There’s a question that the most successful people I’ve ever met can all answer — and it’s one those who struggle in life often can’t: “Why do you do what you do for a living?”
It’s a simple question, but the answer can be anything but simple.
Take a moment, right now, and really think about your answer.
Those who entered sales for no reason other than “I needed a job” are going to struggle. When we are not engaged at a fundamental level with our chosen careers — or in any activities we undertake — we will have challenges generating the energy needed to excel. A wish, dream or desire will not be strong enough to overcome the inevitable resistance that a career in this challenging field will encounter.
However, for those who enjoy the challenges, the question isn’t how to get through the day — it’s how to find enough hours in the day to accomplish everything they’ve set out to do. The ideas continuously flow, the desire to learn is powerful, and the need to compete is almost overwhelming. They feel like master musicians, constantly training to improve their skills, and when the time comes, they are ready to hit the stage and amaze their audiences.
One of my first Theory of 5 mentors, Eustace Wolfington, once said to me, “Chris, don’t worry about money. If you’re the best at what you do, the money will come.” When money is not our primary goal in a career, striving to become the absolute best will be much more rewarding long term. When we are at the top of our game, money and the other benefits of success will find us. Money becomes just one way to keep score and track of our progress.
When we have doubts about our careers, that energy bleeds off and accomplishes nothing. Doubt will hinder our progress and potential. Our focus will never be where it needs to be for success; instead of having laser-like precision, it’s spilt in too many directions and hinders our progress.
The most successful people see their careers as a sport where all they crave is the winning result, with no end in mind. They are willing to put in the work — on their training, education and performance — to hit their marks and achieve their infinite growth. However, to do this consistently, they need the energy, focus and drive that only comes from their life’s purpose.
When we ask ourselves why we do what we do, it is crucial to be honest with ourselves. We can put on a good show for others and give them the answer we think they want to hear, but we need the true answer to live our best life. There’s nothing wrong with taking a job for a time to pay the bills, but it’s not a long-term solution to happiness and prosperity. If that’s the place we find ourselves, the question becomes, “What do I want to do?”
Armed with the right answer, we can start to make changes that will lead us to the places we ultimately want to go and grow. Those who never ask the question — or answer without really considering it — find themselves in dead-end situations with little hope or the energy to make a change.
It is well within our power to build a world in which a vast majority of us wake up every morning inspired, feel safe with our career and return home fulfilled.
Mentors will support us in finding our answers. If we’re in the right field but are just unsure about how to improve ourselves, they can sit down with us and map out a game plan. If we’re not where we truly desire to be, they can share their visions and experience to point us in the right direction. Whatever the case, having the perspective of someone who is living a life of happiness and prosperity will shed light on our situation, and we’ll be better able to find our ultimate answers.
We owe it to ourselves, our family, our friends and our community to become what we were destined to become. There are too many people out there who go through lives never reaching their lives’ purpose. When we have laser-focused vision, clear objectives and the energy that comes from being able to put our heart and soul into the pursuit of this dream, we are unstoppable.
So, ask yourself: Why do you do what you do?