Chinese proverbs

A few weeks ago I got sent a PowerPoint presentation based on some Chinese proverbs. It was a bit tacky, but it was sort of interesting. I had seen it before some years ago and it was one of those chain things, so I decided to pass it on to some friends. One of them thanked me for choosing him as one of the ‘losers’ who needed such proverbs.

This set me thinking. As I said before, it was a bit tacky, but mainly because the contents was so very true and contained some values I think we should always bear in mind when going about our business and our personal lives. In fact, on reading a lot of business newsletters and especially Enterprise Britain, I think a lot of the values lying behind the proverbs hold true for many of us.

The basis is the value and the use of money. The slides said things like ‘money can buy you a house but not a home’ and ‘with money you can buy a clock but not time’ or ‘you can buy a bed but not sleep’. Money is always at the centre of our minds in running our businesses, but that does not mean we should forget our basic values.

I have written before about incentives in companies. We are becoming increasingly incentive driven, yet most of us know that recognition of effort and respect go much further in getting people to work in the right direction. It is also true that we want to sleep at night whilst many of us lie awake at night worrying about our cash flows.

Our MPs have managed to get themselves a lot of money and in the process have lost virtually all the respect anyone ever had for them. Our bankers are worse as their greed for personal money led them to destroy our economy. I suspect Fred the Shred tossed and turned many a night in his bed as his desire for more money led him to tear down one of the biggest banks in the world. What does he have now? Lots of money, but little love.

Thinking about this I reviewed the list of people whom I sent the presentation to and I found all those people had something in common. It was that I respected their values more than their money. They were all people who naturally understood the power of personal values and valued them more than money.

So whilst it is far nicer to be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy, happiness does not come from money, but from the power of your values. Thank you my friend for helping me give more thought to the importance of values.

Please leave a comment - we all like them