What Destination Are You Trying To Reach?

…death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new … Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
— Steve Jobs
What destination are you trying to reach?

What Destination Are You Trying To Reach?

If you're anything like me, you listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. I can dive into a mastermind of the world's most brilliant and successful thinkers at the tap of a finger. There's no shortage of valuable insight and guidance for what you should be doing with your business. Here's the problem, we don't all have the same destination in mind.

I've talked to a lot of friends and clients running businesses who find themselves stuck on what their next move should be. School gave us the idea that we can flip to the back of a book and check for the answer if we're not sure. We get lost in a world of listening to what worked for someone else and assume we're not cut out to run a business if their model doesn't work for us.   

You can't help finding yourself thirsty for guidance running a business. But instead, you get a firehose flood of contradicting step-by-step promises to business utopia from every corner of the internet. It's not to say following a model is wrong, but if someone lays out the steps to New York because they love the hustle and bustle and I want to go to Vancouver for peace and tranquillity in the mountains, I'll never arrive where I want to go. The next step in your life and business only becomes clear when you have a destination in mind.

Instead of starting with the focus being on what you should be doing, get clear on where you want to go. Because if you don't know where you want to go, how will you know when you arrive? Are your steps moving you closer to New York or towards Vancouver?

The first and only rule you need to follow in life and business is that there are no rules. Once you're out of school, you get to make your own playbook. If you like to play by a set of rules, work for someone else. But if you thrive on the adventure of the unknown, running a business is kissing goodbye to boredom,

So much effort goes into trying to be perfect. But how much more attractive are vulnerability and imperfection? Perfection has a stale taste of predictability. Don't take any single viewpoint as dogma. Go out and explore what works for you. The karate master Bruce Lee said it best "Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."  

But be mindful of the desire to compare. Not even Schwarzenegger's legendary role as Iceman will freeze you faster. Comparison is like popping a pill for impostor syndrome and self-criticism.

When it comes to comparison, the only measurement worth keeping track of is your own sense of fulfillment. Are you drowning in a list of things you need to do or are you blazing a trail of your own making? As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

If I'm comparing myself to others in a way that keeps me from leading a happy, healthy, purpose-driven life, then I've missed the whole point of starting a business. That's my destination.

It's not the huge leaps that bring me closer to that destination, it's the baby steps that one day at a time point me in the direction I want to go. There is no endpoint beyond knowing that I'm moving towards the kind of person I want to be. Steps into the unknown don't have to be scary. They can be exciting. They can be challenges. They can be motivating. They can be whatever you decide they should be.

That doesn't mean you need to (or should expect to) love what you're doing at every waking moment. But it means you need an emotional understanding of what makes you tick. It's about falling in love with mastery, which includes the inevitable failures. It's the difference between professionals and amateurs. Amateurs practice until they get it. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong.

What destination are you trying to reach? What problem(s) are you running into that are keeping you from reaching your destination?

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