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I was giving a presentation last week in Riga Business School in alliance with University at Buffalo, The State University of New York on how to succeed in your career. One of the core messages in my presentation, which is something I strongly believe in, was – find your passion and do something that you are truly passionate about, or don’t do it at all. That statement massively resonated in the audience of entrepreneurs, business leaders and senior professionals in the room.
My 20+ years in business and career experience gives evidence that when you do the job that you are truly and naturally passionate about and you have the opportunity to apply your talents to add value for others, then you are energized, inspired, well appreciated and recognized as a professional in the team and overall in the business. If you do something that you are capable of and technically can do well, but have no passion for that job or the results or team or culture in the company – you do not have that sparkle in your eyes that people highly value and your impact to the results and delivery is much lower. You also do not receive the appreciation and recognition from people around you since – you are just doing your job.
It works like a snow ball effect – the more passionate you are, the more eager you are to do the job with excellence, putting into it your heart and mind and being personally excellent at it. More people will recognize that and see how you add value – more projects and opportunities come your way as people notice that you are great at what you do. As more opportunities come your way to do the job that you are really passionate about, the more your inspiration, contribution, added value and appreciation grows. And then will come the time when someone comes to you and says: ”Would you like to take that dream job?” Literally. Evidently. Confidently. Because you are great at doing that kind of job and people have noticed your results, your drive and your passion.
When I reflect back on every job that I have been doing in my career – I have succeeded most in the jobs where I was truly passionate about what I do or the purpose and content of the job let me apply my talents. Or – when I shaped the purpose and content of the job to fit that well.
It is also been proven in the scientific research that when you do the job that you are passionate about, you are a more happy person and your soul and body reflects that – you are a more positive, solutions focused, impactful, healthy person. If you are not happy or do not enjoy the job that you are doing – your soul and body instantly reflects that through your behaviour, attitude and health.
But what to do if you do not know what is your passion?
I have been asked this question frequently in the personal brand development workshops that I am facilitating with the companies to help professionals to be more personally excellent, better collaborate in the teams to implement the strategy and succeed in their careers. Also – in individual coaching sessions this question comes up time after time. And with no surprise – I was asked this question a few times last week in the presentation in Riga Business School.
There are several ways how to discover your passion. There is no one way that would suite everybody. I will share with you 3 most common approaches on how to discover your passion:
1. Sometimes you find your passion through challenges that you experience in life or at work
Sometimes the challenges that you experience in your life or career helps you to discover your real passion. At the beginning it feels really hard to experience and go through all these challenges, but when you have travelled that challenging journey and have found your solution or victory over the challenges, you learn something new about yourself, you discover a different angle of your personality or capabilities.
And – if you have resolved that challenging situation or period in your life for yourself, you become passionate to help others and share with others the tools and strategies that you have applied to resolve. Or the mindset techniques that you have learned along the journey. Or mistakes you have made and how others could skip them.
I will share with you a situation with one of my colleagues. Bear with me – I will cut the story as short as possible to bring the essence to life:
I had a colleague that experienced a very challenging period in her life and work. If you think your life is difficult sometimes, believe me – she had one terrible situation after another all year long. She has been a hard worker all her life – really dedicated, driven, committed to do her job with excellence. Once from some really tough emotional situation at work and a terrible accident in her wider family at the same time, her mind and body could not handle it any more and she had a really bad stroke, which took the majority of the year to recover.
Having partly recovered and being totally committed and dedicated to work, she returned to work and worked a lot and hard, while the doctors did not want to let her come back to work yet and her body had not recovered yet fully from the stroke. During that period, on the way to the office she got in a car accident which damaged her back and again – it took massive amount of time and pain to recover. There were a few other really difficult situations in her work and private life. On the recovery journey the doctor and medical specialists recommended her to take better control of her emotional state, let go of the experienced emotions and bring in work life balance and mindfulness into her life.
Now she has fully recovered. She has let go the emotions that were upsetting her. She is a stronger, much happier and more impactful person. She has pulled together a workshop to help other colleagues to feel more confident to have wellbeing in their work life. She has even been nominated for the annual recognition awards in the company as “People Who Make a Difference”.
She is now passionate in helping others to ensure balance in their life and to be more effective while more congruent with themselves and work. She has been through really difficult times, but has since recovered and is now truly passionate to help others not to get where she was. She is now a hugely energized, passionate, and happy person. And people around her recognize and appreciate that. And she gets the opportunities to do more of what she is passionate about. As she is great at it. And adds massive value for others. And now the HQ have established a new job role: Wellbeing Business Partner, as there is a business need to implement wellbeing strategies and tools across the business.
