“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
I was recently speaking with a group of leaders about one of everybody’s favorite topics, time management. Each person had a different perspective, but we all agreed that managing our time was one of our great challenges. Afterwards, I got an email from one member of the group saying that while the conversation was great, there really wasn’t anything he could do about it because he didn’t have any control over what he did with his time. This was required, and this was required, and this was required, etc.
Unfortunately, whether the topic is time management or something else, so many people have a belief that they really don’t have any say over what goes on in their lives. It’s really a learned helplessness – we believe that we can’t change anything, so then we don’t really try because what’s the point, and then nothing changes. Rinse, repeat.
The reality is that you do have a say over what your life looks like. Yes things come flying into the picture that you don’t control or aren’t ready for. But you have the ability to influence the overall arc of your life. You can move faster or slower along your path, or you can change paths altogether.
When I see leaders who’ve really taken control of their days and their careers and their lives, the thing that jumps out is that they’re all focused on things they’re passionate about. They identified what really gives them energy, and then they pursue that like crazy. That doesn’t mean everything always goes the way they want. What it means is that even when things don’t go the way they want they have the energy and the passion to overcome whatever barriers are in the way and keep going towards the end they have in mind.
What exactly are you passionate about? Some leaders were passionate at one time, and then allowed themselves to get distracted. They’ve forgotten whey they were so fired up to get started in the first place. Is that you? If you don’t feel that energy, do you remember what it was like when you did?
Spend some time thinking about what really makes you fired up. Think about how you can spend more time and energy doing that thing. What would have to change? What would you have to eliminate? You’ll never bring more value to your business than when you’re doing what you’re passionate about. You owe it to the company to figure that out – and then do it.