I’ve been stuck lately. Not a bad stuck, but stuck nonetheless.
I’ve been stuck on one simple yet incredibly impossible question…
Why do I do what I do? What do I love about my work? What matters most? And how does my love and passion translate into the work I do? As Simon Sinek so aptly states, “People do not buy what you do – but why you do it.”
Mike Maddock of Forbes writes:
“Starting a career, a company or any kind of journey that is based firmly on your purpose is foundational to success and happiness. If you don’t know your company’s purpose or even your own, finding one is the worthiest of resolutions.”
Passion is contagious. Passion sells. Think about the stores you frequently shop at – or the coffee shop you’re a regular of – or the restaurant you eat at three times a week. Think about the leaders you respect and the people you admire. What’s the common thread? What rests at their foundation? It’s that their “why” is obvious. Their commitment to the craft – to customer service – to making great shit and doing wonderful things – that’s what matters and that’s what we, as consumers, fans, and followers, resonate with.
“The real goal of productivity, is to be present for what is important.”
So said by Rob Hatch of Human Business Works. This truly resonated with me as it came through my inbox yesterday. Productivity, then, isn’t a goal – but a tool. It’s a tool we use to be present – to make time – for what really matters.
It’s why I wake up at 5am to get through my inbox. So it doesn’t control me throughout the day. It’s why I leave my phone in my pocket during meetings, so I’m not distracted by the 32948327293857 push notifications that come through.
The more I grow, the more I evolve, the more I appreciate the value of doing less.
I believe evolution is synonymous with simplification. Not doing more – not constantly trying new things and thinking in new ways – not always wondering “what’s next?”, but wondering, “what now?” and diving deeper and more passionately into what’s in front of you.
My friend Brett said something a couple weeks ago that’s stuck with me ever since I read it:
“In reality, I’m already exactly the artist I need to be. I’ve just lost sight of the need to let go in the wake of all this hunger for change.”
My greatest strength, and, contrarily, one of my greatest weaknesses, is that I am always tinkering. I’m always thinking about what else I can do – or how I can take on more challenges – how I can be better. But instead of realizing that my potential for great things is already within – I look outward for influence and inspiration.