPORATE and Points in Between... is a series of personal musings using the Leadership Principles and Qualities of the USMC, through my eyes and experiences.  I had a wide variety of successes and failures both large and small, and perhaps you will see yourself or others in the opinions herein.

I am a retired UPSer, having spent a fast 33 years with the organization.  I served in management positions in engineering, operations, and as an attorney in real estate.  I started law school

and loading trucks for Big Brown on the same day in 1984.

Before UPS, I served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.

That experience was the great privilege of my life.

I was nothing special:  I deployed, but was never shot at!

I have written two historical novels on the Civil War, THE MARCH OF THE 18TH, and THE MARCH OF THE ORPHANS.

(See www.kevinhorganbooks.com).


I have a political blog using a fictional character that spanned from January to August 2019. (See www.ourcultureinchoate.com) 

If you like this work, please share.  Your comments are always welcome!