By Sarah Mullins
Today’s world has an overarching theme of renaissance. You have the ability and the encouragement to transform your work, your life, and yourself an infinite amount of times. Most call this following your passion, but me, I’m not really a follower. I firmly believe if you are to create something innovative, meaningful and long lasting, there’s no way you can do it by following something there.
Therefore this blog will be dedicated to the much less romantic notion of: how to work hard. I may sound like your cranky grade school teacher, but I implore you - please read on!
Many Ancients believed genius to be somewhat of a muse, a mythical being that would at times inhabit your space. When genius came to knock you best take care of it! It unleashed the talents, creativity and motivation to create amazing things - but only if you worked hard. It was your task to care for, nurture and work with the genius in order to fulfill what you were supposed to be creating or else, that precious genius would find it’s way into someone else’s home, leaving you with zilch.
Going from “work hard” to “believe in a mythical being that gives you powers” may make me sound like a bit of a split personality, however let me explain why these two seemingly opposing views actually connect to make an effective battle plan to create something that will leave you fulfilled and ready for more.
Jon Acuff puts it beautifully in his book, Start - you must be completely logical about where you’re at and completely illogical about where you could go. Believing that you have unlimited potential, and unlimited boundaries (thanks to your friendly neighborhood traveling genius), and understanding your current resources, your current responsibilities and that you will in fact have to work hard is the perfect balance.
I’m not going to give you a 1, 2, 3 list of to-dos in this blog, maybe in a future write up, but for now I’m going to recommend you spend time reconciling the notion that you don’t get to control when something great finds you, you just get the choice to nurture it, or let it fly away. Opening yourself up to every opportunity that comes your way. You don’t have to fill your schedule with a million things, just entertain the ideas - you’ll know it when your genius finds you.
In sum, when your genius does find you, grab hold of it. When that moment arrives that whips you into a frenzy, that makes you smile involuntarily, and causes you to speak and work with passion - hold it, work hard for it. For goodness sake, don’t follow it, instead grab it by the hand and run with it! Like anything we have to work for, if you know you need to do something, get up in the middle of the night and do it, put it on your calendar and don’t skip out, never blow it off.
While you’re flying high with your genius, and staying rooted to your work, is where you’ll find the beautiful balance you’ve been burning for. Everyone’s balance will be different, so to me, there’s no reason to follow someone else’s - but it’s always time to create your own.
Use this information in your daily work and you’ll find amazing things can happen - even more so when it comes to BNI, know that we may have a leadership ‘team’ but in the end we’re all meant to be a leader within our own groups. With the excitement and push of membership extravaganza happening this spring, I feel like more than a few genius’s will be knocking on your door.
Happy Networking :)