FEELING UNMOTIVATED, or struggling with performance issues? Susanne King explains how feeling the love can inspire you to hold yourself to a higher standard and reach a better goal.
The market sucks!’
Recently I caught up with a client who was complaining about how poorly their business was performing and how hard things had been. As I listened to the complaints roll in, I was surprised by the lack of enjoyment the client had towards their work.
Don’t get me wrong – there are times when it’s not always a tonne of fun, but overall work is where you can do what you love and create something amazing for the people you get to serve, whether they are your vendors, buyers or team members.
After a few moments of complaining, he asked, “What does it really take to be a success?” I answered, “It’s simple: set a goal that inspires you, know your why and do the work.”
That’s simple to say, but not always simple to do.
SO, WHAT REALLY GETS IN THE WAY?
He sat for a moment and said, “I get this intellectually, but how do I do the work every day?” Again, another simple answer – love. You have to bring love to what you do.
Think about it for a moment: when you love something, what are you prepared to do for it? Anything, right?
A lot of the time we set our work up in ways that make us lose. We set rigid structures that are hard, have no points of celebration and lack love and passion. We live busy days, chasing a list of should-dos and never focusing on what really matters. We feel ashamed to stop and smell the roses, and beat ourselves up on any mistake we make. This is not only ineffective but a complete waste of time.
The most important thing you can do for your business – and your life – is to find ways to love the activity you are doing. Now, notice I didn’t say ‘find what you love’. In actual fact, that advice annoys me because it presupposes that there is some magical unicorn, some perfect work out there that, once you find it, will finally enable you to love the work and life you live. There is no such thing.
If you want to win at life, you have to set a higher standard for yourself.
LOVE IS NOT A FOUR-LETTER WORD IN BUSINESS
Successful people see things very differently. Successful people consistently first bring love to the table and use that love to fuel the work they are doing. They allow love to design their days, connect with their team and do work that matters.
When you bring love to what you do it’s amazing how what you do transforms. Let me give you an example. I recently ran a workshop for a really awesome team. One of the girls wanted help finding a way to be better at doing follow-up emails. When I asked her what was preventing her she spoke of how time-consuming and annoying the job was. So I asked her to tell me about something she loved to do, and why.
She said she loved creating magic moments for friends and family because she liked to see them happy. She also shared her love of competitive sports because of the joy experienced when beating the opposition.
Bingo! What if she saw the contacts she needed to email as people to create magical moments for? She could have a competition as to how many magic moments she could create in a day. Immediately I saw her light up. As we continued to talk she started to get creative around how she could track her magic moments, and the rewards and fun she could have bringing love to work.
Sadly, though, most people don’t take the time or have the courage to set this kind of standard for themselves. Love is not something you find; it’s a standard you hold in yourself.
HOW DO WE CREATE THIS STANDARD?
As crazy as this may sound, the first thing you need to do is decide. Make a decision that no matter what is happening you are going to find ways to love what you do.
I remember setting this standard when I was working for a less than ordinary manager in Corporate Finance. This woman was, to put it politely, a nightmare; however, as I look back I am so grateful to have worked with her! It was during our time together that I disciplined love into what I was doing. Each morning I would ask myself, ‘How can I love today and go about bringing that love to everything I do?’.
A was once told, ‘Stop analysing why you don’t feel like doing something and just decide that you will love what you do, no matter what.’ It works every time.
The second important thing is to get yourself into a state where you feel great about your day. Most people start their day on the back foot, rolling out of bed complaining of not having had enough sleep and going straight to emails or other demands. When I worked for Tony Robbins, a great tip I learned was to start the day by jumping out of bed with enthusiasm as soon as the alarm went off.
I also learned to acknowledge three things that positively impacted my life. This is something I have recently started doing again, after a friend commented on how grumpy I was first thing in the morning. As soon as I did it he remarked, ‘What happened to you? You’re happy again!’ Not only was I happy, but it also set my entire day up for success.
Finally, read your goals and mission statement multiple times a day. Having a vision you’re excited about and connected to is the fastest way to revitalise any activity, provided that activity is actually one that will get you a result. When you can see how the work you’re doing will lead you closer to the achievement of your goal, it no longer remains another thing to get done for the day but a point to celebrate along the way. Just make sure when reading your goals that you’re already in a good mood.
We want to make our goals feel amazing, regardless of where we are on the journey. A great quote I saw recently makes this so clear. “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion” – Simon Sinek.
I DOUBLE LOVE DARE YOU
I have a challenge for you. For the next 21 days, I challenge you to set a standard every day to find ways to love what you do, no matter what you’re doing – even if you have to pretend – and see what it does to your performance.
As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”