Why you should do more of what you love Part 1: A story about my relationship with ‘success’.
Over the last year or so, I have come to realise that we should all be doing more of what we love.
I realise that’s nothing new. There are memes all over the t’interweb telling us that. We know. We get it.
But for me, the “AHA!” moment hit when I did some soul-searching and realised that the reverse is also true. That it’s ok to admit that this thing I’ve been trying to do for the last 5 years…
The thing I’d also done ten years ago and hated…
The thing I tried to do again because I really should be able to do it….
… it’s ok to admit that I’m just not very good at that thing. I really don’t enjoy it. Worse still, it actually makes me ill.
So perhaps for me it’s not so much “do more of what you love”, but more “do less of what causes you crippling anxiety and stress”.
Let me explain. I’ve never known what I want to do when I grow up, so leaving uni felt pretty terrifying. I sort of ‘fell’ into administration and have been offered promotions in every job I’ve had. Invariably, that has involved managing people. Hooray! More responsibility! Progress! Except actually I’m no good at managing people. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always made it work. Ask the people I’ve managed and I’m sure they’d say good things. But honestly? Gah! The responsibility! The stress!
The penny finally dropped when I did the Wealth Dynamics test (a terrible name for something actually rather useful) and found out I was an Accumulator profile.
As I read through the profile, I was horrified! I understood for the first time just why managing people was such a struggle for me. I read that Accumulators are ill-equipped to handle office politics, are terrible at delegating (we’d rather do it ourselves as then we know it will be done properly) and that people-focused leadership is our ‘worst role in teams’.
It’s really no wonder that I was having such a tough time trying to do what I thought I needed to do to be deemed successful.
On the flip side, let’s take a look at the strengths of an Accumulator: We’re reliable, organised, we see what could go wrong and we always deliver on time. Our best roles in life are project management, organisation and jobs that require accuracy.
Understanding all of that has been the key to me turning my back on those things I find difficult, and embracing what comes more naturally.
We’re taught from a young age to work harder on our weaknesses. We think that success comes from doing what’s difficult and that there’s only value in those things we had to battle for. We undervalue the things we’re good at because they feel easy.
But what if we all turned our attention to truly understanding what we’re good at and then put all our energies into becoming even better at that? Isn’t that what success should look like? More importantly, isn’t that what success should FEEL like?
So, don’t do what I did and struggle in pursuit of what you think you should be doing. Instead do more of the things you love and less of the things you don’t and success won’t be far away (just be prepared for it to creep up on you looking very different to what you expected…).