It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles. – Niccolò Machiavelli
What does that mean?
Think about it for a moment. When you are given a title or an award, is that thing honoring you? Or would it be more appropriate to say that you were honoring the title or award with your actions? Would a title have any value if it was given out to practically anyone for almost any little thing?
To me, that shows that the title does not honor the person, as the title is only worth what everyone has put into them. Thus, I would say the people honor the title, by being worthy of them. While the title may have requirements to attain it (and help in the prevention of dilution of the honor), it is only a reflection of what the recipients of the title have done.
Why is being worthy important?
While this may sound like a chicken and egg problem, it is a real world issue. In school, how much is an ‘A’ worth in a class where everyone gets an ‘A’? In Boy Scouts, how valuable would making Eagle be if they gave them out to everyone who showed up?
Being worthy of a title, to me, is far more valuable than the actual title. In my heart, with or without the title, I know that I was worthy. The title is the icing on the cake, as it were. The honor exists more for other people, so that they know what I have earned. Becoming someone worthy of the title is far more valuable than the title itself.
Where can I apply this in my life?
What kind of awards have you won in your life? Awards for attendance, sports, academics, activities, sportsmanship, or anything else? How about since then? Would being called someone’s best friend be considered a title that honors you? I think it would, would you?
Now I don’t want this to turn into some kind of title-chase, where you set your sights on certain titles or awards solely for the purpose of attaining them. The idea is to become someone worthy of the title, then if you get noticed and win it, so much the better. Again, the journey is far more important than the destination.
What titles, honors, or awards are there that mean something to you? Do you want to have a car worthy of an award at a show or a race? Do you want to be voted ‘#1 Dad’ in your family? Do you want to be recognized as the employee of the month at your company? If you own the company, do you want to be recognized by the community as being the best at what you do?
Grab some paper and write down four or five titles, honors, or awards of which you want to become worthy. For each, take a moment and determine what you would have to do in order to be worthy of the title. Take a moment and write a few of these things down.
Now, for each of titles, honors, or awards, think about what you as a person, part of a group, or as a company, would have to become to be worthy of the title. What would have to change? What parts would have to grow, become better, stronger, or more useful, in order to get there?
Write down a few of the more interesting or useful changes on your paper. Are there any which require similar growth from you? When I did an exercise like this several years ago, all of them pointed to the need for me to be on time as a rule, not as an accident.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to be worthy of the title ‘Mr. Punctuality,” it just worked out that timeliness was something I needed to improve. Since improving that part of my life, I have made huge progress towards becoming the person I would need to be to win some of those titles. What are the big things you have found in your life?
Select one of the things you feel you need to improve to move closer to being worthy. What are the big steps to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Write those down, and break the first step into smaller chunks. When you have chunks that can be done in an hour or less, you’re done (for now).
As you move forward, simply break the next big chunk into bite sized chunks and add them to the list of tasks. Now select something small enough to finish in the next hour or so, and get started. Nothing happens until you take the first step on your journey. It’s time to begin the next chapter in your life.
From: Twitter, @DennyCoates
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/niccolomac105926.html
Photo by Department for Communities and Local Government