In life, there are those who settle for the mediocre: a mediocre job, a mediocre salary, a mediocre marriage, a mediocre social life. While no one dreams of being mediocre when they are young, many allow their circumstances to define who they are and who they will be. It’s no wonder why so many people wake up to discover they are not satisfied with their life. They look around at the life they had made and say, “if only.” And they keep on living without joy. Then there are those who answer their calling. They ignore the doubters who said they would fail. They wake up every morning excited to begin a new day. And they succeed because they enjoy their work. Because it’s not really work at all. So today, ask yourself if you are following your dreams, or if you are just looking forward to a mediocre retirement.
The only path to long-lasting success is to follow your dreams. When you choose not to follow your dreams, you encounter boredom, lack of interest, and lack of focus. How can you possibly succeed under these conditions? The answer is simple. You can’t. Success requires total commitment. You will never work the hours necessary to be a success without total commitment. You will never solve the unsolvable problems that you will face without total commitment. You will never overcome complete failure that you will experience without total commitment. And you will never commit fully to your career unless you commit to following your desire. So, ask yourself this question. “What do I most want to do with my life?” Find that answer, and you will find your path to success. Nobody said it would be easy. You may have to start over. But you will find a way.
If you started a small business just so you can work for yourself, i.e. you refuse to work for someone else, you are setting yourself up for ruin. Starting a successful business requires you to dedicate an immense amount of time. You must stay focused and be resolute. This is impossible if you are not passionate about what you are doing. Before you start a business, be sure it is something you love. Your love for your business must be strong enough to push you through the bad days. Your passion must be strong enough to spread to your team so they can push through their bad days. If you can find this passion, you are never too young or too old to be an entrepreneur. Your passion will overcome any obstacle in your way. If you do not find this passion, your business will just be another job.
Sam Walton was passionate about retail. His passion drove him to create a great company and to achieve unimaginable personal success during his lifetime. No matter where he was working at the time, whether it was for J.C. Penney, as a Ben Franklin franchisee, or as the founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton always strived to be the best. Because when you are passionate about your work, you want to be the best. No one can deny the success that Sam Walton achieved. And I do not think anyone can say that Sam Walton’s success was a result of personal circumstances or a lucky break. Sam Walton was just simply a constant competitor driven by a great passion for what he was doing. You may not reach such financial heights by following your passion. But one thing is certain, you will certainly not be successful unless you follow your passion.
Like it or not, work is one of the few things that gives life meaning. You cannot possibly expect your life to have much meaning unless you are doing something that you love and care about. And if you are doing something that you love and care about, how can you aspire to just be good? If all you want is to be good enough, then you are not doing the work that you need to do. You need to be doing something that you have the possibility of becoming great at. And if your work is simply not a possibility, then you need to become involved with something that you are passionate about. Something that you can help to make great. So why are you going to spend your working years – the best years of your life – doing something that you do not love?
You will never have the success that you envision, you will never be great, unless you can get passionate about the things you are doing. Whether you are a small business owner or a mid-level manager in a Fortune 500 company, if you cannot get passionate about your work, you are not going to achieve the success you desire. Nothing is going to impede your success quite so much as hating your work. If you survive Monday through Friday with visions of the weekend, then you are probably not going to be the next Rockefeller. Instead, find something that you love doing. People who are passionate about their job love being there. They love the work that they do. They love the people that they work with. If this is not you, stop wasting your time and find something that you can get passionate about.