“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” —Steve Jobs
1. Plan your future
“If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.” —Tony Robbins
I went to the gym once last year and got six pack abs. Then I built a million-dollar business in a weekend. This sounds ridiculous because it is.
Nobody accomplishes anything of value in one sitting, so it’s strange to expect to know what your ideal life looks like after daydreaming about it once in the shower. If you want to discover your life purpose, schedule time to work on this puzzle, as you would your startup or time with your spouse.
Can’t find 30 minutes a day for your highest purpose? Then make peace with living a mediocre life.
2. Create Small Goals
- Ask, What were my goals last year?
- What did I do well?
- What did I not do well?
- List your accomplishments and celebrate them.
- Ask, What would I like to improve and learn?
- Ask, What are my goals for the coming year/quarter?
- What small steps will I take to get there?
Since 2011, I’ve been treating goal setting as an ongoing process, and I move forward at a speed that sometimes makes me dizzy.
3. Take the first step.
Stare at each puzzle piece as long as you want, but they won’t un-jumble themselves. It’s time to pick up the first pieces and try to fit them together.
Archimedes’ eureka moment, those vivid dreams that “show you the way”—these are exciting, and we’d all welcome more of them, but your vision rarely pops out fully formed like some alien sci-fi baby. Your vision doesn’t ask much of you, except: Try some stuff. Volunteer at a co-working space for tech companies; go kayaking with Rob from the office; put your shoe designs online and see if anyone cares.
Mark Manson, in his brilliantly irreverent book, says that most people see motivation like this…
Emotion > Motivation > Desirable Action
When in reality, (and I can vouch for this), it’s like this:
Get off the fence and ACT > Inspiration > Motivation > Action > Repeat
It sounds simple because it is. Pick up a piece, any piece.
Despite the uncertainty, plenty of men and women have managed to lead exceptional lives of prosperity and fulfillment.
Playing the long game means adjusting along the way.