Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why you will fail to have a great career...unless?

It was a Thursday night a few weeks ago and I was heading to Toronto to my first advisory board meeting regarding The MENTOR+ project. This was a very important meeting  as I really wanted to dissect our next moves and have a game plan over the next few months.

I have had the privilege working with these great mentors/advisors the past number of months. They are generous, kind and brilliant individuals but what has made them so successful is their passion. My mentors at the meeting spent a great deal of time talking to me about options, being flexible and the sacrifices I have to make in order to be successful. Some people would have left this meeting discouraged and given up because of the fear of failing. But what made me feel good was that I left the meeting more encouraged and motivated to keep moving forward. A confirmation that I wasn't afraid even the slightest to fail.

I think about The MENTOR+ project 24/7 and love to talk to individuals who are passionate in helping others reach their highest potential. So it's fitting that I found this TEDx talk by Larry Smith who shares on one of the key aspects of having a great career.

Here's a small bio of Larry Smith:
Throughout his three-decade career at the University of Waterloo, Larry Smith has inspired legions of students to take up the mantle of economics with his passionate and homespun tales of economic wizardry. A renowned story-teller, teacher and youth leadership champion, Larry has also coached and mentored countless numbers of students on start-up business management and career development strategies.

Highlights of Larry's talk and why I want a great career:

  • Good jobs are now disappearing.
  • Good jobs are high workload, blood sucking, high stress, soul destroying jobs and then there are those in between.

If you want a great career you have to pursue your passion but most decide not to do it because:

  1. In order to have a great career people use the excuse that its a matter of luck.
  2. Great careers are made for geniuses.
  3. People with great careers are weird. So nice and normal people don't have passion?
  4.  If I work hard I will have a great career and success. Are you sure? As all the evidence says the contrary.

Passion is your greatest love not your interests. Passion is beyond your interests. 

  • You need 20 interests and then you might find your one passion. 
  • Your passion engages you more than anything else in comparison with all your other interests.
  • You must look for alternatives so that you find your destiny. Find the highest expression of your destiny. Does that scare you? If you settle for interesting then it's a missed opportunity.
  • You will FIND your passion and still fail because your not going to DO IT. 

Larry uses an example of an excuse on human relationships...

  • I want be a great friend, great parent but I will not sacrifice them because of great accomplishments. So suggesting you want a great career sounds somewhat unrealistic.
  • Do you think it's appropriate to take children as a shield? What about if your son or daughter came to you, who is great in math, but says he wants to be magician. You say to them that is tough life, not much money, no security, etc.
  • Are you going to say to them, I had dream to but I was afraid to pursue it? Do you want to use your family and see them as your jailers.
  • Instead you could say go for it son... just liked I did! So the sins of the parent are visited on the children.
  • Many seek refuge on their kids preventing them from pursuing their passion.

Some closing thoughts on "UNLESS":

Many are afraid to pursue their passion because they are going to fail. Instead of saying unless...

Or there are those that say..If only I had? Instead of saying unless...

Enjoy the video below, I hope it finds you more passionate than ever about your career! It did for me.

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