For the most part, does anyone truly want to work? Sure, we want to do things, but deep down, is work really the thing you want to do? Of course there are people who love their jobs and can’t wait to get into work and tear it up. But what are the real motivating factors? What pushes us to work?
Obviously, money is the number one reason for many folks. Success, advancement, and family are a few others that most likely top the list. But what happens when you hit a point that no matter how hard you work, the likelihood of more money is slim, the effect it has on success and advancement is minimal, and the impact on your family becomes negative rather than positive? What then? What motivates you then? Is it fear of not being able to maintain your current lifestyle, or is there another reason you get up and give it your all? That is, if in fact, you are giving it your all.
Most of us have been conditioned to believe we must work hard to succeed; we must get great grades to get into a solid university; we must forgo fun and enjoyment to focus on what is important in life. I have even stated, more than once, that the more we put into something, the more we get out of it.
The question is, are we focusing on the right things? Is our effort going toward what truly matters? I believe there is a definite disconnect between “putting your all in to what you do” and knowing “what you should be putting your all toward”. Along with the poor job market over the past few years, there has been an awakening of sorts about what is important, and a refocus on the family, but has it really changed anything?
Any good business needs to set goals and create a plan to achieve them. This is basic, but I hope you would agree that although the concept is simple, the action is the key to progress. Well, if planning is so crucial to business, why isn’t it as equally important to life in general and, more specifically, to your happiness? However, if we are truly honest with ourselves, how many of us take the appropriate time to set goals toward happiness and create a plan to achieve those goals? Let me repeat that last thought. Who really and truly takes the time to do this? I’m not talking about losing weight, reading more, exercising and all the resolutions that come at the beginning of the year; they are merely tactics that should be part of a bigger plan. What I am talking about are very specific goals that lead toward your happiness.
Work, good grades, money, and great schools can all be part of the plan, but in and of themselves, should not be the goals you strive to accomplish. They are just pieces that can be substituted depending on your recipe for happiness. By the way, others cannot set your goals; that applies especially to your parents, if they still insert themselves into your lives. Only you know what makes you happy; those are the goals you should set. Identify the experiences, the people, and the feelings that bring you joy. Then, create a strategy that leads you to achieve those goals and, ultimately, happiness.
I often express my mantra of “Go Do”, which I believe is crucial to getting things done. This phrase is not intended to push anyone to work without rhyme or reason, it is meant to inspire myself and others to refocus on the goals which make us happy. So set your goals now, not at any particular time of the year. Create a plan to achieve those goals, and make sure the tactics support your plan. Then just “Go Do” and aim for happiness.