We ask ourselves what it is we should be doing. Am I doing what I’m meant to do? Is this for me? What is it that I really should be doing?
The more I wrestle with these questions, the more I realize I need to stop asking them and so should you.
“What should I be doing with my life?” is impossible to answer with certainty.
What if as soon as we start something new we run into resistance? What if it gets hard? What if we don’t succeed right away? Does that mean we might not be cut out for the pursuit we are on? Maybe it’s not for me, we think to ourselves.
Some see adversity as a sign that they aren’t doing what they should be doing. Others see obstacles as part of the journey. In fact, they don’t even see them as obstacles at all, but instead as opportunities.
Learn to embrace the struggle. And for God’s sake stop asking yourself these questions. They hurt your ability to achieve your potential.
Turn the wrong questions into the right ones
When the questions focus on should and should not, do or do not, we tend to analyze our performance and results to the detriment of learning and growing. When winning is everything to us we never truly learn to play the game. The first time we lose we beat ourselves up and go looking for a different game to play.
Instead, we need to ask who am I, who do I want to be, what are my values, and how can I fuel those values in what I’m doing?
A writer writes, a salesman sells, and a leader leads. We focus on the mastery of the craft and who we become in the process.
A whole new world opens to us when we begin to ask, “what do I want to be about?”. This is a question of our philosophy, beliefs, and values toward life. It’s a question that shifts our perspective toward the contributions we are making and how they serve our values.
Stop letting your ego ask the questions
When we focus our questions on what we should or shouldn’t do, we focus on outside expectations. Most often these are expectations set by others. As long as our life’s purpose is meeting other’s expectations we will never find fulfillment or contribute what we truly want to in our lives.
Our ego loves the affirmation, it enjoys looking at itself reflected in the scoreboard. It wants others to approve of our work. None of which is bad. But when we trade in who we are for what we think others want us to be it becomes a problem.
So, what then?
We tend to focus on why we aren’t ready, why we are too busy, or why others won’t approve. We see ourselves as failing and start to question all that we are doing, and we quit. We create crazy justifications for not doing the things we are truly passionate about. All because we are afraid of what others will think or we are afraid of failing.
I’m proposing that our trajectory has more to do with who we are in life than it does in what we do during the day.
If you are an artist then make life your masterpiece, not just the painting on the wall.
If you’re not achieving the results you want, then your problem may not be in what you are doing, it may be in who you are being while you are doing it.
I work with salespeople and often see them become frustrated with their results. It’s not until they turn to get their focus off themselves and on to their customer that they are able to find success. Great salesmen seek to solve real challenges for their customers.
Leaders are the same way. It’s not until they turn their focus on serving others that they truly become effective at leading others.
Spend time thinking about who you want to be, what your intentions are, and what contribution you want to make in each moment. Put some heart, soul, and passion into what you are doing. This may be the missing ingredient you need.
Light your hair on fire and use your values and passion to give more of yourself, create great work, sell others on your ideas, and ultimately enjoy the journey while doing so.
Download my daily intentions planner and take 4-minutes every morning to set your intentions toward creating your purpose.