Thank you for reading this post. I just wanted to be clear that I do appreciate my readers; you’ll understand why in a minute.
I looked around a couple months ago and realized that there are way too many of us existing in this moment while we frantically look around to see how to live a better life in a different moment. And just in case we question that logic, there are a host of talking (blogging) heads out there providing their 2-cents on what we should do to be happier, make more money, advance our careers, live more fulfilling lives,…and much, much more.
For many of us, right after college graduation or soon into our first jobs we begin to look around and figure out that the way to a raise and a promotion runs right through graduate school. We jump on that treadmill and in our mid-to-late 20’s we are working 40+ hours a week and attending school at night, which means a lot of our so-called downtime is spent writing papers, coordinating class projects and trying to stay awake for yet another dull sage-on-a-stage (I can say that – I used to be one).
We finish that graduate degree and may or may not get a promotion. In some companies hiring from within is a non-starter so graduate sheepskin in hand, we begin to look around at where we can go to advance our careers. Now that our student loan debt has grown significantly, we’re hoping it will be worth what we spent.
It is my opinion that too many of us come out of college thinking we’re on the CEO track. Similar to our high school angst on SAT scores and college admission letters, we begin to fret if by age 30 we’re not a VP with a 6-digit salary. And so we begin the frantic search for the value-add that will give our careers a boost.
We follow leadership gurus, and attend seminars on how to grow our careers. We study the lives and bathroom habits of rock stars like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson and others to figure out how to replicate their success; but we are all missing the boat. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (and I suspect most phenoms) succeeded wildly because they focused their time on things that interested them,…and they worked really hard at those things and didn’t allow themselves to get distracted with the latest guru’s opinion. They didn’t look externally for someone to point the way, or attend workshops to learn the secrets of success. They put a laser focus on something that interested them, and didn’t let up until something of quality emerged.
If you truly want to find phenomenal success, stop chasing gurus, following 50 talking heads, and spending time and money on workshops and graduate degrees believing that they’ll point the way to your success. Your success is already right in front of you. It may not be full-grown and easily-recognized, but that’s because you’ve been neglecting it.
Look around you right now: what do you enjoy? what are you good at? what problems do people bring to you to solve? You may not be the VP of Solving Problems in your area of expertise, but you’re building a foundation that has more wisdom and success secrets tucked in it than anything you can learn in a weekend workshop with someone else (who may or may not have figured out anything of substance).
I’m not suggesting that listening to gurus and reading blogs is bad, but if all we do is listen to others and spend our time and money hanging on their every word, we’ll never find the time to discover our own genius. It’s in there and the tools and avenues for expressing it are all around us.
Thanks again for reading this – now log off and go do something awesome!
This blog was originally posted on Author’s LinkedIn site