"Because I'm good at it."
"Because it's something I can do."
"Because I just sort of fell into it."
These are things we constantly hear in our work helping (evil-free) companies and individuals maximize. People oftentimes "like" what they do and are good at it. But, more often then not, they have no real passion for it. The same can actually be said of people's non-work lives. They often feel happy-ish but not completely on track.
We got to thinking about this last month when we were doing some travel for work and for fun. We finally made it to both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA, where we were greeted by some of the friendliest and happiest people we've ever encountered.
If you've been a regular around here – or if we have an IRL relationship with you – you know that a core belief of ours is that life's greatest challenge (and reward) is getting to know yourself. The more you know yourself, the more that life and work feel in sync. We call it being on purpose. Similarly, work groups are far more efficient, productive, and happy when team members are spending a vast majority of their time on purpose, playing to their strengths.
You probably know by now that we're entering a new phase of our NVR life (it's 10 years old - yay!). We've had an interesting thing happen over the last decade, which is part of the reason we started to retool things about three years ago.
During NVR 1.0...
- We got fully on purpose as individuals.
- We got fully on purpose as a couple.
- Our life-trajectory went into hyper mode.
- We ended up with some of the challenges we had prior to a decade ago?
Confused? Let me explain.
While we cracked the code on playing to our strengths as individuals and as a couple, we had a tough time scaling back and focusing once opportunities started to stack up. We felt so grateful to have interest in our services – many referred – that we couldn't imagine saying "no" to anyone. Similarly, in the Travel Writing side of our world, we regularly have one compelling opportunity after another flying our way. How could we refuse that?
As many people have heard us say: Too much of a good thing is, well, too much. Period.
Here's how to keep things slim ---> First, it's about figuring out you and getting on purpose. Next, it's about going deeper into your strengths. Not piling on!
Why? Because strengths are precise.
If you are harnessing and focusing on your strengths, chances are you'll recognize a sort of momentum that'll begin to swirl around you. That's your cue to go deeper into your strengths in making work/life choices that make the most sense.
So, while it's certainly better than being off purpose and stressed, being on purpose and stressed isn't too much fun either.
We've talked about how fortunate we are that this big change in our world – moving on to the next great phase of NVR living – coincides with the turbulent world in which we find ourselves in 2017. We've transformed that little bit of confusion we were feeling on January 1st into a fire that's all about taking our NVR world to a higher place and doing some similarly big, bold things that align well with the need for all of us to express our beliefs – to stand up and be counted.
Many of our friends, family members, and business colleagues are finding an acute pressure to make more sense of their own worlds in order to provide a sense of stability and forward-trajectory in uncertain times. Smart thinking! We're confident that many people will use the current landscape as motivation to look at themselves and exactly what they are meant to be doing in order to enjoy a more fulfilled life.
Here are a few thoughts that might help you to sort things out and to move forward with a strengths-first mindset:
1) Figure out you. Plain and simple. If you don't have a sense of what you are made of, what your strengths are, how you "plug into" this world, you may find temporary gain but you won't find enduring fulfillment. Ask: What do I do that doesn't feel like work at all? When am I happiest? When am I most free?
2) Strip away what doesn't matter and/or add value to your life. Think lean and focused. Ask: What relationships are draining? What old patterns do I need to let go of? How do I waste time in a typical day?
3) Be a change agent. Agility is increasingly important in the modern world. Additionally, a change mindset helps to keep things fresh and forward-moving. Ask: What am I resistant to change in my life? What's something I can do differently this week? When is the last time I was open to hearing a divergent viewpoint?
We're eager to revisit all of these things as we examine and edit every corner of our life, heading into the next decade of NVR. Plus, it's a good practice for us to experiment deeply with the very things we get paid to advise others on.
For example, we've removed / archived pretty much all of the NVR content from the first decade of NVR, retooled many of our business practices, and stripped away business/personal obligations that are no longer meaningful. It's heavy lifting but so freeing and so worth it.
To welcome the new, you have to create space for it.
So, yeah, we've made many changes (we're calling them "edits") and many more will be coming as we move deeper and deeper into our natural strengths. You'll hear about these shifts as we touch on a variety of topics in the year ahead.
Change is not optional. The question is whether or not you will participate in it.
What's the best way to navigate the uncertainty that accompanies change?
Be more of who you authentically are.