October 23. “Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.” (Winfred Peterson)
Focusing the full power of all I am on what I have a burning desire to achieve. That’s a powerful definition of success. In this statement, Winfred Peterson tells me that to be successful, I must find that thing that burns within me, that passion that cannot be quenched. Then I must pour my whole self into that passion.
In this definition, success is not measured in dollars and cents. It isn’t measured by how well I do compared to another person, or to the average. It doesn’t count up awards and achievements. This definition of success relies solely on me fulfilling who I am, and who I am meant to be.
I can achieve at things which are not my passion. At my job I have built a proficiency in managing the finances and budget of large scale projects and programs. I’ve become good at making sure that all of the accounts are balanced, that the forecasts are accurate, and that the money is well managed. There are some who consider this a strength of mine, and it is a set of skills I’ve built over a number of years. And …. I hate every moment of it.
Just because I can do something well doesn’t mean that I have a passion for it. While I am spending time on spreadsheets I am fulfilling the needs of my project, and of my management, but I am not fulfilling myself. I am not “focusing the full power” of all that I am on my passion. For me, managing the budget on my program is a means to an end. By doing it well, it frees me up to do other things.
At work I have far more passion around developing the people who work for me. I enjoy and am enriched by the experience of finding the right assignments for people that play to their strengths, while improving on their gaps. I love when I can sit with someone and have a good discussion about what they want to do in their careers, and then helping them to get there. At work, that is my passion, that is my “burning desire to succeed”. When I am spending time there I feel successful.
Today my reflection is on how much of my time is spent on those things which are distasteful, but must be done. I am reflecting on how I can minimize the time I spend there, and maximize the time I spend on what truly drives me.