I read Gruen’s book Water for Elephants a few years ago and enjoyed it. I recently saw the movie. What struck me as I watched it on the big screen was the beginning, which of course started at the end. The central character was at the final stage of his long life; the “circus” was a literal metaphor for life. One day, for some of us much sooner than later, we will be standing at the end looking back at our working lives. Our journey will have its ups and downs of course but what can we do now to prepare for the time when we look back over our journey? Here is what I deeply believe in:
- If we do what we are good at and practice it to get even better; we will have a better chance at happiness at work.
- If we also do what we like to most of the time; then we will take our working lives to an even higher plane.
- If we add the ingredients of doing #1 and #2 while giving superb value to what others need most of the time, including our team mates, clients and customers, then we will likely achieve a great sense of gratification.
When we can intersect these three things, and keep turning the wheel to be amazing, we will be happy to stand at the end thinking about our metaphorical circus with contentment. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be easy. And, of course, I deeply believe the Character Triangle values will give you that character to excel.
Character Move: don’t let the world wash over us while we feel stuck getting a pay check. We can find a way to balance our talent with what we like and provide value. Yes we have obligations but that doesn’t mean we can’t find that recipe. Start to work on a plan now.
Do you really know what your good at and what you like to do? What are you practicing to get better at? How do you connect this activity into giving value? and into being amazing?
Start at the end to get to the beginning! Imagine standing there at the end. You are 70 yrs old. What did you spend time doing over the last 50 years? How do you feel?
Water that elephant in the triangle,