It's the very first month of 2020, the beginning of a brand new year and decade. What better time than now to make some big changes in your life and business?
We're all energized by new beginnings, and this is a big one. Let's make it count--make 2020 the year you finally decide to prioritize loving the work you do.
Not sure how to do that? Here's your playbook for achieving this goal. In it, I've outlined four areas of your work you should examine, along with actionable takeaways for each one.
How intellectually challenged are you in your current work? Challenge is an essential ingredient to being engaged and having "Zone" moments. You know, those moments in which you lose track of time because you're just so immersed in what you're doing. Typically, what challenges you most is related to your Genius, or the type of thinking or problem-solving that you're best at.
Action Step: Try to identify your Genius. This article offers many common areas of Genius and can help you narrow yours down. Then, make sure you're using it as often as possible in your day to day life.
More and more, business experts are talking about Purpose, and that's because science has taught us that true motivation can only come from within. It can't be achieved, in the long term anyway, from money or fancy trips.
As much as we'd like to believe that those external rewards are effective, when it comes to having never-ending energy for work, they fall short. They may provide a short burst of energy, but that will diminish rapidly.
What's more important is that you understand your Purpose, which is directly connected to the impact on others or on the world that's most meaningful to you. If you can identify and name this, you'll have the key to having endless energy for your work.
Action Step: You may already understand what drives you innately, but if you don't, it's time to examine it. This article can help. To take this one step further, encourage your team or employees to identify and share their Purpose, too.
Mindfulness is all about being aware of the internal messages that are going on in your head. These messages can define and create the world you live in. Do you believe that having work you love is possible? Do you value your Genius and Purpose? Do you value who you are and believe in yourself, at least the majority of the time?
These are crucial questions to think about. Most of us understand that having the right mindset is critical for achieving great things, but few understand how to actually change their thinking.
Action Step: You can't improve what you can't measure, right? Start tracking where your mindset might be holding you back by downloading a copy of my Performance Tracker. The tool is designed to help people build confidence and success by tracking key habits, including mindfulness. Fill out this tracker every week and track your progress. Tracking is a game changer for being able to identify and overcome some of the internal barriers you create, which can easily be reversed with discipline and practice.
You can't give up.
It's likely you already know this, but you might not realize how often giving up--or being tempted to--is keeping you from loving your work. Think about the last time you failed. Did you throw in the towel and abandon your goals? Or, did you learn from that failure and go after what you wanted again, this time with a different approach?
If the latter, then you're on the right track. You must not be deterred by setbacks or failures. Learn from them, and never give up.
Your goal can shift based on what the failures teach you, meaning maybe the goal that you never seem to reach after years and years of trying just isn't right for you. Or you achieve your goal, just not as soon as you expected. I had to go through epic failures before I got my book deal for The Genius Habit, but I learned something new each time and kept trying again.
Ultimately, I achieved my goal, and I learned so much through the up and down journey. Now, I can look back and appreciate each failure for what it taught me.
Action Step: Keep track of your failures. Instead of letting them make you question yourself or your value, write down what you can learn from each one and think of how you can tackle the same goal in a different way. Soon, you'll see them as what they really are: key stepping stones towards your desired end result.
Putting it All Together
Once you've identified your Genius and Purpose, you now know your Zone of Genius. And when you start using the Performance Tracker, you can easily track how often you're in your Zone of Genius and building your confidence and perseverance. Start keeping track of your failures and learning from them, too, and you now have everything you need to create work you love.
Final steps: Using the data from your tracking, evaluate whether your current work is a good fit for you. Are you spending your time on the things you love? Or are you doing what you think you should be doing, based on a business you created years ago?
If you see room for improvement, see if you can refocus your time on tasks that are aligned with your Genius and have the impact of your Purpose. Importantly, try to delegate the work you're doing that isn't in sync with your Zone of Genius. If you're really unhappy, it might be time to rethink your business entirely. Either way, commit to leveraging this new knowledge about yourself and finding work you love. Isn't that why you started working for yourself in the first place?