Living In The Illusion Of Ruin…John Page Burton

When I was in my early thirties I saw a bumper sticker that read…”he who dies with the most toys wins.” It was in that moment, at that stoplight that I would adopt a philosophy that would “misguide” me for the next 15 years. At the time this bumper sticker philosophy made perfect sense to me and I was ready to start collecting my toys!

 Like most of us, I grew up believing that a person’s success and self worth were due in large part to their ability to make money and accumulate nice things.  I attended numerous wealth creation seminars and was introduced to and later joined the network marketing industry. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. The good news is that I did experience tremendous success in both network marketing and in the traditional business world. The bad news is that I never learned the concept of balance and this lack of understanding cost me dearly in my personal and family relationships.  Today, my bumper sticker philosophy has changed to…”he who dies with the most toys is still DEAD.” Bestselling author, Brendon Burchard in his book Life’s Golden Ticket talks about asking himself a very profound question, one that has guided his success principles for the last decade. His question was… Did I live, did I love, did I matter? How do you want to be remembered? How would you want someone to describe your life?  I wanted to share a few of the philosophies that I have adopted over the last few years, philosophies that have truly helped me to create an abundant, more meaningful life. I hope that you will find them helpful on your journey.

*Simplify your life by clearing the clutter. For most of us this entails clearing both material and emotional clutter. Comparing yourself to others and trying to keep up with the Jones family is very taxing. I like to refer to this as “the illusion of ruin.” If we are not careful we can easily slip into debt, lose interest in our family lives and end up with serious health challenges that stem from being out balance. I encourage you to evaluate how and where you spend your time. It takes discipline to right the ship but it is well worth it.

*Define your true beliefs and values. NEVER be willing to compromise them! We all possess an inner compass. We know what feels right and what feels wrong. My father used to say “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” What is important to you? What would you be willing to die for? What are your guiding beliefs and values?  Far too many people don’t have an answer to these questions. Once you are able to truly define your beliefs and values you will be able to shape your life and your actions around them.

*Prioritize what really matters. One of the most important keys to achieving life balance is to prioritize things in order of importance. Work is a defined, structured environment that takes up an average of 45 hours per week. What we do with the remainder of our non-work time goes a long way in determining the quality of our lives. I encourage you to take a close look at how you spend your non-work time. What activities do you engage in? How does your social life shape up? Do you make time for exercise? How active are you with regards to family activities? By taking this inventory you will clearly see how you spend your time and in which areas you are out of balance.

*Build up your spiritual and emotional bank accounts. Financial stability is important to the majority of us. We hire financial planners, CPA’s and other professionals to help ensure that our personal bank accounts are in order and that our investments are paying us the highest dividends possible. Building up our spiritual and emotional bank accounts requires us to be in tune with the needs of our fellow man.  Giving back to our communities is a great way to say “thank you” to our creator for all of the extra time, treasures and talents that he has bestowed us with.

Anthony Robbins once said that “success without a sense of deep fulfillment isn’t really success at all.” I know that I am grateful for the lessons that I learned during my “toy collection” years and I am very grateful for the simpler, more grounded life I live today. Both my financial and spiritual bank accounts are abundant and my personal relationships keep getting better and better. I do in fact feel a much deeper sense of fulfillment which lets me know that I must be on the right track

As always I appreciate your thoughts and feedback.

6 thoughts on “Living In The Illusion Of Ruin…John Page Burton

  1. John, thanks for these great insights. Recently at my church’s Bible study class, we’ve been studying about the success of Joseph, the grandson of Abraham. What an eye opener! We see that God declared Joseph successful even while he was a slave and a prisoner; he was successful simply because “the Lord was with him.” God declared the end from the beginning and Joseph subsequently rose from prisoner to second in command in all of Egypt! Acknowledging God’s presence and favor makes our health, relationships, finances, and careers so much better.


  2. This indeed is a great example of the “illusion of success”. We are conditioned to see success in a certain way and yet the Bible has countless stories of seemingly insignificant people who were called upon and rose to significant roles of leadership. Thanks for your feedback.


  3. John, Not ever sure how I brought this page up, but had it open for a week and just finally read it. GREAT STUFF. Very True. You’re an excellent writer and I’m thankful to have you as a friend. I’ll post this to FB and LI. Ken


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