For those of you who’ve been getting these emails over the past few years and especially for the folks that know me personally, you know that I’m not someone who is a cheerleader and spends a lot of time trying to make everyone feel good about themselves.
I’m a results driven person – you set a target, you make a plan, you execute well and you get what you deserve the vast majority of the time.
In that respect, I’m a pretty simple guy – everything is my fault… Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, anything that happens to me is by my doing.
But sometimes, that kind of singular focus and black and white view on life can chafe people the wrong way. For the most part, I kind of don’t care – people who want like to consist exclusively of lollipops and rainbows are weak and they lack the personal courage to fight through the day to day rigours that success demands.
That doesn’t mean everything has to be doom and gloom. Quite the opposite, I tend to be a pretty optimistic person. I look at things with a “can do” (often times a “must do”) attitude and then figure out how to make that happen.
When you approach life as something that you can conquer then rather than something that’s waging war against you, it becomes surprising how much more fun things are.
So where is this coming from?
Today, I woke up to an email from my day job that could best be described as a bit of $hit show email that someone sends to protect themselves in case things go badly but if they go well, then they can claim responsibility for getting everyone back on track.
The individual who sent the email does this all the time and a bunch of people I spoke to over the course of the day made reference to this person’s persistent tossing of hand grenades internally.
Me? I took a different approach this morning. I read his email and I thought, “How does this email help me serve my purpose for working on this project?”
My purpose? My reason?
I like winning.
I know, I know… It’s not some super higher purpose mission like rescuing stray dogs from the pound for helping former Big Brother contestants find gigs appearing at nightclubs, but we all have our reasons for getting out of bed in the morning.
This is a big project, it’s important to the part of the business that I work in and it’s pretty interesting – so I want to win.
The guy who wrote the hand grenade email had a point once you got past the self-serving nature of what he was doing. It pointed out an area where we could be better and when you looked past the nonsense, it could help us win.
And I like winning.
So I spent the day getting everyone re-focused on being better.
You’ll note, I didn’t say that I spent the day making people “feel better”, I said making them “be better”.
There were lots of people who said that the hand grenade email was “demoralizing” for them and they found it hard to contribute to our joint success today.
You know what I said to them?
“Harden up. Put on your big boy or big girl pants and toughen the hell up.”
In life, you don’t get to sit around and chuck a sad when someone says things that you disagree with… Well, you don’t if you want to be successful.
People are going to throw shade on you all the time because they’re weak and that makes them feel better about themselves – when you can’t rise above someone, then the only thing you have left is to pull them down.
And this is where we come back to your “reason”. You could call it a “purpose” or a “mission”, I genuinely don’t care.
But you should have one.
When it comes to my day job, I’m there to do interesting work, keep my mind sharp and to do everything I can to win. Those are my reasons for being there – I’m not climbing the corporate ladder, it’s not for money or fame, it’s all about the interesting work and winning.
In my online businesses, things have changed a bit… Originally, it started out as a hobby back in 2007, but then we decided very quickly that if we could build a sustainable and steady flow of online income, my wife could stay home with my son full-time and we wouldn’t have to make any sacrifices.
That was pretty successful and more than ten years later our son is in high school and my wife has been home every day for him when he got there. For a couple of years, so was I because our businesses were able to afford me the luxury of taking two years out of the workforce to recharge my mental batteries.
Now, my “mission” is maybe a bit different.
It’s still something of a hobby for me – I like doing this stuff and I’m fortunate enough that financially, it’s pretty rewarding for me.
The bigger thing now is setting up for the future. In four or five years, my son is going to be finished high school I’ll be edging closer to 50 (but not quite there!) and maybe at that point, it would be an opportunity for my wife and me to have a bit of a lifestyle change.
That might mean some travel, living abroad or just trying something a bit different – who knows what the future might hold.
So my “purpose” now is to have some fun doing what I do and build out another one or two online businesses that will afford us that luxury in a couple of years should we decide that’s the way we want to go.
In essence, my “mission” is freedom.
You need to think about your “reason” if you don’t know what it is. For some people, it could be creating a side hustle that lets them pay for a family vacation every year and for others, it might be funding the construction of schools in the third world.
It doesn’t have to be that altruistic either, you might just want a new car.
Having said that, I do think your “purpose” needs to be a bit more “important” than buying a car. because for the most part, people aren’t really willing to make the commitment that it takes to be successful for something that’s a “nice to have”.
To be successful and carry out your “mission”, you need to have a pretty intense desire to achieve your desired outcome because it won’t be easy.
Being self-reflective for a moment, that is something I admittedly struggle with – my life is pretty comfy if we’re being honest. I often don’t achieve all of my ambitions because “the juice, ain’t worth the squeeze”.
So think about your higher purpose and align your objectives with that. Set yourself on a path to successfully complete your mission and if you really want it, nay, need it, then you’ll be unstoppable.