If Quantum Physics teaches us anything, life is chance.
No matter how rich, how powerful, how strong; everyone falls from grace. We are all human and it is our inescapable fate. As Outkast wrote, "Even the sun goes down, heroes eventually die, horoscopes often lie, and sometimes why? Nothing is for sure, nothing is for certain, nothing last forever, but until [he] close that curtain, it's [them] and I, Aquemini." Excuse my edits, but there is a point to made.
For as well as you may compete and rise to the pinnacle of power, the imperfect side of you will bubble to the surface like oil through water. The fact of the matter is, as beings of the universe, we are drawn to the truth as much as the truth is drawn to us, no matter how hard we try to run. Why do you think those who have known too much in history have died prematurely? This is human nature 101.
It is far too easy, especially in the reach for power, which is necessary for change, to get your legs cut out from under you. Peter Tosh knew this full well when he channeled the words of the American visionary Benjamin Franklin in a song, "If you live in a glass house, don't throw stones." The key to survivability in a competitive world is to join a Mutual Appreciation Society.
Look at the likes of George W. Bush, Elliott Spitzer, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Jack Ryan, Enron executives, Michael Jackson, Robert Kelly, and many more politicians, businessmen, and celebrities. All of them, with severe character flaws and yet, they are going to be financially and politically okay, and why? Because their friends as well as enemies do not have it in their best interest to start airing dirty laundry or pointing out character flaws.
How does one join a Mutual Appreciation Society? Very simple, start small.
Now, I'll admit this is probably my worst quality; I am far too open and far too honest. However, I know adopting this concept as a personal policy is a key to my success and I have enviously seen others utilize this practice with incredible results. Simply edify those around you, if they are unedifiable, find others to be around and edify them. Choose the ones who have the intellect, maturity, wisdom, power or resources to do something beyond the norm either now, in the near future, or even further down the line.
Why do you think every U.S. President and almost every Fortune 500 executive went to college? Now, did I say graduate? No. But it is institutions and organizations that encourage great thought that will attract great thinkers and great talent. First, make sure you can take care of yourself, then watch these people's backs, show them a good time, let them confide in you. And try as you might, let not a word of judgement pass from your mouth. Even if they ask, tell the truth, but in the most respectful way possible. But don't be phony, mean everything you do and the more you do these things in service, the more you will understand the personal benefits.
It was the most painful lesson in life for me to learn that anyone can be great, but not everyone can be great. And even the greatest, without a social network of people who truly respect them on a certain level, will never attain their full potential.
Choose your friends widely, but wisely. And don't kick people while they're down; because what goes around comes around, my friend.