“All that glitters ain’t gold.”

On the Bright Side, a column that I write for our monthy newsletter at work
by Jason D. Goodnight

I love this phrase. I find myself reflecting on it often. Mostly because it gives a bit of insight into a mysterious principal of doing what’s right even when no one is looking. It’s the idea that what happens behind the scenes is most important. It also implies that no one’s extraordinary gifts matter all that much if the principal of hidden effort is not in place.

In action it can be seen in professional basketball players. Some of the hardest working players have become the greats. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, for example. They are notorious for having the most rigorous and faithful workout routines. What is lacking in their natural abilities is compensated by their hidden work ethic. As a result they are heralded as two of the best ever with numerous championship rings to prove it. And yet year after year players with great potential and natural talent come into the NBA and fizzle out because they choose to slack off when no one else is looking.

“All that glitters ain’t gold.” A good friend of mine recently quoted a similar phrase to me saying “All Gold doesn’t glitter.” It took me a little bit to get it, but now that I think about it I love it. My interpretation is that even though flashy is often rewarded in the short term and often seen as “better than” it’s the faithful, the proven, the consistent, it’s those who never give up and those that keep getting better after their failures that become successful.

There’s a purpose for each of us that’s tied into our desires and will not get accomplished without our willing cooperation and even our great effort. It may seem like a good idea to just cruise through life, avoid the promotion, and take it easy. But will that really make your heart happy? Will that satisfy your desires? Or is the adventure of accomplishing crazy goals the best part?

What are you living for? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? What do you want to accomplish in life? The only thing that may be keeping you back from accomplishing every dream in your heart may be your willingness to set your sail in that direction and never give up at it. Don’t let apathy be your biggest enemy, start efforting towards your goals. You first have to be bad at something before you can be good at it. That’s just the way things go.

People who don’t accomplish anything significant in their lives are people who have chosen not to. So you’ve had a circumstance that has held you back. Take the proper measure and work through it. You’re not good at one facet of life. Find someone who is good at it and learn from them. Take a class related to your dreams.

I’ve seen young people die early and old people bloom late. Don’t let you be the only one holding you back from success. Invest your time and energy to achieve your goals. Success doesn’t come by luck it comes by the hidden effort of the determined. What are your goals? Are your actions correlating to your desired result? What happens in the hidden places matters. All that glitters ain’t gold.

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