Your “Why” is Much More than Bacon

I didn’t want a Mac computer.  I knew Windows very well and have owned numerous computers, all with Windows.  I was buying a new one every few years. Not so much because the technology need, but of necessity as my computers would get so clunky with spyware and viruses.   Last September, I found myself shopping again.  I decided to reflect on WHY I wanted a new computer before I decided on WHAT I would buy.   Instead of trying to get the most features for the least amount of money, I decided to start with the reason I hated the computer I was getting rid of.  It took approximately 11 minutes to start it up, and needed several re-boots per day.  That’s it.  I wanted something that simply worked.  I wanted the increased productivity and ease of use I dreamed a new computer would deliver.  Mac, not necessarily known as the most powerful computers (I don’t care), was known for simplicity.  A coworker showed me that his Mac Air rebooted in approximately 1 second.  My “Why” sold me because Mac’s features (at least one of them) aligned with it.   I am  much happier with the my Mac.

English: Slow down?

English: Slow down? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Understanding why we enjoy certain things can open us up to much more fulfillment.

Never is this more important than where we spend our careers.  Many employers assume we are motivated only by money and maybe promotability (because of money).   They miss out on so much.  Author, Ken Coleman talks about our “sweet spot”.  That spot where our passions and our skills intersect is where we are most valuable.  Imagine going to work doing work you love and excel.

The problem is  too many people are oblivious to their own passions.

They know some of what they are good at, but don’t know their passions.  Expecting the company to provide a road map of career development leaves employees feeling empty, regretful and underutilized. What will you do if you get promoted to the next “step” and you hate it.  Or SUCK at it. There are other roads to success, but you have to look in the mirror first.

Ask yourself Why?  Why do you do what you do?  Beyond the common need to bring home the bacon, you have a purpose.  Whether you can or can’t articulate it, something drives you.  I write this blog to get better at helping with  “tools” for people to get better at finding and achieving purpose in life, thus leading a more fulfilled life. This applies to my day job as well.   I have to remind myself that “followers”, “likes”, and “re posts”, are not my goal.  Knowing this allows me to continue with my work and not sweat things that don’t matter to me. I recently wrote on what happens when we forget the “why” . Our why is what makes us valuable and keeps us going when we feel tired and beaten.  Be intentional and reflect on why you are doing what you are doing.  Be honest and make sure it aligns with your morals and your over goals for your life.

What are you going to do TODAY to discover your sweet spot?

Rocco De Leo

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Stop Killing Your Dream: It never did anything to hurt you

Do you ever find yourself wondering if this is as good as it gets? You may be successful based on today’s standards. Yet you still feel like there is so much more to be had. You had a dream at one point in your life. Your dreams have now been replaced with responsiblities and excuses. I, like most little boys, wanted to be a professional baseball player growing up. I think, at one point, I wanted to be God or Santa Clause as well. The God and Santa Clause dreams may have been a bit far fetched, but a little boy dreaming of making the Major Leagues, or the little girl making it with a major dance production is as American as Apple Pie and the Fourth of July. These are real. And these are big.

20130502-233927.jpgMost kids give up on those dreams early on, and for most of them, me included, their talent level crushes their dreams. With the last day of Pay-to-Play Little League or Pay to Dance Studios, the dream, and the ability to dream seem to disapear. Why is it, as anadult professional, with college degrees, professional titles, two cars and a mortgage, you can’t give yourself a break even in your dreams? I’ve done it. I still do it. “CEO…can’t do it, I don’t have a Harvard degree”. “Publish a book…naw, not me, I don’t own any sport coats with elbow patches, that’s for professional authors”. You give yourself excuse after excuse to accept mediocrity, even in your dreams. Author Jon Acuff, in his book Quitter, discusses achieving a dream as a three step process. Start with a Passion. What are you passionate about? Practice this passion in a low risk environment for a while to get good. I am currently in the practice phase of my own dream. I have a 4 day old baby sleeping in the room with me. I should be sleeping. Instead I’m writing to an audience of maybe 10 people. 5 of whom, I’m sure are trying to sell me something. And finaly, after getting good at your dream, Plan your dream. Passion, practice, plan. You don’t even get past Passion, you tell yourself that its impossible. Many of you don’t have a dream because you haven’t discovered your passion yet. I’ll address discovering passion in an upcoming post. Here’s a list of the who’s who of dream killers, what Brene’ Brown refers to as Gremilins in her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead:
1. I don’t have time
2. I’ll focus on my dream after the kids graduate
3. Who do I think I am?
4. I’m not as good as those other guys
5. I’ll start after I get a new (computer, car, tool box, etc)
6. We are moving, I can’t start my dream now
7. There’s already too many people doing my dream
8. My spouse isn’t supportive
9. I don’t know how to do/get started (insert dream)
10. My dream doesn’t pay enough

This is only a short list of excuses. There’s a hundred for every dream out there. The bottom line is you can achieve your dream if you want it bad enough. There’s a hundred succesful people living out thier dreams for each one of the above excuses. Start today with your passion. What do you enjoy and why do you enjoy it? I want to dig deeper into this in future posts. For now, share with me what your dream is? Dare to dream big with courage and determination. You have one life to live, live it to the fullest.

Rocco De Leo