Love what you do. Love who you do it for. Always remember why. ~Kyle Sexton
To the best of my knowledge this quote is directly from Kyle Sexton. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Kyle I suggest you check out his site and his books. I appreciate Kyle’s style and enthusiasm and I think you will too.
But to address the quote, I have it hanging next to my monitor on a simple piece of white printer paper. I find myself asking the questions frequently. Do I love what I’m doing? Do I love who I’m doing it for? Why am I doing this?
At first the answer was simply: Yes, I love my family, I support my family through work, and I have bills to pay for my family. But I found that the more I thought through those answers the more I was actually being discouraged and unsatisfied. Frankly, in my mind, those answers were rote and not very thoughtful. I love my family and everything I do is focused on supporting them, or making me better to serve them, but I could achieve a similar outcome by doing a myriad of other jobs. So I had to dig deeper.
The answer was in specific context. I now find myself applying the questions to the more intricate and time consuming activities of my daily work. Do I love writing legislative updates for my members? Do I love calling on members and asking how they are? Do I love setting a challenging vision for the organization? The more honed and intricate the question, the harder to answer, and once answered the more rewarding the motivation. Then it becomes easier to always remember why.
So for you, do you: Love what you do? Love who you do it for? Can you always remember why?
It is a simple exercise with astounding results when we challenge our self to answer the deeper questions. It takes the daily focus off of the easy to complain about issues. It also allows you to accept the things that are unpleasant and unchageable, similar even to the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” When you are focused on Why you’re doing what you’re doing, it is easier to find the joy in the task no matter how small and trivial, or large and scary.