What is Your Reason?

By August 17, 2012 No Comments

What made you choose your career? What motivates you to get out of bed each morning and go to work? How can you impact the field in which you work and ultimately achieve heights you never thought possible? This week’s blog will discuss why we need to have a ‘why’ to be successful.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.” This is so true. Why is society full of unsuccessful people with talent? One big reason is that those people do not have a ‘why.’ If you want to be successful you must have a purpose in what you do. If you just show up, punch the time card, go through the motions, and count down the hours until 5:00, you will never achieve the success you are capable of.

At some point we were all motivated, driven, bright-eyed students with a passion for knowledge. When we chose our career path, there was something there that we were motivated by. Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to lose that flame after a couple of years in the workforce. If you are in need of motivation at the workplace, go back to the reason that got you into the field. Continue to expand your knowledge base within your field. Become an expert at your craft.  Make a list of the talents you have and that you bring to your employer each day. Then write out an action plan on how you are going to use your talents to be the best employee possible and change your company forever. Don’t wait for your opportunity to come, make it happen!

In the world of athletics if you are solely coaching or playing for records, titles, and championships, you will find yourself empty. You need a ‘why’, a purpose. Recently I listened to motivational speaker, Eric Thomas, talk about NBA superstar Kevin Durant’s ‘why.’ Durant is a 3 time scoring champion, but that is not what motivates him. Durant, who wears number 35, has a purpose. Before each game he touches the numbers on the front and back of his jersey and then points up to the heavens. He does this to honor his former coach, who died at the age of 35. That is his ‘why’. He plays for something greater than the game. He doesn’t worry about his opponents or breaking records. Durant plays the game the right way. He is driven to win a championship and he does it all while honoring his former coach.

This is what separates champions, the successful people, from the average ones with talent. You must have a reason for what you do.  Having set goals is imperative. When you set your goal, put a time limit on it. If you do not put a time limit on the goal it is easy find excuses not to follow through.  You must have a purpose that allows you to give it everything you’ve got. Until you find that, you will never rise to that next level. It must not be about the name on the back of the jersey or the title outside an office door. Have a purpose that is greater than yourself, and success will find you.

My ‘why’ is very simple, yet powerful. It is to be the best person I can be, to be a role model, to positively influence others, and to make my school a better place each day. Ultimately, I want the hole in the donut, my slice of heaven.  You might ask what that is. For me, it is peace of mind that comes with being financially independent. My hole in the donut consists of owning property with a walkout ranch while living on water.  I want my son to have the best life possible and for our family to travel the world. This is my ‘why.’ That is why I started my website and blog. I may not get my ‘hole in the donut’ right away; it will take time, but I will get it. How can I be so sure? It’s rather simple. I have an unshakeable belief in my ability. I have set goals, a purpose, and am focused on how I can make the lives of others better.

No matter what career you have chosen you can have a ‘why.’ It does not need to be anything other than something you can control, something you believe in, and are passionate about it. If money and job titles are the sole motivation, you will ultimately burn out and feel empty. Our purpose needs to be greater. This is a simple but great ‘why’ for anybody in any field: “What can I do to make this place better than it was yesterday?” Think about that. How simple yet powerful is that concept? Try it. If you do, you will begin to achieve things you never thought possible.

From all of the material I have read and studied on successful people, I have come to one conclusion. In order to achieve great things, one must be a servant. This is very hard to do because it is different from what society tells us we need to do to be successful.  Many people, myself included, start their careers focused on how they can move up right away, get that job title and make more money. It is very difficult for people to shift from that mindset to one of a servant. This is something I have recently realized and begun to practice. People who have achieved great success are all servants. The book, [amazon-product text=”The Go-Giver” type=”text”]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159184200X[/amazon-product], by Bob Burg, brilliantly illustrates this point. This book brought me clarity on how to approach work and life. It shows us how concepts as simple as giving and serving will produce many rewards. I highly recommend picking this book up. It will change your outlook as it did mine.

Remember to go back to your ‘why’ when you feel lost and are lacking motivation. Take your talents and impact the lives of others. If you focus on how you can help others, success will follow. I cannot think of a more powerful ‘why’ than that.

Thanks for reading and have a great week! Don’t forget to be a RGP this week!