A young man approached his mentor and asked him, “Sir, when should I get my private plane?” The mentor was bewildered and asked, “Whatever do you need a private plane for?” The young man looked surprised, and he said, “well, you’ve got one, and I want to be like you. I need to begin to set my goals and visualize the luxury I desire”. “You don’t need a jet”, the mentor said, but the young man became upset. “As my mentor”, he said, “I thought you would ask me to expand my goal and target two planes instead of one. You should help me dream bigger, but I feel like you are killing my dream instead”.
The mentor smiled and asked, “Are there places you need to be in a short pace that a commercial flight cannot handle?” “No”, he answered. The mentor asked again, “Are there far apart businesses you need to attend to or time-sensitive engagements for which you need control of your time?” The young man said, “Not at the moment, but …” “One more”, the mentor said, “have you created so much value and are so known that your public appearance will cause a disruption or security risk?” Now exasperated, the young man had to repeat no. “oh, I forgot. Can you afford it?” This time, the young man did not answer. “Then”, said the mentor, “you don’t need a private plane. For me, it is a necessity because it aids my work; for you, it will be a distraction because it will hinder your work”.
“You mean you don’t enjoy flying a jet?” Asked the young man. “Of course I do, but that is not why I got it. That jet doubles as my office while I move from place to place. Sometimes, my work and schedule keep me from paying special attention to what thrills you”. The mentor said. “I only travel when I have to. But if you get one, you will travel because you need to, or the cost goes to waste. Hence, you spend less time doing your job and more time servicing your luxury”. The mentor concludes, ” For me, the jet is an outcome and not a goal. It is a tool and not an end in itself”.
How valid are the words of the wise mentor! Several people seek the luxuries they see others enjoy without considering what created them. People make luxuries their target for working, and they buy something that they spend their earnings to maintain. When you become very effective in your work, you will create enough value that will make what you now crave become a natural outcome. Make adding value your purpose, and luxuries will follow, but make luxuries your purpose, and you may chase or “feed” them all your life.