I coach and mentor a lot of young adults about to graduate college. I tell them something that is incredibly cliche. And many times incredibly unpopular with culture and their parents.
"Do what you love!"
While that approach gets a lot of pushback (mainly because of money and ironically from unhappy people), there is a secret in it. If you do what you love doing, you'll ...
be MOTIVATED to get up in the morning
have a POSITIVE outlook on life
have a sense of PURPOSE about your work
Doing what you love creates a proper training ground to learn the secret to a successful and significant life. I could give 2 cents about what that actually is because the "secret" is WHO YOU ARE and HOW YOU DO IT!
How much more fulfilled and productive would you be right now if you were MOTIVATED, POSITIVE, and PURPOSEFUL?
I could just drop the mic right there but if you want a little more convincing or need a little more encouragement, read on...
I graduated with a degree in Computer Information Systems from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL. Great place, great school, great people. But that degree from that school wasn't what enabled me to live a life of success and significance. It's not what you do or where you do it ... IT'S WHO YOU ARE and HOW YOU DO IT.
Let me tell you a story ...
After college, I started working as a helpdesk tech for a software company. I was then promoted to technical lead after a year. They didn't promote me just because I was a helpdesk tech (what I was). I was promoted because, in the down time between support calls without anyone asking me to do it, I developed a new way to search and track our problems. I was PROACTIVE (who I was and how I did it).
Later in my career, I felt maxed out at that company. After expressing a desire for more responsibility and nicely being put off, I left and went to another company where I could have more responsibility. 2 weeks after I left, my former company called me and asked if I would move to Belgium and run a big project for them there. They didn't call me and ask me to move to Belgium just because I used to work there (what I did). They called me back because I exhibited CONFIDENCE, RESPONSIBILITY and COURAGE (who I was and how I did it) while I was there.
In a final example, in 2005, with a 3 year old son, a pregnant wife and a brand new house, I quit my corporate job to run my own boat company. Long story short, I sold that company 8 years later. I wasn't successful because I got a degree from Jacksonville State or that I worked for a computer company or lived in Europe or sold boats. Those are all WHAT'S.
I was successful because I took a calculated RISK and employed a CONSISTENT process. I had INTEGRITY when it came to customer problems. I could be TRUSTED to do what I said I would do. I was DISCIPLINED to follow up. I PERSEVERED tough economic times. I had FAITH in God's plan for my life. The capital words are WHO I WAS and HOW I DID IT.
To live a life of success & significance, focus on your CHARACTER as much as your career
There were a lot of hard times and low points in my journey. I am as imperfect as you. My story and the ability to make it yours isn’t just for the chosen few. It's for those of you that choose!
Regardless of where you are and what you are doing, if you will pursue and grow in COURAGE, DISCIPLINE, ENTHUSIASM, INTEGRITY, HUMILITY, CONSISTENCY, CONFIDENCE, FAITH, ACCOUNTABILITY, KINDNESS, PROACTIVITY, ENCOURAGEMENT, RESPONSIBILITY and the other qualities that shape an admired and respected person, you will not have to go looking for opportunity. OPPORTUNITY WILL COME LOOKING FOR YOU!
So please... don't get caught up in WHAT you are doing or going to do. Get caught up in WHO YOU ARE and HOW YOU DO IT!