Wow. What a year we are winding down from. Here we sit in the gap between two years, looking back at a crazy election (to put it mildly), and looking forward to a lot of uncertainty. One thing we do know is that as a nation, as a world, we are divided. It is Us vs. Them in almost every way. We have become more connected to screens and fake news, and disconnected from each other, and ultimately from ourselves. How can we find our way back? I believe we start by remembering who we are, who we really are, and remembering that each of us can make a difference.
In the book “Teaching the Elephant to Dance”, author Jim Belasco tells the story of Dr. Denton Cooley, the famous heart surgeon. One day, Belasco followed Dr. Cooley on his rounds, and on the way to the operating room, the surgeon stopped to talk to a man who was mopping the hallway. The two men conversed for nearly ten minutes before the doctor dashed into the operating room. Curious, Belasco walked over to the man with the mop and said, “That was a long conversation. The man replied, “Yes, Dr. Cooley and I talk quite often.” Then Belasco asked, “What exactly do you do at the hospital?”
The man replied, “We save lives.”
In the best organizations, including family and groups of friends, there is no ‘them and us’. It is only ‘WE’, all of us working together toward a greater purpose. We all have a role to fill, we each bring a piece to the puzzle…and we all make a difference. One of the greatest ways we can make a difference is through the work we choose to do.
As we head into 2017, I invite you to take a moment to answer some out-of-the-ordinary questions.
- What exactly is my job?
- What about my job really counts, really matters?
- How well am I doing THAT?
- Is my job an expression of my personal values?
- Am I building a life of success, or a life of significance?
- How can I become more passionate in my current role?
- Is there something I would rather be doing for my life’s work?
- If so, why aren’t I doing it???
Most people have a hard time answering these questions with any clarity. Those who can are probably doing what they love, getting paid for it, and making the biggest difference on the planet. I am blessed to be one of them. I do what I love, and I love what I do, and I know it is making a difference.
How about you? Will this be the year that you jump in with both feet?
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” ~Steve Jobs