Okay, back to blogging. Look for a new post every Wednesday. Thank you to friends and family for holding me accountable for writing down what is sloshing around in my brain, and what often comes out only sporadically in my speeches and presentations…
Enough about me, let’s talk about you.
You are not measured by what you do, ultimately, you are measured by why you do it.
Many times, I encounter people who are so good at the “what.” They are the ones with a great to-do list for everything (a skill that I am admittedly incredibly jealous of), a highly organized Outlook calendar, and an ability to “do” everything well – everything is where it should be.
Still, for some reason, I see these people around me in my own life feeling empty, unfulfilled, and self-conscious about their abilities, skills, and talents. They punch the clock right at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., do as they are told, yet still they feel like they aren’t going anywhere.
This is true of aged companies and organizations looking for a spark in the market or a temporary boost of market share. Millions are dumped into re-branding and re-organizing. These exercises of the “what” almost always fail.
Our obsessive focus on efficiency and details has stolen what I believe to be the most important aspect of anything we do: the pervasive knowledge and belief of the authentic reason everything and anything that we do. What good is crossing off an item on a to-do list if you have no idea why you spent your rare existence doing the task in the first place? (For more on that, check out this first post: http://purposespeaks.com/2012/01/03/hello-world/) What good is dumping millions in to re-branding when you don’t know why your company exists in the world?
At the end of the day and our lives, the “what” of our lives and work will only be as good as the “why.” We won’t be remembered for what we did, but why we did it.
Take the example of the NASA janitor.
Back in 1962, John F. Kennedy made a visit to the NASA space center. President Kennedy noticed a man carrying a broom while furiously sweeping a corner of the room in which Kennedy was touring.
“Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy, what are you doing here?” the President asked.
The janitor responded, “I’m putting a man on the moon, Mr. President.”
I am betting that janitor’s work was the best janitorial work NASA had ever seen.
What is your “moon mission”? What is your purpose?
By taking the valuable time to deeply understand the global purpose of your actions and your work, you will exponentially improve your performance on the next task you haven’t even completed yet.