Three Ways to Approach Life
I talk to people everyday. As a matter of fact, I get paid to talk to people. Sometimes they don’t like what I have to say (if I am totally honest, most of the time they don’t), but after conversations settle in, they might actually hear what it is I am trying to tell them. At the heart of every conversation I have is this; how can one be more successful and happy? The answer lies within each person, and that is not just whimsical talk. It is about their perspective and their priorities.
Recently my wife and I were watching Shark Tank, and one of the Sharks said something very powerful, he said, “You can do something because you can do it. Or you can do something because you have to do it. OR you can do something because you get to do it”. Here is a question for you: If I asked you which of these three ‘descriptions’ describes how you feel about your job, which one would you select? Do you do a job because you can? Because you have the skill and are pretty good at it, so why not? Or do you do a job because you have no ‘choice’? Because you fell into it and now make a certain living that you ‘can’t’ go without? OR do you do something because it is exciting to you? Because, even though you don’t love everything about it, you are grateful and motivated by the overall aspect of what you get to do? Can you see which description will yield more results in your professional and personal life? What does it really look like when you are doing something because you get to do it?
1. It looks like work. It looks like play. It is called plork (pronounced plerk – yes I made this up).
When I had to wake up at 3:30am today in order to catch a flight to DC, I did not grumble, hit snooze or wish I didn’t have to go. And no, I didn’t go to bed at 8pm the night before as I have three kids still at home that want my attention before I leave. Was I tired this morning? YES. But was I looking forward to getting to work? YES. I love what I do. I love working with clients, traveling to new places, meeting people and developing successful game plans with companies and organizations. Do I love every aspect? Not really. I have some difficult client situations I could do without, sometimes the travel wears on me, sometimes my travel takes me from my family for longer than I would like and sometimes I worry that I need to do things differently in different situations to yield better results. However, through all of this, there is always, always, an immense feeling of gratitude that I get to do what I love. That no matter, through whatever obstacle I face, or mistake I make (and I make plenty), I am excited about the opportunities now and in the future.
Whether you sell office pens, whether you do book keeping, whether you make hospital beds, or whether you own several large corporations- are you grateful for what you get to do?
2. It looks contagious.
When I meet people, I am always asked the common question, “How are you?” My response is always, “I am living the dream”. I get varied responses. One response is, “must be nice”. This person could probably be described as someone who can do what they do. Another response is, “wish I felt that way”. This person could probably be described as someone who has to do what they do. Another response is, “I love that!”. This is the person who either already gets to do what they love, or has more potential to. My goal when I meet someone is to spread an attitude. Yes, attitudes are contagious, and my hope is that mine is full of positive, grateful energy.
When you meet someone, what energy are you spreading? Is it positive?
3. It looks like success.
Success can be described many ways. Some may say it is when you make x amount of dollars. Or when you own a certain house, a certain car…you get the idea. There is nothing wrong with this idea of success necessarily, but when it comes to being happy, it isn’t always the material things that will get you there (don’t misunderstand- I love toys too). Before we can say you are successful, you have to know what that means to you. For me, it means living a fulfilling life with the ones I love. Do I love making money? If you know me at all, then you know I do. But I would rather go broke and live on the streets than live without the ones I love and doing what I love.
Knowing what your priorities are, and then moving toward them everyday is what success also looks like. Success, to me, is never really attained, it is something we always strive for and experience everyday. I was so successful yesterday because my three year old randomly, out of the blue, called out to me and said, “Daddy I love you”. Success today was that my wife sent me a text while I was at the airport and it said, “Love you! Kick some ass today!”. I get to experience these things, this success, on a daily basis.
What does success look like to you?
The next time someone asks about what you do, I want you to pause and think about your response. Think about your gratitude level. Think about what kind of attitude you are going to spread.
Nathan JamailNathan Jamail, president of the Jamail Development Group, and author of the best-selling Playbook Series, is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur and corporate coach. As a former Executive Director, life insurance sales professional and business owner of several small businesses, Nathan travels the country helping individuals and organizations achieve maximum success. Nathan has worked with thousands of leaders in creating a coaching culture. Get your copy of Nathan Jamail’s most recent book released by Penguin Publishers, “The Leadership Playbook” of the Best Selling Playbook series.