You have something remarkable to contribute to other people. You have character strengths, passions, values, talents, and a purpose. You want to matter. You can do something remarkable with your life.
BUT NOT EVERY DAY.
Some weeks you need to shut it all down and relax. Truly reinvigorate your mind and body. You need to let go of all that purposefulness, and invest in truly recharging your batteries.
Get away from your work. Stop touching it. Stop thinking about it. Let your mind soak in the sun or the snow or the water. Read something that has nothing to do with work. Go to see a show you normally never let yourself do.
Vacations are serious work. They need to be treated with respect. Take 2-3 weeks a year to allow yourself to unwind. Truly unwind, relax, and slowly reinvigorate yourself. To skip a vacation is just as big a mistake as to not do the best quality work that you are capable of doing.
In a March 2019 article on espn.com about the Los Angeles Lakers, there was this quote, “The Lakers are so infatuated with the glory of their brand that they forgot about the essence of their product.”
I love that quote. It’s so applicable to every business.
A brand is the value people think they receive when they buy a product or service.
There are a lot of things you can do to enhance your brand, but the best way is to always improve the quality of your product or service. Don’t get so caught up in your awards and honors and recognition that you forget to constantly improve your actual product and service.
To make popcorn you have to steadily heat kernels of corn over a period of time.
To turn an idea into a reality you have to steadily heat the idea through actions.
You get an idea to sail a boat. How do you warm the idea up?
- Watch a video of someone sailing.
- Read a book on sailing.
- Talk to people who have sailed.
- Go on someone else’s sailboat.
- Sign up to take sailing lessons.
- Sail with a guide next to you.
- Sail a boat.
Any idea that you have in your business can be steadily warmed up until it pops into reality.
Reading can help your career as much as constantly doing things. You are evaluated and rewarded on your performance and results, but reading can enhance your performance and results.
I encourage you to choose a topic that you want to get better at. This could be a desire to get better at how to do something, or it could be a desire to understand something better.
Then choose one good book in that category.
Then read that book cover to cover. Don’t give up on it just because you’re enduring a boring section. The discipline in reading the entire book is essential.
Right now I’m reading Grant by Ron Chernow. It’s 959 pages long. It seems endless. However, along the way (I’m on page 307) there have been many nuggets about leadership, performance, strategy, tactics, and decision-making that have made the read well worth it.
Select a book, and read it all the way to the end.
Jimmy Stewart had a beautiful statement: “The only goal I had throughout my career was to hone my craft.”
I love that. He was one of the most popular actors in the world, and his on-going goal was to hone his craft.
What is your craft? What do you do for a living? You get to define that.
And you get to hone what you do every day to make it better. The choices are completely yours.