maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: Two Virtues

In his book The Road to Character, David Brooks talks about two kinds of virtues - Resume Virtues and Eulogy Virtues. He defines them this way:

The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being—whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed.

If someone were to ask you which of these two types of virtues is most important to you most of us would probably say Eulogy Virtues.  If however, you were to honestly examine your life what would you see? Would you see that you living your life in such a way as to build those Eulogy Virtuess or are you truly focused on building the resume.

The Resume Virtues are what tend to get the hype and the attention. They are usually what get you the job and the promotion. They are what you write about in your description on your LinkedIn page. They are likely what you talk about over a Starbucks coffee of a glass of Argentinian Malbec with a coworker.

Ask yourself if it is Eulogy Virtues or Resume Virtues that:

  • Drive the decisions you make about how to spend your time and your energy.
  • Determine the people in your life whom you choose to hang out with.
  • Influence what you read.
  • Dictate what courses and conferences you attend and whom you hang out with at those conferences.

Resume Virtues are often easier for us to focus on. They seem more tangible. They can be listed on your Resume or your Curriculum Vitae. They are easier to talk about. They are used to introduce you at a business meeting, prior to your big speech and even at a party. In the end however, it is not those virtues people will remember and speak about when you retire from your job and from life.

What’s Important Now? You do not just have to choose one or the other. They are both necessary. The question becomes one of focus and energy. On which of these two virtues do you put your greatest energy and focus? Over the years I have come to figure out that if your focus and energy is on the Eulogy Virtues, those virtues will have a significant positive impact on your resume.

Take care.

Brian Willis


Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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