To groups all around the country, I say the following words – Every choice has a consequence! At times the consequences we face are short lived and often forgotten. But, there are some choices we make in life that have permanent long-lasting implications. They will never be forgotten – we, likewise, cannot hide from their continued effects.
As a Sales Executive for a public company and ethics speaker, I am open about who I am, my past and the lessons I’ve learned. I speak about them often and have found that most people (not all) find hope and inspiration from the words they hear. But, just when I think that the message – you reap what you sow – is beginning to take hold, I get a reply that sends me backward, realizing that no matter how much good you do – someone, somewhere, is standing ready to throw stones.
Today I got a post to one (well…actually all) of the videos that I have posted on YouTube. You can view the video by clicking on the image to the right on your screen. The posting must have been from a disgruntled former employee who felt the need to blame his or her failure on someone other than themselves. Here’s the comment with the foul language removed:
This is incredible! What a crock of XXXX! This guy is a crook and I have reported him to Texas Dept of Insurance as he is getting commissions off agents when he can not be licensed himself. The investigation is going on at present. I worked for this jerk, and he is no more than an ex-con, working for a company that knows his history but continues to keep him on knowing that he embezzled from families and back in the same line of work, only in a different state. This makes me sick!!!!!!!
It is always interesting to me the approach we, as humans take, when we face failure. It continues to ring true, no matter what spin you put on it, every choice has a consequence. In the company where I serve as Sales Exec. I have grown more successful sales execs for the company during my 15 year tenure than any other. Yet, for someone who found this career opportunity not for them, I am a crook. It is truly all a matter of perspective.
To set the record straight – which is a matter of public record – I was convicted of embezzlement and tax evasion for crimes which occurred in the mid to late 1980′s. I was a CPA at the time and not in any way associated with the industry to which I serve as a Senior Sales Executive today. I am not proud of my past, but I cannot change it either.
People do ask me if I had it to do over again would I change anything? The answer: yes…I wouldn’t do what I did. Prison is no fun. It was, however, an unusual learning environment. I learned many things but three come to mind:
- Much of life is an illusion. That is shown in the comment above. It is an illusion to think that one persons failure at a job is somehow the result of my crimes over 20 years ago!
- Every choice has a consequence. My choices certainly did. Not only did I go to prison, but many relationships I had in my life failed due to my choices and the consequences that followed. It is sad but true and the pain follows to this day.
- Success comes in many ways. It is not always measured in material possessions, but more times than not measured in the impact that you have on another’s life.
So if there is a part of the above comment that is saddening, it is that the effort that I put into speaking in order to use my experience as an example to help others was somehow lost on this person. You can’t win them all…but perhaps, upon reflection, folks will come to understand that you might make a mistake, but you aren’t a mistake.
God bless. And if I could leave you with one thought it would be: Look past the illusion, make good choices and claim your success!
As always your comments are welcome!