Harold Whitman wrote:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
So, I am preparing for my big Career Renegade Bootcamp this weekend (not a sales pitch, it’s already sold out) and I keep circling back to this one concept.
In business and in life, we tend to get so wrapped up in the quest to ferret out gaps to exploit, voids to fill and markets to target that I wonder if we sometimes lose sight of what really matters most.
Our greatest satisfaction comes not so much from cashing in on opportunities that hold great economic potential, but little genuine interest. It’s just not about that.
Sure money matters, but meaning matters more…
There’s now a cornucopia of research to support this. Beyond earning enough to live comfortably in the world and cover your basic needs, every new dollar of income does not add significantly to your enjoyment of life. Because, we habituate to money, stuff and power in the blink of an eye.
What DOES matter, though, is doing what you love…
And, then figuring out how to earn what you need. Of course, the first step in this puzzle is to ask the question Harold Whitman assumes you’ve already answered.
What makes you come alive?
When I asked this question of myself, here’s what I came up with…
- Activities/Processes – Playing with people I love, teaching and mentoring, speaking and writing, creating anything, designing, painting, playing/making music, being active.
- Topics/Content – Entrepreneurship, marketing, conscious living, health and fitness, parenting, nature, the psychology of change.
For some people, it’s one all-consuming thing. Medicine, math, sculpting. That’s not me. Never has been. Nor, do I believe, it needs to be.
Not surprisingly, nearly all of my professional endeavors over the past 5 years have been wrapped around these things. And, amazingly enough, the more I do what I love, the easier it becomes to figure out how to make money grow out of meaning.
Or, like Paul Newman revealed in The Color Of Money…
“If you’ve got an area of excellence – you’re good at something; you’re the best at something; Anything; Then, rich can be arranged. I mean rich can come fairly easy.”
So, my question for you, today is…
What makes YOU come alive?
What are the topics, content, processes and activities that light your fire. The things that make you pant with anticipation and lose time when your doing them?
C’mon, what are they? Think about it, but not to hard, this has gotta come from the gut.
Now, share your answers in the comments below…
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