Lessons Learned from Willy Loman
By Gloria Schmitt
Last evening as I was reviewing, and yes already amending, my 2018 annual, monthly and weekly goals, my youngest child came into my office and asked if I would mind proofreading the essay she had just completed for her winter college session in honor’s English. Without hesitation, I said with pleasure. Looking down at her paper and seeing only the title itself, made me smile. She seemed annoyed and asked; why are you smiling? It is a sad story and you haven’t even read it yet. I explained to her that I myself had read Death of Salesman by Arthur Miller thirty five years earlier when I was her age and that it brought back memories.
As I read how eloquently she had written this paper about Willy Loman, the salesman who dedicated forty five years of his life to his trade had tragically ended his life because he deemed himself a failure. My nineteen year old young adult made me realize that in life all too often we focus solely on financial wealth as a means of attaining our goals and we lose sight of the successes we achieve with each milestone we attain. Willy Loman had a family, a home and a job until he was 62 years old and despite making the last payment of his mortgage on the day he took his life, he could not see how by at least one definition he was in deed successful.
Now as I looked down at my goals, at long last, I had a better appreciation for each milestone that had led to an incredible 2017 and would undoubtedly set the tone for my 2018 goals. I needed to appreciate each triumph along the journey and celebrate even the smallest of wins. With that said, for the moment I set the goals aside, and came up with the list of lessons I had suddenly learned from Willy Loman through my child’s eyes:
- Don’t focus on the financial outcome – by doing the activities, the financial stability will come
- Success comes in many forms; remember you get to write your own definition of the word
- Life is ever changing, so in as much, we too need to change with the times - Continue to learn, educate ourselves and grow to ensure we continue down the path to success one step at a time
- Be kind to those who are consistently there to support your journey; how you treat those closest to you in life is a direct reflection on one’s self
- Have patience - sometimes when you think life is falling apart, stay positive and remember a new opportunity might very well be just around corner.
- Don't harp on the past, learn from your mistakes and move on …. Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities
- Be Accountable for your actions – “Accountability breeds Response-ability” (Steven Covey)
- Don't be afraid to love yourself for who you are – everyone has flaws, it’s what makes us uniquely human
- Lead example and become the person others want to be
It’s funny, once I wrote these lessons down on paper, I self-realized, I embody and embrace most of these philosophies. In fact, most stem from the culture displayed by the company I am blessed to a part of every day. Thank you, Keller Williams Realty for teaching me that success comes in many forms, to always be kind, be present, be accountable, strive to get to the next level in all you do and remember it’s about GOD, FAMILY and then BUSINESS. I am living proof that if you commit to a life worth living, continuing to learn and do the activities needed to make you successful, everything else falls into place.
I hope these lessons help you to achieve your goal this year and every year that follows.