In business (and life), patience may be a virtue, but passion becomes a prerequisite. Being a small business owner is demanding work especially for founders and growth-oriented leaders. You truly must believe in what you are doing to overcome the many obstacles that inevitably appear on your path along the way. Most people wouldn’t even […]
Life can be a roller coaster at times. There will be highs and there will be lows. The important thing is not to overreact or think that everything has to be perfect all the time. Perspective is important. There is no silver bullet. There is nothing you can buy or pill you can take that will make you happy for any extended period.
One of the interesting things I find with high performing people is that they are usually harder on themselves than anyone else could be. Sure there are some exceptions – leaders who just self-confidence, but this is rarer than you think. There is usually something that drives an individual to excel. You hope the motivation is a positive one; however this isn’t always the case. I still remember one of my top clients saying several years ago that fear of failure is a good motivator and he didn’t know what he would do if ever actually embraced and enjoyed his success. I found this to be sad and he couldn’t understand why.
I find that leaders often get in trouble when they try to be who they are not. Your job is to be the best YOU that you can be. Trying to be someone else is inauthentic. This doesn’t mean you can’t improve or shouldn’t get better, but never lose sight of who you are, your passions, and what you believe to be right. Everyone needs be true to their own voice.
When you lead people it is important to be true to who you are as a person. Employees will quickly pick up on it if you try to be something you are not. There is no perfect personality profile of a leader despite what many books of the topic would like to portray. I’ve seen all types of individuals thrive under the mantle of leadership. I’ve also seen others who look impressive on paper struggle when they attempt to step up and lead. When you are true to yourself you are more likely to be effective in whatever you do.
Very few of us ever attain, what would be termed, sustained and lasting success. Instead, we bounce up and down (sometimes sideways) in search of the seemingly elusive goals of career success and personal happiness. In my experience, these two objectives are not mutually exclusive, but intertwined and critical to an individual’s sense of self worth and meaningfulness.
When it comes to your life I highly encourage you to be a non-conformist. Carve out your own path. Worry less about what other people think and more about living a meaningful life – whatever that means to you. Too many people simply plug into a system. They do what they think they are supposed to do without regard for how it makes them feel. They are also constantly bombarded with messages praising consumerism and the belief that acquisition of material goods will be their just reward and make them happier. Unfortunately, life doesn’t really work out this way.
You have to believe in yourself if you want to accomplish anything of significance in life. Self doubt is like a cancer that slowly spreads and eventually incapacitates your ability to act. This doesn’t mean you become foolhardy or act with too much hubris but it does mean you have to trust in your own abilities and forge ahead. Many obstacles will be strewn in your path including the words and actions of people close to you. However, don’t get distracted or sidetracked by others who consciously or subconsciously want to hold you back and/or define you in ways you don’t want to be defined.
Most of our limitations in life are self-imposed. The history of mankind is the story of individuals stretching the boundaries of what’s possible. Many things we take for granted today were deemed impossible not too long ago. What’s required is an individual or group of people who are unwilling to accept the status quo. In essence, they believe there is a better or different way to do something. The motivations may vary widely, but the common thread is a pioneering spirit and willingness to think bigger and challenge conventional wisdom.
On a much smaller scale, most people box themselves in every day and limit their potential. Instead of pursuing their dream or passions, they narrowly define what’s possible. Unfortunately, the longer you accept your constrained reality the easier it becomes to rationalize why things didn’t go as planned. As a result, you end up lowering the bar of happiness and success in your own life which is the opposite of what you should be doing. Henry David Thoreau captured this mindset perfectly when he wrote “most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Wouldn’t it be better to “sing” while you are still alive? I encourage you to expand your definitions of what’s possible in your own life both personally and professionally. Take on new risks and challenges. Follow your passions and embrace your talents. Be a force for good and a catalyst for inspiration. The world will go on changing with or without you. Why not enjoy the ride and be part of the positive momentum.
One of the biggest dangers to success is comfort. I see it all the time. On the way up, people have an edge. They push themselves towards goals achievement. Obstacles are seen as inconveniences that simply need to be overcome. Motivation is never an issue. Energy seems boundless. Leadership focus is laser-like and distractions are managed accordingly. Then success happens and it all changes…
To be a leader that truly matters you must first seek, then tap into your passion(s). Caring deeply about what you do rather than seeing it as a job or a responsibility will make all the difference in the long run.
Always strive to have a passion for something. However make sure your efforts in this regard are constructive for you and those around you, and it makes you a happier person.