NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As Independence Day is upon us, I can't help but think about how valuable and empowering the feeling of independence is.
Independence is peace of mind and a feeling of being in control of one's destiny, the right to make decisions that ultimately prove to be genius or idiotic, but the right to make them and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences nonetheless. No doubt when one speaks of independence, it can apply to countries, people, relationships, finances or a plethora of other connotations.
One of the greatest feelings of independence in my life has come from that of being an entrepreneur and having learned how to create value and earn a living as a result. But is anyone ever truly independent? I don't think so, and I suspect that if one were able to achieve total independence, it might even be a lonely place.
The fact that customers, employees and investors depend on me is actually one of my greatest motivators in life and that dependence actually leads to my perceived independence. In reality, I depend on employees to exceed customers' expectations, investors to be patient and our government to protect our homeland and to provide the right laws, economic systems and framework in which to operate a business.
As a nation we celebrate our independence, but we are far from independent when it comes to the world we live in. Global economies and security forces are more interlinked than ever. We are dependent on China, a holder of massive amounts of America's debt to not dump it and cause the U.S. dollar to freefall, further destabilizing our economy.
We depend on other countries to help identify radicals who wish to cause great harm to America and Americans. Our list of dependencies could go on and on, but we are not alone: Every country has its own set of dependencies and independencies, as evidenced by the recent global economic crisis.
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At the end of the day, what we all value most is quality of life, regardless of how we would individually define it. We Americans have enjoyed an amazing and virtually unrivaled quality of life for a long time. Our quality of life in the future is more dependent on other nations than most of us realize or want to admit.
Early in my career, I was a student of the teachings of Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracey and a host of others. I would read their books and listen to their recordings, hanging on every word, looking for clues into the mindset of successful people and thinking about how I could apply those principles to my life. I attribute the moderate success I have had to a few basics that I learned.
As we come to grips with our dependencies in whatever context they may be, a couple tidbits I learned might help all Americans as well. I know they are common sense, but a reminder never hurts. You get back what you send out and the best way to get what you want in life is to help others get what they want.
Happy Independence Day!
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