“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
In each of our businesses, we spend time talking about customers and markets and buying habits and all kinds of things centered around what other people want. We try and figure out what they want and then we develop brilliant (we think) plans and strategies for giving it to them and getting paid for our trouble.
The purpose of this post isn’t to argue that we shouldn’t try to understand those things, or that what others want doesn’t matter, or anything like that (so save your angry emails). The purpose of this post is internal. It’s about what makes you go. Not your business – you.
How often do you sit down and reflect on what you’re passionate about? How often do we stop to notice that whatever it is we’re doing gives us energy, makes us feel like getting out of bed in the morning, or makes time seem to fly?
For most people, the answer is: not often enough. We do so many things because we have to, or think we have to, or think we should want to, or think someone else wants us to, and on and on. And the more time we spend doing things that don’t get us going, the less energy we have, the less we accomplish, the more we disengage.
So make a point to sit down this week and think about what excites you & gives you energy. Make a list. Ask yourself how much time you’re actually spending doing those things. Why aren’t you doing more? What would have to change about your life in order to spend more time doing those things? What’s keeping you from making that change?
Maybe you don’t believe you can afford to do what energizes you. Maybe you don’t believe people would approve. Maybe deep down you really don’t believe you can do it well. Whatever the case, if you want your behavior to change (to more of what you’re passionate about), your core beliefs will have to change as well.
Human beings are not designed to live lives that revolve around stuff we’re not passionate about. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other things that may need to be done, but too many people are living other people’s lives instead of following their own energy.
Figure out what starts your engine, and then start it as often as you can. You’ll be happier and more successful doing whatever you’re passionate about than you’d ever be doing something that market research tells you to do.