Why We Do What We DoPosted on November 28, 2014 by
This month, I’m going to take a break from the normal subject matter that I write about (marketing, real estate, technology, etc.) to focus on something a bit more… important. If you’re not ready for a little introspection, go ahead & stop reading now. I won’t judge.
However, if you’re open for some insight that just might help you grow not only your business but yourself as well, I humbly invite you to keep an open mind & keep reading. Please know that I’m usually a very private person, so a lot of the subject matter I’ll be writing about here is challenging for me to open up about.
There’s nothing like a challenge or personal tragedy in your life that will almost compel you to stop or at least slow down to re-evaluate the things you’re doing and the direction you’re heading. For me personally, I had such a tragedy occur recently when my father passed away from a combination of Alzheimer’s, old age & a heart condition just one month shy of his 96th birthday. Three months later, his older sister (my aunt) joined him. She was mere weeks away from turning 100.
My father was a full colonel (retired) in the U.S. Air Force. He served his country honorably, and, as I recently discovered, contributed to many (Classified) projects during the time he served that set the framework for things that are still in place today. By the time this article is published, he will have been laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. I have no doubt that this will be an experience that will be cherished by all who attend.
As with many people who were ‘old, old school,’ my dad didn’t really talk about his work… or how he felt about things much. Part of that was due to the classified nature of his work, and part was just his personality. In fact, he was quite grumpy most of the time. As the youngest of three sons, dad didn’t have much time for me. During the 70’s, America was going through some ‘changes,’ and so-called traditional family values were constantly being challenged. That’s an understatement.
I’ll spare you the details of the next few years (parents’ divorce, me living w/ mom, her getting cancer, house burning down, all the schools I attended before going to college, all the various jobs I’ve had) and fast forward to the part where I talk about the next subject: Work.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have been born a ‘trust fund baby,’ or were just born an entrepreneur who happened to create & sell something extremely valuable, you’ve most likely had to work at some point in your life. Maybe you’re still working at a job. If you have a so-called ‘career,’ what made you choose it?
And if you are still working at a job, why are you still there? Is it because you want to work there, or is it because you have to in order to pay for your living expenses, bills, and the things you want in life?
If you’re lucky, you actually choose and desire to work where you work and do what you do. But if you’re like most people who have a job, there’s a very good chance that you hate getting up at the same time every day to go see the same people you can’t stand and do the stuff you don’t like doing – just so you can put food on the table & keep a roof over your head.
Now, if that’s you, I’d just like to remind you that you DO still have a choice! If you’re reading this publication, chances are that you’re at least interested in real estate, being an entrepreneur, or pursuing the dream of working for yourself.
So if you’re not yet doing that, what’s holding you back? What are you afraid of? What’s your excuse for not going for what you want in life?
If you are already doing deals, I’d like to ask you those same questions if you’re still doing the same type of deals over & over, yet secretly desire to move up to the next level.
This brings us to the next question, and it’s a biggie: WHY do we DO the things we DO?
Ever stop to ask yourself that question? :)
There have been many books written on this subject, so to keep this from becoming one of them, we’ll just stick to the main topic at hand: Why we do the things we do to make money, a.k.a. “work.”
For many years, the standard sound byte we heard was, “Go to school. Get a good job. Work for the same company for 30-40 years, then you can retire.” Only thing is – that model doesn’t really work that well these days, does it?
Since we’re asking ourselves some of these big, deep, meaningful questions, please allow me to throw a couple more questions at you! Ready? Ok…
If money was not a consideration (i.e. if you won the Powerball Lottery tomorrow), what would you be doing with your life? What would you do to provide value to others?
A lot of people I’ve spoken with do NOT reply, “Oh, I’d keep working at my job.”
Most people, if they’re being honest, have other higher things they’d rather be doing. What keeps them stuck where they are? Their limiting beliefs & prior programming, which are constantly telling them that they ‘have to’ keep doing what they’re doing in order to survive.
One of the few gifts my father gave me years ago was a strong work ethic. Being the master wordsmith that he was, here’s what he told me: “I don’t care if you’re shoveling s*** against the tide, you’re going to get off your lazy a** and do something productive!”
And so I did. It took me years of trial and error to finally discover what it is that I can do to enjoy providing value for others, while at the same time making money. I put those items in the order they were intended.
So if you’re still reading, thanks! But if you’re still reading to try and find an answer to what it is that you should be doing, I’m sorry, but I’m just not able to provide that for you. You’ve got to ask yourself those questions above in order to find your own answers.
Too many people go through life working a job they can’t stand or simply not doing the things that make them happy. Don’t let one of those people be you. Search for your true ‘purpose’ today, and go for it!
Chances are that you’ll love doing real estate deals, but even if your passion is ‘just shoveling s*** against the tide,’ do it with a smile on your face!
Until next time,