Why do you do the work that you do?
To pay the bills and put food on the table, of course. To provide for your family and give your children every opportunity you can – no question. Quite probably because it stretches you, too, and because you love the challenges your role provides.
They're all great reasons to get out of bed in the morning.
But beyond funding your life and challenging your brain, what else drives you?
I'm sharing two quotes today that have inspired me to think hard (all over again) about not just what I'm doing, and how I do it, but why I do it.
The first is from Mark Twain. We used a snippet of it when we chose the tagline 'Explore. Dream. Discover.' for the TSO Consulting brand back in 2009, and at the time it felt pretty neat, encapsulating all the things we help clients to do.
But returning to the full quote now, it feels much more like a real call to action:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
Throwing off the bowlines and sailing away from safety is a tough choice – in business or otherwise. But if I'm honest, playing safe has never helped me accomplish all that much. How about you? Will you look back, decades from now, and wish you'd had the courage to 'catch the trade winds'?
One of the challenges in the kind of leadership role our clients have is that there's rarely time in the schedule to explore, to dream, or to discover. Calm waters are few and far between, and that can keep all of us stuck in 'safe harbour'.
There's so much to be accomplisged. So much strategy work to do, Daily challenges and decisions; people to lead; targets; deadlines. None of it is easily accomplished. But it's the kind of busy work that can prevent us ever making time to step back and think about what we're really capable of; what we really believe in; a bigger 'why' for doing what we do.
Hence the prod from me, today. It can feel risky to take the step that dances on the edge of your mind. What if you fail? What if no one notices at all? But in the long run, it might prove riskier still not to take it.
Will you be a sleepy permanent planet, or a superb meteor?
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” – Jack London
Over to you
Come over to twitter and let me know if you're as fired up by these wise words as I am. I love to connect with like-minded folk.
Ready to challenge yourself?
If you're a leader with an inkling that you're not quite fulfilling your purpose, but don't have the time to commit to a full coaching programme, then we've designed our Take Stock call just for you. An hour of uninterrupted time with an experienced coach to step back and look at where you are, and where you're going. Read more about it and book your spot here.
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