By: Brian Tracy
In my courses on time management, I point out that the very worst use of time in life is to stay at a job for months and years for which you are completely unsuited. There are a great number of people who spend their whole lives doing something during the week so that they can somehow find something enjoyable to do on the weekends.
In every case, these are men and women with very little future before them. They look upon their jobs as a form of drudgery, a penance they have to pay in order to enjoy the rest of their lives. And because of this attitude, they will seldom advance or be promoted. They will stay pretty much at the level they are, moving from job to job, and always wondering why other people seem to be living the good life while they feel like they are living lives of quiet desperation.
People who are not successful and happy in their work are those who have not taken the time to sit down and deal honestly and openly with themselves. They have not looked deep within themselves to find the inner treasures of talent and ability that they have demonstrated throughout their lives. They are content to do work that other people design and to achieve goals that other people have set.
Over time, people who are not following their true callings begin to feel helpless. They feel that there is nothing they can do to change things. Their income only rises enough to meet their expenditures, and they worry about money all the time. The future looks to them to be very much the same as the past. But this is not for you. Your aim in life is to become everything you are capable of becoming, to enjoy full self- expression of your talents and abilities. Your job is to develop yourself to the point where every day is a source of joy and satisfaction, and you have so many interesting things to do that you do not have enough time to do them. Your job is to continually hold up a mirror to yourself and refuse to work at anything that is not an expression of everything that is good and capable within you.
Success comes from being excellent at what you do. The market only pays excellent rewards for excellent performance. It pays average rewards for average performance and below-average rewards and insecurity for below-average performance.
But excellence is a journey, not a destination. You never really get there. You can never relax. The market is always changing and what constitutes excellence today will be different tomorrow and very different next year and the year after.
All really successful and happy people know in their hearts that they are very good at what they do. If you are doing what you really love and enjoy, if you are following your true calling, you will know because of your attitude toward excellence.
When you have found your true calling, nothing but the best will do for you, and you will go any distance, pay any price, overcome any obstacle to develop yourself to the point where you are really good at your occupation.
When you find your true calling, you will have a continuous desire to learn more about it. People who are not driven to learn more about their fields are people who are in the wrong jobs. And if a person is in the wrong job and not constantly learning and growing in their field, their value and their employability is diminishing with each passing day.
When you find your true calling, you will be determined to join the top 10 percent of people in your field. You will be willing to pay any price that is necessary to rise to the top. You will be willing to start a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later. You will take additional courses on the evenings and weekends.
You will see technology as an opportunity to do your job better. You will be interested in the various learning programs that you can install on your computer that can help you learn better and faster. You will be hungry for new knowledge in your quest to move upward in your chosen field.
A simple test as to whether or not you are in your true calling is this: If you are doing the job that is meant for you, that uses your unique talents and abilities, you will automatically admire those who are at the top of your field. You will look up to them and want to be like them. They will be your role models and you will pattern your work and activities after them. You will want to meet them, talk to them, read their books, and listen to their talks. The very best people in your chosen field will become the examples that give you guidance, both spoken and unspoken, on your upward journey.
Throughout the years, I have been continually asked by people what they can do to be more successful. In almost every case, they are working in jobs that they don't like, for bosses they don't particularly respect, producing or selling products or services to customers they don't care about. And many of them think that if they just hang in there long enough, the clouds will part and everything will get better.
But the fact is that you are where you are and who you are because you have chosen to be there. Nobody can help you or change your situation for you. The economic goal of your company is to hire people at the very lowest cost so that they can serve customers at the very lowest cost in a competitive market. For this reason, no one has any obligation to pay you any more than you are getting. If possible, they would like to pay you less.
The one thing I tell people over and over again is that they must become very good at doing what they are doing if they want to move up. And if they don't have the inner desire to be very good at their jobs, it means they are probably in the wrong jobs.
The great tragedy is the number of people who do their job in an average or mediocre fashion with the idea that, when the right job comes along, they will really put their heads down and do a good job. But for some reason, the right job never comes along. They are always passed over for promotion and advancement. They are always the last ones hired and the first ones laid off.
If you're still not sure about your true calling, ask the people the closest to you. Ask them, What do you think I would be the very best at doing with my life? It is absolutely amazing how people around you, including your spouse, your best friends, and your parents can see clearly what you should be doing when often you cannot see it yourself.
Remember, you are put on this earth to do something wonderful with your life. You have within you talents and abilities so vast that you could never use them all if you lived to be a thousand. You have the natural skills and talents that can enable you to overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal you could ever set for yourself. There are no limits on what you can be, have, or do if you can find your true calling, and then throw your whole heart into doing what you are made to do in an excellent fashion.