Irresponsible Optimism

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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Is it irresponsible optimism to say, “Yes, I acknowledge the obstacles. We are going to succeed nonetheless.”?

Perhaps.

And it is the only way anything meaningful ever happens.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Nothing is inevitable unless we say so.

PPS: Does saying so guarantee it will happen? Nope. Not saying so pretty much guarantees it won’t happen, though.

 

Today’s photo credit: Annette Dubois cc

How Meaningful Is Your Career Right Now? 

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
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Meaningful careers are those where we are doing:

  1. Something that we are good at,
  2. Something that motivates us,
  3. Something that satisfies our needs, wants, and desires (e.g.ideal work environment, income, lifestyle), and
  4. Something that solves the problems that others have and that we find compelling.

When our work satisfies all four of these criteria–when our work is meaningful–we feel good, we are confident, and we can handle all the ups and downs. If something is missing, we will be (a little or a lot) uninspired, drained, stuck, unsure, and at the mercy of the ups and downs.

What, if anything, needs to shift so that your career can solidly match these criteria?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: r. nial bradshaw cc

meaning

The Source of Meaningful Work

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Strategy, Sweetspot
Reading time: 2 min.

Deficiency, or rather the elimination of it, is our source for meaningful work.

We tend to see life, work, the world, and (secretly) ourselves as deficient in one or more of only these six ways.

  • There is too much ignorance. Life, work, and the world would be better when we pause to understand before acting. We are driven by understanding.
  • There is too much lack (of time, money, or anything, really). Life, work, and the world would be better when we set goals, take practical steps to get there, and measure ourselves along the way. We are driven by utility.
  • There is too much ugliness (of things, systems, and ideas). Life, work, and the world would be better when we drink in the beauty of life and design everything (concrete or conceptual) for completeness and enjoyment. We are driven by aesthetics.
  • There is too much separation. Life, work, and the world would be better when we realize we are all in this together and we choose to help each other out. We are driven by unity.
  • There is too much weakness. Life, work, and the world would be better when we coordinate and consolidate our power with strong leadership. We are driven by power.
  • There is too much tumult. Life, work, and the world would be better when we find, live & work by, and encourage others to live & work by the same, time-tested views, truths, and approaches. We are driven by tradition.

Our own career and our organizations’ strategies are most meaningful, compelling, and rewarding when we help other people and groups of people to correct those of these deficiencies that we notice the most.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We can apply these insights with some inquiry. We can explore how our careers (self) and strategies (organization) already align with the things that drive us the most. And we can ask, “What can we keep doing, start doing, and stop doing to be more aligned with those things?”

 

Today’s photo credit: Sandra Fauconnier cc

sweetspot

Find Meaningful Work, Part 2

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career
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In the prior post, we said that the trick to finding meaningful work is to begin with what we think is meaningful. That may be easy to say and rather difficult to do. Here, then, are four questions that can guide you.

  1. What do you care about?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What do you need, want, and desire in your life?
  4. What problems or symptoms do you notice that other people (or groups of people) have?

Your answers here point to your SweetSpot. Your SweetSpot describes your criteria for meaningful work.

Your SweetSpot is not, by the way, your next job, project, or business. You can discover that by asking yourself and people in your network this question: “What are all the jobs, projects, or businesses that might match my SweetSpot?”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Kazyel via photopin cc

choose

Find Meaningful Work, Part 1

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career
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How does one find meaningful work? Start with knowing what is meaningful. We choose to give meaning to something by noticing and appreciating it.

In your career, the trick is not to somehow find work that is meaningful. The trick is to choose confidently whatever you choose to notice and appreciate. Then find all the work (for there will be many things to choose from) that matches that and pick the one (or ones) that delight you the most.

It’s all in you.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: So direct, so simple, it’s easy to miss.

 

Today’s photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc

What Does It All Mean-Examples

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Yesterday we saw how we get to define the meaning of things and how liberating it is to do so. Here are some examples to illustrate. The alternate meanings I have listed are not the “right” meanings; there’s no such animal as “right meaning” except the one that you choose for yourself.

What is the meaning of the European public debt situation?

  • You can say, “It means that Europe is in for another rude awakening and the resulting drag on world economies will materially affect me, my income, and my family next year.”
  • You can also say, “It means that people are getting much clearer about the way they want to organize and finance society. I can help others and myself benefit from this situation.”

What is meaningful in my career?

  • You can say, “Not much. I flog products no one needs.”
  • You can also say, “Everything. I get to use my talents, engage my interests, meet my own needs, and help others.”

What is the meaning of the challenge that showed up on our doorstep today?

  • You can say, “More work. More stress. More things to go wrong. More proof that the people around me don’t get it.”
  • You can also say, “It means nothing. This will pass.”
  • You can also say, “This challenge is a gift. I will use this challenge to evolve the way we do business.”

Try it for yourself. What would you like to change the meaning of today? How will this new meaning help?

 

In your corner,

Mike

What Does It All Mean?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Life, eh?

What does it all mean? Why are we here? What’s the purpose? Who am I? Where do I fit in the world, in the galaxy? What is meaningful work? What is success? What makes sense for me, my family, my business/career?

These questions just start to scratch the surface of something profound. They seem to be huge and daunting questions. They are so huge that we alternately search for the answers or distract ourselves with the busyness of life so we won’t have to face it all. If you hadn’t noticed, we burn a lot of time, energy, and effort seeking answers to or avoiding  questions of meaning. The good news is that Meaning is neither huge nor daunting.

In fact, it is simple. The hard and fast rule is: “It means whatever you say it means.”

Scary? Maybe. Liberating? You bet.

When you see yourself as the one who gets to decide the meaning of things for you, it takes the pressure off. Your job now is to choose meanings that work for you. (Advance to Go and collect $200 when notice how others must be the authorities who decide meaning in their lives.)

We’ll anchor this idea in some examples tomorrow. In the meantime, I wish you a week of meaningfulness.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: “What does this have to do with my business or my career?” Everything, my friend. Absolutely everything.

PPS: It has been within you the whole time. How about that?!