After a lifetime of personal experience, 15 years of corporate and startup experience, and four solid years helping people learn everything from surfing and pottery to financial planning and dental assisting, I’ve found three factors to be the most important to success and fulfillment in your career:
1. Passion: You gotta genuinely love what you do.
2. Skills: Passion alone is powerful, but it isn’t enough. Specialized training on the specific, practical skills that you need on the job is critical. Sounds basic but I’m constantly blown away by how many people are working jobs they aren’t properly trained for (and yes, even/especially those with college degrees).
3. Mentorship: You need to be surrounded by leaders and experts who genuinely care about you, your company and the mission you’re on together.
Passion, Skills and Mentorship.
If you have those three things, you will do great work. And you’ll have a blast doing it.
Company leaders, please do your best to not only hire folks who already possess this triumvirate, but help your current employees get there as well. You can’t teach passion, but you can definitely help with skills and mentorship. It will not only drive your bottom line, but it will elevate your company culture and enhance your customer experience.
Gratefulness is the key to happiness.
In a life full of lessons, that’s one of the biggest I’ve learned.
Things don’t always go as we planned. Actually, most of the time they don’t. Things take longer, cut deeper and are just plain harder than we imagine. More people leave than stay. We lose time and we lose trust. The picture gets fuzzy and the canvas gets frayed. And no matter what we paint on our face or put on our feeds, we lose a whole lot more than we win.
But through it all – the good, the bad and the awful; the silent victories and the screaming failures; the hidden strides and the public setbacks; the best of times and the worst of timing…. through it ALL – if we remain grateful for every part of it, we’re able to live our best life.
If we‘re grateful for each opportunity, more chances seem to come our way. If we’re thankful for our darkest moments, life begins to become a little lighter. When we nod in appreciation, fate smiles back.
Because it’s the whole thing, every soft corner and every sharp edge, that builds us into who we are. And when we’re aware of that, and grateful for that, then – no matter what – we build something beautiful. No matter what, we’re truly happy.
We often get our “passion” and our “purpose” confused.
I used to think about this a lot, especially as I got older and started to advance in my career. I wanted my decisions to be more linked to passion and purpose, but I wasn’t clear on either.
Were they the same thing? How do you define them? What’s the difference?…
It took me a lot of learning and exploring and failing and finding to discover the simple answer to that confusing question:
Your passion is about YOU. It’s about what you love.
Your purpose has NOTHING to do with you. It’s about what you do for OTHERS.
And when you’re able to sync them seamlessly together – pouring your time and energy and effort into what you love in order to create something meaningful for others – that’s when you become your greatest self. That’s when you give your greatest gift.
But not just the ‘nice to look at’ kind of beauty… A deeper kind.
The kind that touches you in an instant but speaks to you for a lifetime. The kind that finds dreams in the darkness and feeds truth in the light. The kind that stems from realness and rawness and an indescribable desire to give MORE.
More to yourself, more to others, more to the world.
The kind of beauty that transforms strangers into soulmates, and turns a community into a Calling.
Beauty that comes in different shapes and shades and sizes, but feels the same through shared eyes.
Beauty that’s a vision to create, and a passion to call home…
Beauty that lasts. Beauty you take with you.
Beauty that you love so much, you long to give it away.
Grateful as always for the highs, lows and all the spaces and places in between.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that you just gotta keep going.
Keep moving, keep working, keep believing.
Don’t stop, don’t listen.
Follow your vision off a cliff and hit the ground running.
The journey is the gift and the process is the prize. Your passion is the fuel.
And when you learn to willingly and willfully give more than you get, then you are truly grateful; then you are truly happy.
So keep going. It’s a lifestyle, not a destination.