2. Explore your past likes and dislikes to discover useful insights
One of the techniques that helps to discover your passion is – exploring your past. Exploring what did you like doing in your past roles, or at school or in your free time or in your childhood. And how can you now translate it to the current business world to add value. As an example – I liked observing people, exploring what are their aspirations, what they want to achieve and what do they need to change or tailor slightly to be more successful.
Hence, I studied psychology and worked in human resources leadership and a few years ago I tailored that “like” in my passion for personal brand development coaching. The core is the same, it’s just a different way on how to implement it. Now I am coaching ambitious and dedicated professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs to unlock their highest aspirations, think bigger, get crystal clear clarity and success strategies to achieve their ambitions and sky rocket their career quicker, smarter and bolder.
I never liked to be told what to do or to fit in the particular process or system. Hence, I am more passionate about a job that involves creativity, that needs to come up with solutions, resolve challenges and widen wider horizons to think bigger and act bolder.
3. Some people just need to keep trying out different things
What to do if you think you have discovered your passion, but after a while you are not sure and want to do something different? Well, some people just need to keep exploring and trying out different things. The well known writer Elisabeth Gilbert once said in her speech that maybe you are a hummingbird and have a curiosity driven life – you just need to keep exploring and trying out something new. We need these kind of people in our life who are great example of courageous moves – starting something new and different in their life, making that bold decision to change and start again. To not keep doing something that you actually are no longer passionate about.
Take one of my sisters for example – she is now studying to become an expert in her fourth different professional area. She has changed her interests from having completed professional cookery school and being a really great cook to obtaining an international tourism management degree in university and working in the hospitality and tourism industry to being a massage therapist and now for the next two years she is dedicated to study towards being a professional facial beauty expert – a completely different area from all before that involves medical studies, chemistry, physics and other subjects she did not study before.
For some people reading this, it might feel slightly confusing or indecisive, but I am proud of her that she does not settle with the job that she is not passionate about.
My recommendation is – keep exploring to find your passion and do something that you are truly passionate about. Or don’t do it at all. When you follow your passion, people notice your drive, inspiration and energy and added value, and will offer you to do more of it. Because you are great at it.
If you are an ambitious and dedicated professional, I’m confident that you will take the driving seat and action success actions to sky-rocket your career.
By investing a bit of effort and thought you will be amazed how new job opportunities will come to you instead of you running after them, chasing down ads and following leads that get you nowhere fast.
The Career Success Formula consists of 5 steps:
1. Develop your Personal Brand to stand out
2. Get crystal clear clarity on your offering and credibility
3. Grow your confidence and know how you deliver value
4. Set your goals impactfully to achieve them automagically
5. Share your message with the right audience and enjoy many job offers!
Are you ready? Come on in! Download the FREE Career Success Formula ebook by clicking here, take the action on valuable advice and enjoy succeeding!
You have already thought its about time to get promoted, haven’t you?
Or to be offered that dream job you aspire to.
Or may be because of constant change in the organization, you fear being made redundant one day?
Wouldn’t you like to have that peace of mind that you never have to worry about the next job?
If any of the above thoughts have crossed your mind, you are in the right place, come on in! Today I want to share with you an exclusive FREE eBook, get it with a click here: Career Success Formula. Take the driving seat in your own career!
This eBook is for ambitious, dedicated professionals like you who love to receive insights and take action to succeed in their life, career and business.
The FREE eBook will teach you simple concepts to follow so you never have to run after job ads again, but confidently get noticed and recognized for who you are and how you add value. By following the Career Success Formula you can receive your dream job offer without even having to apply for job positions. It sound’s great, doesn’t it?
Frequently I have been receiving questions from my clients – do you have a proven formula that could be easily applied and help to make an impact for career success. That inspired me to develop this eBook and share with you my proven Career Success Formula.
Click here: Career Success Formula, to access FREE eBook “Career Success Formula” and learn how to get promotion which is right for you or receive your dream job offer easier and faster!
Take action and enjoy succeeding!
Motivation is something external to the person. It’s done to them. And it’s too difficult a job for you as a leader to constantly motivate your people. Inspire them instead. It’s much easier and enjoyable for you and more energizing for your people.
How to inspire instead of motivate? Here are the top 3 steps to inspire:
- Find out what are their talents and strengths
- Discover their highest values
- Help them to achieve their aspirations – their STARs
Talents and Strengths
The magic is knowing your people’s talents – knowing what they are great at and helping them to apply the things they love doing. This makes them enjoy what they do and feel happy about it. When people know and are confident about their key talents and apply them in what they do and want to achieve, it enhances their success opportunity extraordinarily. It brings confidence, impact and focus to deliver with excellence.
Why would you as a leader in business want to spend time and effort to motivate someone to do things that they are not inspired about and will not feel passionate about doing? Instead give them the opportunity to do the job they are excited and inspired about. It takes less effort for you to place people in roles that they are inspired and talented to contribute and excel, rather than to keep motivating people to do a job they dislike in a culture they can not shine in.
