What are you working for?
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Work isn't easy. So why bother? That may seem a silly question and the answers may seem obvious. But are they?
There are many reasons to go to work. Some more obvious than others. Unless you're clear on your reasons and their relative importance to you, you might be climbing the wrong mountain or straining to reach something that's impossible to achieve based on your current abilities, approach or environment.
Here's a simple way to review why you work. Consider the following 4 areas and the examples in each. Ask yourself what matters to you most and what it is you're working for.
Internal Benefits for You - challenge, satisfaction, connection, growth, personal impact...
External Benefits for You - money, lifestyle, achievements, rewards, status...
Benefits you Enable in Others - development, confidence, impact, recognition...
Benefits you Enable in the Business - results, success, expansion, change, reputation...
What are your priorities?
What matters to you least ?
What, above all else, is driving you right now?
Where are you directing your Energy?
If you know what you want, then are you working to get what you want? Work, by definition requires the expenditure of energy and effort, and that only makes sense if the direction of your efforts is aligned to the results you want and the results you believe you can get.
Unless you align your daily working habits to the results that you want, then you risk exerting effort in the wrong areas for the wrong reasons. You may find yourself struggling head-down in the wrong direction because you've lost sight of where you're going, or struggling to achieve something that current circumstances simply won't allow.
To ensure you're focusing your energy in the right direction, based on what matters to you most, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Where does most of your energy go at work?
Is this aligned to what you want?
Are you making progress towards what you want?
If you're answering 'no' to any of these questions then I would suggest that something about work isn't working for you!
Is it Working?
If what you're doing is giving you what you want, great! Keep at it! If not, ask yourself why.
Is this a temporary thing or is it long-term? When will it change?
And what exactly needs to change - is it your approach, your direction or your entire environment?
Tune back into what you really want and redirect your energy in line with that.
And remember, as tough as it may be to sometimes admit...
Not every mountain needs to be climbed and not every mountain is climbable!
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