Pyrrhic victory

In a once-a-quarter catch up with a friend recently, we shared the latest on what was going in our personal and professional lives.

Over the past year and a half, she’s made a lot of progress on a personal life project that was giving her a hard time. So, as we went through her updates, I shared my joy at hearing an update where the challenges she shared were all professional. She agreed and remarked – “Everything good on the professional front would feel empty if the personal side wasn’t taken care of.”

It was a powerful moment in that conversation as it reflected an understanding of what it meant to live in alignment with an important shared value – family/close relationships.

For many of us, our careers bring us great joy because they provide fuel to the fire lit by our motives – achievement, affiliation, influence/power, autonomy, and purpose. But, chasing these motives without paying enough attention to the things we value only results in a Pyrrhic victory – the kind that was won at too great a cost.