At my law school graduation ceremony, I remember the commencement speech had this theme: Now that you have your degree, you need to go out there and get your hands dirty, fighting in the dirt, on behalf of your clients, to get the dirty work done, because that is where your clients need your help.
I remember thinking at that time: That is poor advice.
Better advice might be: If someone wants you to fight with them in the dirt, then surpass them, run past them, and move on to the next thing. Find people who want to build things together. Don’t be dumb and put yourself in the dirt or into a fight. Instead, find people who are building things for the common good.
And if someone, who is in a fight in the mud, needs your help, first help them out of the mud – then you can help them address the issues.
A person might think, “Oh, that makes common sense. Everybody does that.” But surprisingly, many people don’t realize they are getting into regular adversarial interactions unnecessarily.
Adversarialness creeps into everyday interactions like water slowly boiling around a frog. It’s not that a frog chooses to jump into hot water; rather, the frog doesn’t realize how the water around them has slowly become overheated.
Consider your past conflicts at work or in relationships. Did you spend a tremendous amount of time, resources, and energy trying to work with someone who clearly was not intent on seeking your good and their good? Might you have created more wealth if you had conceded sooner that the two of you were not seeking each other’s common vision or common good?
One of the key first steps to creating wealth is allying with people to the degree you both are seeking your common good. The better your ally is at seeking the common good, the more likely you will create common wealth.
And unfortunately, the inverse principles are also true: The less your ally is interested or able to seek the common good, the more likely your time, focus, and energies spent with them will not create wealth.
As an attorney, making a lifetime of observations on these topics, my experience and perceptions suggest: The people who are very interested in bringing lawsuits are generally not people creating great wealth for themselves and others.
People who create great wealth tend to focus more on making connections with others who wish to create great wealth. In contrast, people who want to get into a legal fight, which places the outcome of the conflict largely into the hands of a third party judge, tend to be aiming for the wrong objectives and targets.
At every point when and where you can choose your allies, choose allies who are interested and able to create common wealth. If you can choose exceptionally intelligent and talented allies, you will save yourself years of work and prevent great frustrations, losses, and heartaches.
Disclaimer: These posts are not written by a professional or licensed financial advisor. There’s nothing for sale here. This is just a discussion forum. No one should make any decisions based on representations made on this informal blog. These posts are just one layperson’s opinions, concerns, and observations about asset classes – a part of larger, never-ending discussions. Any significant financial decisions should be discussed with at least a few trusted and experienced financial advisors before acting.