Last night Doug and I were watching an interesting documentary on Netflix about Bill Gates. At one point the interviewer asks Gates if his late mom would be proud of him? My mind instantly produced, “Heck yeah,” but Gates didn’t respond right away. We watched as he thought for an uncomfortable length of time, then after a great deal of reflection, he said, “I think so, but she still wouldn’t be happy with my table manners.”
His contemplative pause made me think. How would you or I answer the same question: Would (or is) your mom proud of you? Bill Gates is arguably the most successful man in the world under every measurement, but is the ultimate measurement really, “Would your mom be proud of you?” Based on his prolonged pause, I would contend yes.
Measurements are tricky. They can be undeniably accurate but accuracy is irrelevant if we are ultimately measuring the wrong thing? Salary and title are great measurements, but so are quality time with family and commitment to a cause greater than ourselves, among others. I’m not sure what you’re measuring, but we all might want to add, “Would my mom (or dad) be proud of me?”