There are two very interesting definitions (and therefore perhaps, perspectives) for the term equity:
- the quality of being fair and impartial, and
- the value of shares issued by a company (a piece of ownership, thus something of potential present and future value).
How to think of them?
The first attempts to deal with a universe of disorder; it proposes goals and means of creating balance. The second is more of a micro-focused time-targeted process whereby a singular thing can prosper. As separate as these two might seem, they’re as intertwined as our molecules of DNA. Living beings cannot function without cellular organization; social systems cannot be constructed on the fragile skeleton of the individual’s indifference.
Take something as simple and ancient as the tree. The one you might see in your mind right now is largely nonliving: only the outer shell is alive. It’s growth is built on top of the prior activity it circumferentially surrounds. That small outer shell accounts for greater than 90% of its living existence.
Cut into a dead one and the record consistently reveals a pattern of tireless advance, just a little at a time… a pace too slow to see, incrementally too small to casually measure. The rings of its living process grow continually– circumferentially– at an aggregate linear expansion of around 2% per year.
Just a smidge.
This 2% figure is telling: For just one example, take an honest look (or have someone who has no excuses to make) at the total time differential between the first-place finisher in a group sports competition (say, Olympic downhill skiing) and last place. The percentage difference between the front of the pack and the last is often less than 2% of the total time involved in the race. Less than a 50th of the total effort put forth by each separated the first from the last… often in a very large field of accomplished, motivated, and not necessarily specially-gifted pros.
The tree is not in any race, but the tree has learned how to survive and thrive as a living thing for millions of years. There’s a disturbing truth and/or a powerful promise in play here and there are very few among us who cannot put it to immediate use for ultimate benefit.
Over a lifetime, you’ve built plenty of equity but how much are you really using? What would your life be like if you learned how to leverage just 2% more of it? You didn’t get to where you are by just being average, but just 2% separates Average from Excellent in every standard of measure and reward. If you still doubt, phone the Director of Human Resources….
Learn and re-learn… history remembers the ones who did.
Give and serve… nature fills in the internal void created by it.
Act… and it starts and lives in the mind.
Look carefully at what the very best in your field are doing– take written note of every element and put a number on each one… then set about doing exactly that and build just 2% better, 2% smarter, 2% earlier-to-start, stick with it just 2% longer and stay forever in the mindset… and start living the difference the equity will make: in your own world and the one you were put here to share.
When shall we start?