Good Evening (or morning or afternoon of course) you fine people, today I’m going to get into a subject that greatly effects your feelings of satisfaction or fulfilment in life. That is the emotional response you have tied up in your work, and how best to have your mind set in order to feel the most enthusiastic, the most impactful, and the most satisfied with your chosen path.
First off, do something you love! I know I say this often but if you aren’t doing something you love, why are you doing it? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about your 9-5 office job, your McJob, waiting tables or washing windows. We all have bills that need paying and mouths to feed (even if it’s just your own). What I’m talking about is the thing you were called to do, that one piece of you that no one can take away, that thing no one else does quite like you do. It’s the thing you would do if you could do anything with your life and know you wouldn’t fail, and even if you could, you’d still do it.
If you’re already doing it, you know you wouldn’t be the real you if you stopped. For me, it’s obviously writing, in particular writing my ideas on how we all can live authentic, fulfilled lives. For my friends, it’s everything from getting on stage and putting on a killer rock show to creating beautiful meals; from painting gorgeous pieces of art to taking spectacular photographs; to changing people’s lives through health and fitness; on and on it goes. The thing is everyone (and I truly believe this) has something that no one else can do quite like them. I also believe we all have our gifts for one very specific reason. To help make the world a better place in their own special way.
To me there are only two reasons people don’t harness their “gifts” and live the truest life they could. One reason is that they never discover what it is due to life and a myriad of other reasons we’ll cover in a future post. The other reason, and it’s the one we’ll cover today, is that they give up. Simple as that. You’ll hear all kinds of reasons why they “used to paint”, “quit being a musician”, “would have loved to be a pastry chef”, but when you cut away all the justification, it all comes from the same type of thinking. The “life got in the way”, “I had to grow up and get a real job”, “my folks wouldn’t have approved”, or (and in my opinion the worst by far) “I had to be realistic”, they all show the same thing. It wasn’t life, work, family or reality that got in the way and caused people to give up their dreams. It was a mindset that was focused on the results, not on the work itself. I don’t write for praise or acknowledgement. I write because if I don’t I go crazy. Writing is like oxygen for me. I don’t just love it, I live for it. If people find my little blog and find something I say helpful or insightful, fantastic. If not I’ll keep doing it anyway, because this is what I was born to do.
If you focus on the work, a couple of things will start to happen. First, you’ll be happier. For that reason alone, it’s worth trying it out, isn’t it? Second, what you produce, whether it is the next great pop song or the best cupcake the world has ever known, it will be more authentic because you’ll be less worried about what other people think and authenticity shows. Thirdly, a funny thing happens when you just focus on doing good work that speaks to and for you; people notice. By some perverse logic, the less you care about how your work will be received by others and just focus on making the best whatever it is you possibly can, the more people respond to it. People love truthful art, and can smell fakery or inauthenticity a mile away. Even if it is confronting or uncomfortable, they rather that than something that comes across as “trying too hard” or pandering. It seems desperate and that will drive anyone away.
To quote my favourite rapper Ben “Macklemore” Haggerty
“Don’t worry about changing the world,
Just find something you love and do it every day.
Do that for the rest of your life
And eventually the world will change”
So, my friend as Always.
Get Up, Get Out There, Get Awesome
And Focus on the work; the results will follow.`