If you are clear on what are your values and choose your job, role, relationships in accordance to them, you generate energy.
If among my strong values are independence and creativity, but I choose the job where I have to strictly follow the rules, like risk manager or underwriter, then I will not be happy about the content of my role as I will constantly have to do something that does not naturally resonate with my core being. The set of values that each individual has is unique to them.
Highest value – you are spontaneously inspired to do the job that resonates to your highest value. You get up and do it, You do not need a motivation to do it. Napoleon Hill called it, chief aim. It is a burning desire to fulfil. Doing the job that fulfils your highest value is one of the secrets to master your life. It’s intrinsic.
Lowest value – you need a motivation to do the job that is in congruence with your lowest values. You find it difficult and de-energizing. You do not enjoy doing a job that relates to your lowest values. Therefore you need an external stimulus to motivate you to complete that job.
It is more difficult than doing the job that you are naturally inspired by . And for leaders it takes much more effort, time and energy to motivate people to do the job that they do not feel naturally inspired to do. It is much more rewarding to inspire people to excel in their jobs that they enjoy doing and that are contributing to their highest values.
Inspiration is calling from within, building on intrinsic values and talents. Motivation is pushing from outside to do something that your person does not enjoy.
Help to reach their STARs
Nobody goes to work for the sake of the company. People go to work to fulfil their highest values, aspirations, to reach their stars – whatever stars mean for each and every individual. If they see how their job, vision, mission of company helps to fulfil their highest value, they are inspired to contribute and to be effective to deliver. If not – they have low productivity and need to be constantly motivated. If their job fulfils their highest value, they can not wait to get to work each and every day and add value to the company. They feel ownership, responsibility, commitment. They are engaged and constantly improve their customer service to deliver upon their personal excellence.
Your wisdom as a leader is to place people in the right role that will help them to reach their stars and add massive value to the company. The role that they feel inspired about, so you do not need to put an extra effort to motivate them. Instead – inspire your people by giving them projects and opportunities that play to their strengths , talents and values.
Your wisdom is to fill your day with high priority things where you add value. If you do not fill up your day with high priority actions that inspire you, it will be automatically filled with low value distractions projected by other people that are low according to their values.
Ask yourself on a daily basis what the highest priority actions I can do today that generates most income, inspiration etc. Rest – delegate to somebody else. How do you live an inspired life if you keep doing desperate things? There is always somebody that matches the job you need to delegate. Make sure its congruent with their values, so you do not need to micromanage and motivate them. Inspire them instead!
We all have a dream when we join a company or accept a new role. As employees we want to contribute to achieve the company’s success, perform with excellence, feel recognized, develop our capabilities and our careers. We want to reach the stars, whatever the stars mean for each of us; and for each of us it is different.
How do we, as leaders, inspire our people to achieve their dream, to reach their stars and to contribute to the company’s performance and strategy execution? – it is a million dollar question. If we were all doing this with excellence – our companies would constantly achieve top results in the market.
I have developed and successfully implemented for businesses the STAR model to better connect with peoples’ aspirations and for leaders to better understand how to inspire their people. The STAR model is very simple and easy to apply, and very impactful. When you connect to peoples’ hearts, minds and aspirations, you can radiate an inspiration from them with true passion.
Here is a short summary of the STAR model and questions to ask in each stage:
S – Start. Why did they join the company. What are their aspirations?
T – Target. What are they aiming to achieve? How can we channel it? Do we have the right resources to achieve the strategy?
A – Action. What should they do to achieve the goal? What appeals most to them? How can we be supportive?
R – Results. How are they progressing? How are they achieving the results? What else is needed for their inspiration, development and retention?
Keep connecting with your people and inspiring them to reach for STARs!
My call for thoughtfulness and action today is about goal setting and achieving them. How to set your goals impactfully in a way that you can achieve them automagically.
University of Scranton research suggests, that only 8% of people achieve their goals. Why? There are a number of reasons, but most common are the following three:
1. Creating vague goals
I often say – “what gets measured, gets done”. If you set goals that are too general, like “I want to lose weight”, then it is difficult for you to achieve them. How much do you want to lose? By which time frame? How are you going to achieve this? How will you reward yourself for success?
There is a recent example of a friend who set a vague goal which resulted in an unexpected outcome. She was in a dating relationship with her boyfriend and wanted to have a family. She wrote down in her goals: “By next year in September, there will be 3 of us together.” What she meant was – her partner, herself and their child. What happened next year by September was something different- her partner introduced her to his gay friend…
2. Lacking higher purpose, which leads to lack of focus
You can set goals in any area, but if you do not have a higher purpose as to why achieving this goal is important to you, it is easy to give up when it becomes a bit more difficult.
