“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”

“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”

—Sir Francis Bacon, 15th century British philosopher and statesman

Image from Unsplash by Marten Bjork

If time is the coin of life, how are you currently investing yours? A frequent coaching exercise for individuals who wish to master this elusive resource is a Time Log.

It begins by tracking professional and personal chunks of time in a log. The next step is evaluating not only where that time is spent, but also the level of satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness experienced.

Sadly, statistics point to well over 50% and up to almost 70% of people experiencing reluctance and significant dissatisfaction in their vocational efforts. Perhaps we need to shift from the idea of “that’s why it’s called work,” to a far more enjoyable and engaging perspective.

EXERCISE:

To what extent do you wake up with an “I don’t want to ____” view of your current job or career? How would pursuing a vocation that far better suites your nature provide a stronger foundation for a richer and happier life?

“Do More Great Work!”

“Do More Great Work!”

—Michael Bungay Stainer, Sr. Partner at Box of Crayons

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I am currently reading the book Mastery by Robert Greene, with great fascination. The subject of mastery has intrigued me all my life. This brilliant analysis includes stories of a wide variety of historic and current masters, and how their life journeys evolved.

Fundamental to the majority of these stories is a clear and authentic passion for the type of work or activity the subjects pursued. Each person tapped into their own gifts and unique abilities, and combined them with an unstoppable drive to pursue, develop, and contribute their talents to the world.

EXERCISE:

What does doing more great work mean to you? How can you do less bad work, or stop both the bad and even some good work, to make room for more great work in the year ahead?

Consider making the book Mastery a must read for 2016.

Another favorite I am sure you will enjoy is Do More Great Work by Michael Bungay Stainer, author of today’s quote.

“The gratification comes in the doing, not in the result.”

“The gratification comes in the doing, not in the result.”

– James Dean, American actor

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Image from Flickr by Terry Madeley

My son, Dan, is a very special person for many reasons. From the time he was a little boy, he was always fascinated by many forms of mechanical and computer related activities. Dan would literally lose himself in the process of building things with K’nex, Legos, and various other objects or building kits.

He even wrote, illustrated, and self-published his first animal book at age 5. In high school, Dan participated in the robotic club and in college, he was a member of the programming and video game design club, where he would sometimes work 48 hours straight over a weekend to help create a new game.

Today, Dan is a top computer programmer working for one of the most respected health care software development firms in the world.

His vocational and even some avocational software design and programming efforts bring Dan great gratification in the “doing”. This has been and continues to be his passion.

Exercise:

What vocational and avocational activities bring you the greatest gratification and satisfaction in the “doing”, not simply in the result?

How can you do even more of these activities to enhance your professional and personal life?