I’ve been on a search lately to figure out what it is that I truly love about life and how I can turn that into my life’s work. I’ve been searching my soul and my past and my surroundings. I’ve made lists of the things that I love: coffee, reading, writing, leadership, cooking, hiking, anything outdoors, etc, etc. That’s always a good exercise.
I’ve thought about my past. Childhood (often our true passion probably comes from an inkling as a child), high school, and college. But, mostly, I concentrate on that time in college when I really started to mature and think hard about what I’m here for. I know the answer. I’m here to change the world and to live an extraordinary life. I know that. I just don’t know how to do it yet.
But one thing I do know is this: in college, one of the experiences that got my blood flowing and made me feel like I was doing what I am meant to do was helping to build organizations. I joined my fraternity when there were ~60 members and when I graduated it had ~110. I agreed to do cpr on a long-standing honor society that only barely needed my help. Both are incredibly successful now, and I have nothing to do with either organization anymore. They are standing on their own and growing and doing the things that they see fit.
But when I was there and when I was a member, and occasionally a leader, I thrived on the success of the organization. The better the organization was doing, the better I felt, the less sleep I needed, the harder I was willing to work to make it continue. And when times were bad, I was affected personally. I couldn’t just shift between my ‘professional’ and personal lives. It didn’t work like that. I identified with the work I was doing and the organization’s pursuit of excellence and I was willing to settle for nothing less. My moods ebbed and flowed with the overall feel of the group.
And I think that is important. Yes, you need work-life balance in life and you need to know how to give your entire self to your family when it comes time to do so. But, at the end of your days, will you really have lived if you have not experienced that symbiotic relationship between you and a business, or group of people, or family, or pound full of dogs, or whatever else? That kind of relationship where you breath life into the group and it repays you by returning the favor is rare. But those relationships exist. I am not a part of one now, but I have experienced it. And I will find it again.
So please, start now. Start planning to create or find or fall into that kind of opportunity. The chance doesn’t come around everyday. And it never comes if you’re not looking. What will you breath life into? And how hard are you willing to work so that the favor is one day returned?