Why do I do what I do?
It’s always a good idea to figure out the why of what you’re doing and answering these questions:
1. What is the purpose of what I’m trying to achieve?
2. What outcomes do I want?
3. Why are these outcomes important/valuable?
4. Why am I about to do what I’m about to do?
I think question 3 is really quite important, and one that deserves some attention. Most people know what they want.
They want to be SUCCESSFUL.
But – what’s your definition of success?
Examining what _your_ definition is, could shed some light into what drives you. And then, determining if that is in line with what’s important to you – your core values.
Many ‘successful’ people chase money, fame and glory – only to end up alone and lonely.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates.
Practice examining the reasons you do what you do.
A friend of mine told me that he wasn’t going to run, because his Fitbit watch broke, and therefore the running wouldn’t get tracked.
And he would resume when the replacement comes in post, which got me to thinking about why he was doing it at all. And it sounds and feels like that, if no one was tracking it, there was no point.
The same goes for my kids, and possibly many, many children and so many of us who go through education system where we’re learning something, because it’s going to be on the test. And the day after the exam, we completely forget what we’ve learned.
So why are we doing the things that we’re doing? For example, going for that promotion? Attaining that degree that gives you some letters behind your name? or becoming a CEO, and making millions and millions of pounds or dollars? Why are we doing it? Is it for external validation? So people can say, “Wow, you’re so successful, you’re so rich, you’re so clever, you’re so …fill in the blank?” Or is it driven by something a lot more internal, the want, the need, the desire to be better? To know more? To gain knowledge?
It’s a useful exercise to ask why.
I was having a conversation with a friend, and we were talking about the definition of success. And I said, I thought that he was a very successful program manager.
And he said, “I don’t think I am, I haven’t achieved the professional level that a lot of people has in when I compared to others, within my industry in my sphere, I don’t think I’m successful.”
And I said, “Well, my definition of success is quite different. And it has to do with the impact that you make on the people that you meet, and how deeply you have changed them. So that the trajectory of their life have moved in a more positive direction than if you hadn’t touched lives at all.”
And he said to me, “I think if that’s your definition, then I have been very, very successful.”
I asked him, “What would happen if I had a time machine, and I could visit his past, at different junction different projects that he’d been on, in, observe how he interacted with people, and how they’ve interacted with him. In all these lives that he’s touched, what would they say about him?”
If I would just pull them up and say, “Hey, what do you think of this manager you’re working for?”
And I could almost guarantee that almost everyone who’s worked with him, would have said, “He’s changed my life for the better. He listens to me. And he cares very deeply about me as a human being. Over and above this job that I’ve got to do, he nurtures talent. And he’s able to see who has not been given an equal state, at the table in terms of opportunities for advancement, and he helps these people.”
So I think your definition of what it means to be successful will determine how you live your life in also another thing that I believe you can’t consider yourself a success or a failure until you’re Six Feet Under, because we always have time, we always have time to change.
What we are trying to do, for example, if you’ve made a lot of mistakes, there’s always time to say sorry and to make amends.
Sometimes it is too late because the people that you want to say sorry to it’s no longer here or or the opportunity has passed but you can always make amends, to make a difference.
If not the people that you’ve met with in the past, but in the future in a, in a more deeper and more significantly, human way.
That’s just my thoughts for this Sunday, because I’ve been thinking about the definition of what it means to be a successful human being. And that’s something that I strive to do.
It’s something I strive to teach my children and it’s something I strive to share with the people around me, because there’s nothing more important than being a good human.
I hope you found this useful. And I’m just wishing you a great Sunday. And it’s daylight savings today here in the UK.
Thanks a lot and hope to see you tomorrow.