The following change story comes from Russell Simmons’ book Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success. I find Russell Simmons to be refreshingly honest and forthright about his passion for business, and this particular story is something I really needed to be reminded of – that the result of hardwork should never replace the passion for working in the first place. This story is found in his fifth law titled “Never less than your Best.” I hope it helps you as much as it did me:
Not long ago, a woman working as a nurse approached me for advice on how to improve what she perceived to be her position in life. I can’t recall her exact situation, but essentially she didn’t want to be “stuck” working as a nurse her entire life because she was afraid she would never make enough money in that profession to be happy. She was hoping I could show her a way to make it in the business world instead . . .
The strategy I shared with her is the same one I’d like to share with you now: Always focus on your effort, instead of the results of that effort. That means don’t get hung up on the size of your paycheck, or the title next to your name. Instead, focus on the actual work itself, which is the process.
So in the case of the nurse, I encouraged her to simply concentrate all her energy on helping the sick people in her care. I encouraged her to do everything she could to bring comfort to those people and their families. Not to suggest she hadn’t been doing that before, just to do it now without any concern over the payment or perception. I told her that if she put all her effort into helping her patients, the results she was looking for would take care of themselves. They might not come in the form she was expecting, but they would come. I promised her instead of feeling like she was toiling in obscurity, she would start to feel noticed. That instead of feeling stuck, it wouldn’t be long before she could feel the momentum of hard work taking her closer to where she wanted to be in life.
Whatever profession you are in, when you get attached to the results of your hard work, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when those “results” finally do come. It’s happened to me several times, even when I received multimillion-dollar checks for selling Def Jam and Phat Farm. Now a lot of those checks went to my partners, but you’d still think I’d be jumping up and down for joy over my piece of those pies, right? Wrong. In both cases actually getting the money was a major letdown. Cashing those checks was anticlimactic. Because as soon as the money was in my hands, I realized the actual hard work that I put into those companies brought me much more happiness than the money ever could.
P.S. Please subscribe by entering your email to the right of the hard-hat woman at http://www.highfillperformancegroup.com/