“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the
only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.“
~ Steve Jobs
Over the years I have had the chance to coach a number of leaders, most of whom would be considered successful by today's standards-money, image, power, influence, and toys. But not all of these guys and gals were happy. Regardless of their level of income and stature, the ones who led fulfilled and productive lives had one thing in common:They were clear about what their purpose in life was. Interestingly enough, the ones who didn't seem to be happy or content with their lives all had one thing in common as well: They didn't have a clear, focused purpose in life, they just had a 'job.'
In working with those who were happy in life-the one's who operated out of a single life purpose-I realized that there were five things that characterized their lives and how they operated in life. Here they are:
Each leader was very clear about his or her strengths, non-strengths, values, and life mission. It was clear. If a direction in life or work would move them closer to their mission in life, then they took it. If it didn't...they passed on it. These leaders were able to clearly communicate who they were and where they were going in life and business. They were living life on purpose.
Because of this clarity of purpose in life, these leaders had a conviction and passion that was attractive and intense. They weren't going through life as if it was a trial run. These folks meant business. Their direction was set and there was no second-guessing going on between their ears.
It's been said that all we have in life is time, energy, and money to invest in that which we are committed to. Time is precious, energy is limited, and money is hard to make and keep. These leaders, because of their conviction about their mission and purpose in life, were committed to doing whatever it took to get it done. Their investment of time, energy and money toward their calling in life was apparent. You were either with them, or needed to get out of their way.
Courage is an interesting thing. I've talked to so many leaders who confessed that they didn't pursue a course or passion in life because they were afraid. And because they felt this 'fear,' they felt that they have what it took to make it happen. Courage is not acting in the absence of fear. It's not moving forward because you don't feel afraid. It's doing it in spite of the fear. These folks felt the fear, but their conviction and commitment to their mission in life gave them the courage to pursue it anyway.
After studying the lives of those who live their life "on mission,' I'm convinced that confidence is the inevitable result of living life with a single, focused purpose. Clarity paves the way to conviction. Conviction leads to commitment. Commitment produces courage. Courage, then, breeds confidence.
I was once told that there are three different types of people out there: Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that wonder what happened. I'm convinced that what separates leaders in these three groups is being clear about what their purpose in life is (clarity), finding out what has to happen to pull-it-off (conviction), and not stopping until you get there (commitment, courage, and confidence).