What you do is transient. But what you are…that’s a solid ground for you to build on.
A lot of people deny who they really are (https://www.excellence-expected.com/397) by trying to present themselves as a “professional”. We’re taught to screw up our chances by not letting anyone see the real us (which means they won’t be able to truly know, like, and trust us).
We keep our actions and thoughts inside our Professional Box, when we would be much more successful by stepping into our Personality Box - who you are right now.
What if you also architected your future Personality Box - who you will become. What would that look like if you were successful?
It’s a deep question: what does it mean to succeed by being, not by doing? I talk more about this in episode 400 of The 7 Minute Mentor (https://www.excellence-expected.com/7-minute-mentor/).
Forget What You Want To Do In Life
At the same time as you were taught how to act like a phoney “professional”, you were simultaneously told you need to figure out what you want to do in life.
I can remember being asked what I wanted to do by the careers advisor at school when I was about 14...I’m sure she dished out really useful advice like work in a bank or become a gardener. At the time I can guarantee I didn’t say I wanted to run my own software business or have a business podcast (it would have been pretty impressive if I had given podcasts didn’t exist when I was 14...Mark-y McFly!). But I was given the instruction to put thought into what I wanted to do.
Right now I’m helping a friend who’s struggling to figure out what he wants to do. Thinking in this way is half his problem. He can chase his tail in circles forever by trying to nail down exactly what he wants to do. I share more about this in my blog post ‘What Do I Want To Do With My Life? - Becoming What You Want to Be Without Knowing What You Want To Do’ (https://www.excellence-expected.com/what-do-i-want-to-do-with-my-life/).
But, you see, what you want to do isn’t really what you want. What you really want is to be certain things.
You’ll never succeed by going for what you want to do, because what you do is transient. What you do moves and shifts like the tide. You can’t rely on it long-term. It can hold you back and keep you caged inside a lifestyle prison (https://www.excellence-expected.com/my-business-my-prison/).
But - what you want to be - that’s solid. You can rely on it. It can guide you through endless problems, pivots and perils.
Why Focusing on What You Should Do Leads to Failure
You need to keep paying your mortgage, your car payments, and the occasional holiday. That’s okay. Don’t resent your nice lifestyle. You work hard for it.
On the other hand, you feel unfulfilled. In an attempt to fix this, you try to force something that shouldn’t be forced. You rush into a new job, throw together a shoddy new product, or desperately push a new side-hustle.
F*ck that! It’s not what you do next that will guide you.
Forget what you want to do. Focus instead on what you want to be.
Years ago I sat down in front of a Blue Snowball microphone, hit record, and started talking about Batman. I didn’t know what I was doing or why. That became Two Shots to the Head, a podcast all about DC Comics. I’m absolutely in my element, doing what I’ve enjoyed doing pretty much my whole life...talking about DC Comics!
I could have never guessed that this hobby-podcast would lead to Excellence Expected (https://www.excellence-expected.com), and then to Podcast Websites (https://podcastwebsites.com/), which resulted in my closing down my design agency, Hacksaw.
It ultimately culminated in thousands of people watching me speak on stage about a totally different topic than the one I started with! I could have never known any of that.
I didn’t need to. I just did what felt fulfilling at the time.
I was being the person that I wanted to be, and it’s led me further and further along the path to being the person that I want to be.
Stop wasting your time trying to figure out what you want to do! I don’t run Two Shots to the Head anymore, and that’s fine. I don’t mourn it. It turned out to be just a stepping stone (although I am tempted to revive it!).
Envision What You Will Be When You Are Successful
Every time you start thinking you want a change, stop thinking what you’re going to do. Think instead about how you want to be.
How do you want to live, to feel, to show up to others?
I’m a different person now than I was when I was running Hacksaw. I was unhappy and I didn’t even know it. All I knew was there was a little itch I needed to scratch. I was bored, so I started a podcast talking about my favourite comics. If I had hired someone to calculate exactly what I should have done to replace my income with a more fulfilling business, starting a hobby podcast about comic books would not have been the result!
You never know where things can lead. What you should do. Focus on what you want to become.
If you want help with solving your business problems then come along and join me at my free coaching sessions that I run every single Friday live on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mrasquith/) - 4pm UK, 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. Together we can define, challenge and conquer your biggest problem.
Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!
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