The only way to do great work is to love what you do

Photo by Sebastian Hietsch on

This heading is a quote by Steve Jobs. Wise words. Today is the first day of a new year – 2019. It is a time of a year to be optimistic, give promises, hope for a wonderful year and believe that everything is possible. I believe dreaming and setting goals plays a big role in who we become.  I was given Paul Samuel’s book “Find Your Own Mountains” as a Christmas present. Inspiring book by an inspiring leader, who unfortunately is no longer with us. He wrote in his book: “Your scope and vision are for you to define. If you consciously try, you can spend your whole life discovering new things about yourself and what you’re capable of. What a journey that can be.”

The last months of 2018 I took a lot of time to work with myself and my ikigai. Do you know what is ikigai? It is a Japanese term for “a reason for being”. Take time to answer four questions:

  • What do you love?
  • What are you good at?
  • What are you paid for?
  • What does the world need?

The common part of the answers to those questions is your ikigai. It can be one word or long sentence, doesn’t matter. It sounds easy, but takes courage to look deeply into yourself. I encourage to do the exercise with other people (family, friends or colleagues) since sharing and discussing helps. I found out about myself that leadership and teamwork really are my passions. The same goes for (company) growth and self-development. Those are all ambitious things, but saying those out makes it easier to make choices and move towards your goals. Coming back to the heading of this post – once you know what you love, you can become great at it.

As a leader, it is important to help people in your team to find out what their ikigai is. Find how they can bring your company the highest value by doing something they love. Help them go just enough out of the comfort zone to feel real satisfaction and to see what they are capable of. It is a wonderful journey – for both, the company and its people.

So, for New Year I wish you all patience and courage to find out what you love to do and then take steps to do it! “You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Christopher Columbus

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