When we go to school, we learn to compare our performance to a set standard. This is how we know we are doing well, moving in the right direction, and sure to achieve our objective. Many of us continue to use this approach as we move beyond school into our careers and lives: always measuring ourselves against someone else’s (or an institution’s) performance metrics.
But if we pick our heads up and look around at the people who seem to be succeeding and enjoying their lives, we’ll see that most focus much more on what they are doing rather than on how well they are doing. They choose to follow their passions, do it their own way, carve new paths, and create their own definitions of performance.
Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg—they all focused their energy and effort on their passions rather than on performance. They took specific actions based on what they believed, and what was important to them, in order to pursue their unique achievements. Yes, they wanted to be successful, but on their own terms—doing what they loved to do, the way they loved to do it (while unwittingly blazing a trail that others try to emulate!)
You are unique: consider what it will take to act from your own passions, leave your concern about your performance behind, and experience success on your own terms!
- Contemplate how you talk to yourself. Pay attention to your inner voice. Are you constantly measuring yourself against other people’s metrics and performance standards? If so, remind yourself about your own passions and gifts.
- Identify what triggers and fulfills your passion. Pay attention to the times, things, people, and experiences that trigger your passion and energy during the day. Write them down, track them, and work to make more of them happen every day.
- Move beyond dreaming. Believe in your ability to make your dreams and passions real. Take action, even small actions, that move you closer to having the things in life that you want.