The $1.6 Billion Dollar Man.
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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." - Buddha
Today I want to tell you the story of Robert Kearns - the $1.6 Billion Dollar Man.
In 1985, Bob won $10 million from Ford for infringing on his patent for intermittent windshield wipers. But Bob wasn't satisfied. He wanted more.
You see, Bob had a vision of becoming a successful entrepreneur by licensing his invention. But the auto giants had crushed his dream and stolen his baby.
Understandably, Bob was upset. Who wouldn't be?
So he decided to appeal and sue the heck out of every automaker out there. Bob was on a mission to get justice. And money. Lots of money.
But at what cost?
Bob sacrificed everything for his war. His health. His family. His sanity. He didn't care. He was convinced his invention was worth billions and that the automakers owed him big time.
Over the years, he won over $30 million in settlements. But Bob said no deal. He turned down $30 million from Chrysler! He was holding out for $1.6 billion. Nothing less would suffice.
Sadly, Bob died an unhappy man. He never found closure or satisfaction. He left behind a legacy, yes. But of obsession, litigation and frustration.
Let me ask you,...was it worth it?
Here's the lesson I took from Bob's story:
Sometimes it's better to compromise than to fight. To let go rather than hold on. To choose happiness over being right.
Bob clung too tightly to his indignation. And it cost him dearly.
The line between determination and obsession is a fine one. Know when to stop chasing and when to walk away.
There are bigger things in life than money and credit. Like inner peace. And loving family.
Bob lost sight of that. But we don't have to.