It happened with me when I first started to write my book two years ago. I did not have this sense of purpose that I have now and I had not unlocked clearly my passion. Since I have completed it last year, my book is in print now!
3. Not knowing what you really want
Mark Twain once said that he could teach anyone how to achieve what they want, but his challenge was – he could not find anyone who would know what they want. In my coaching experience I see that there are many people who do not know what they want to achieve. They often know what they do not want and that is where their focus and energy goes.
I usually set my goals every year and mostly achieve them. There came a period of time a few years ago when I felt a bit confused. I had achieved everything I planned for and I did not have any more goals to set. Nothing came to mind. Nothing felt like – yes, I want to achieve that! As I am a high achiever by nature, I started to feel really low, as I need targets to achieve constantly.
What is the solution?
I spoke with one of my friends about this issue, and she laughed – “Relax, I never set goals and I don’t achieve much. There are many people who do not know what they want. Be chilled about it!”
“It’s not helpful, is it?”, I thought.
I asked my coach: “What should I do?” My coach helped me by asking really good questions, such as: “What is your passion?”, “What is your overall purpose in life, what do you want to achieve?”, “What have you already achieved and what talents did you apply to achieve them?”, “What’s missing?”
I travelled a journey of unlocking my passion and my purpose. My passion is helping people to succeed. I accomplish this via coaching, inspirational speaking, and leading by example by being an empowering and inspirational leader.
I have expanded my goals more since having more clarity of my passion and purpose, and I am achieving them automagically. As an example – I had said that I will give at least two inspirational speeches in big international conferences this year. And by setting these goals in the right way, the opportunities presented themselves, magically. As a result, I have done two speeches already and was recently invited as a speaker in the upcoming world congress in Paris.
Paul Meyer has said: “If you are not achieving the success you desire, it’s because your objectives are not clearly defined.” He guides to the SMART principle of setting your goals. It is setting your goals, to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
There are plenty of approaches for goal setting, but most common or popular are the following three:
- New Year’s Resolutions– you set them at the beginning of a new year and mostly don’t achieve them, as they are too vague. You keep setting and not achieving them year after year.
- The Wheel of Life– you set your goals in 8 areas of your life to be complete. Sometimes it is too much for people – they achieve some and do not achieve others. This is not very motivational, is it?
- SMART principle– it is most popular in organizations. But people do not always achieve all of these goals as they do not feel passionate about all of them.
Having reviewed what works and what does not, I have developed The Success Planner™ goal setting approach, which integrates Passion & Purpose with SMART principle. In a nutshell it is this: focus on your strength and passion, define your purpose, be SMART and watch out for success!
I developed this principle after I have gone through some low moments in my life and that has helped me to get back on the track of success. That has also been useful for many of my coaching clients.
In conclusion: there are a number of reasons why people do not set or achieve their goals. Having travelled my own journey of resolving challenges with goal setting has led me to develop the “How to set your goals impactfully to achieve them automagically” approach. To help more people achieve their goals, I have written a book called “The Success Planner ™”. This book contains impactful tools and valuable strategies to help you to unlock your passion, achieve your goals and reach ultimate success.
Why passion matters, you might ask. As passion comes from believing you are extraordinarily great at something, being passionate is a sincere way of saying, “by the way, I’m awesome”. All of our emotions exist for good reason. We feel hunger to ensure we don’t starve. We feel full to ensure we don’t burst. And we feel passion to ensure we concentrate our efforts on things that energize and reward us the most.
Your passion will persuade people to listen to you and follow you. It will persuade people to believe in you. But most importantly, passion will persuade YOU! Passion is an emotion specifically intended to make you go mad and work your behind off at something because your brain believes it is highly valuable and could rock your world. Believe me, that is a feeling worth fighting for.
What we’re passionate about is too important to leave to the mercy of fate. If you haven’t found your passion yet, try to create new things, to lead new trends, and to fuse new combinations. But don’t ever stop looking. In my new book called “The Success Planner” I have collated the questions to help you think through and travel on a journey of discovering your passion if you have not yet done so. It is best to start with unlocking your talents, followed by finding your passion and values.
Make your passion your fuel, not your final destination. Whatever you do, be true to yourself and what is meaningful for you. As an example, using the passion discovery tool that I have described in “The Success Planner”, I have discovered that my passion is helping people to succeed. I gain huge energy, inspiration and satisfaction while noticing how my coaching clients become more inspired, focused, self-aware and successful.
Since my early childhood I have loved observing people and thinking about what they could have done differently to be more engaging or more successful in their relationships. Since I have discovered and now am clear of what I am passionate about in my life, which is – inspiring people, developing their success mindset and empowering people to focus on their passion to succeed in life and business, I am finding more and more opportunities in both everyday life and corporate work to focus on this area. This is highly rewarding and gratifying for me. And this is why passion really matters!