I’ve said this before, but when I was interviewing the 10 famous Australians for my recent book ‘A Life That Counts’ I found it both an inspiring opportunity but also, surprisingly, a somewhat frustrating process. These highly successful Australians had many common traits but one thing stuck out to me – they LOVED what they did and I was struggling to find that out for myself. So I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what this is for me. And I want blogs like this to inspire you to do that for your own life.
In many of my personal development workshops I teach on this. Finding the core, authentic you. Finding what you love. Following your heart and the outworkings of this is passion and energy which ironically enough makes you more successful at what you do, as well as making life a much more enjoyable journey.
I’m reminded of people like:
* Walt Disney who said “I don’t make movies to make money, I make money to make movies”.
* Or Oprah Winfrey who says that “I have never interviewed someone who is extremely successful who doesn’t love what they do”.
* Or Steve Jobs in this video who says “I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going is that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love … to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know it when you find it.”
You’ve got to find what you love ? So what excites you ? What are you passionate about ? What do you think about a lot ? What do you wish you could be doing ? What gets the motor firing on the inside of you ? Maybe it’s not one thing like is the case for me. But why go through life not doing what you love – we have only one life after all.
And if you don’t know – I would be honoured to try and help you. Go and buy my workbook at
That is exactly why I wrote it. To make my book come alive in your life. To help you on this journey of discovery. To help you find your dreams (the what and the why) and have the guts to not only dare to dream but to follow them. And then to have tools, strategies, techniques and examples for how to chase those dreams successfully (the how).
And as you live an inspired, purpose-driven life that counts – then I am inspired to do the same !!!
When I was writing my book I interviewed 10 famous and successful Australians. And it was confronting.
These people include the likes of Dick Smith, Gai Waterhouse, Louise Sauvage, James Tomkins, Lydia Lassila, Alexandra Croak, Matthew Burke, Matt Shirvington, Jason Stevens and Michael Milton. They are Australians of the Year, Olympic and Paralympic Gold medallists, World Champions, household names. I wanted to get behind the scenes – to find out what makes them tick. Why are they successful ? Why do they make the decisions they do ? How did they confront and conquer disappointment and obstacles ? What ha they learnt and what was their advice after their own journey’s and the success that came with it.
But the thing that struck me was that they were all PASSIONATE about what they did. They loved it. They would have probably done it anyway. There I was at 4:30am in the morning standing next to Gai Waterhouse at Randwick racecourse and she was as chipper and friendly as I imagined her to be. She loved being a horse trainer and the challenge of making a horse run fast. She loved conversing with the jockeys. The old experienced ones. The young 16 year old apprentices that she ‘mothered’. She loved talking to the owners. She loved running a business and all that that entailed. She loved racedays and the glamour that came with that as much as the early hours that noone saw. And then there was Dick Smith. He loved adventuring. He made money to facilitate this. He was happiest out in the Blue Mountains bushwalking or flying a helicopter and exploring. Matthew Burke – he loved sport. he loved the challenge of reaching of his potential and of being the best he could be. He loved touring. he loved being in a team sport with good mates who he had fun with and with whom he battled with whilst representing his country.
It was very confronting for me. Why ? because I was trying to figure out what ‘thing’ I was truly passionate about. There was no one thing. And it irked me. I wanted it to be easier – to know what that one thing was and pursue it with all my heart. To not just settle for doing something because it was easy or because the money was good or because that was what I’d done in the past. I think I’ve now figured out that for me there is no ‘one’ thing – I love life and I want to live an amazing life with everything that goes into that melting pot.
So what that in mind, whether it is ‘one’ thing or many – the challenge is still the same – the challenge of this bill board. May it inspire you to follow you heart. For remember there are many things that will capture your attention, but very few things that will capture your heart. Pursue those !
This is my birthday present to you on my birthday today. I chose this because it is so dear to me. This video inspires me every time I watch it and it represents so much to me.
Here’s why I love it and here’s the takeaway for you !
- Heart = motivation and perseverence. Talent is common and talented people who do not fulfill their potential is almost a proverb. To be successful and achieve all you want takes more than just talent – it takes motivation, perseverence, guts, courage and hardwork. And that comes from your heart.
- The Limbic System – in my upcoming book ‘A Life that Counts’ I explain this in more detail, but in brief, the Limbic System is an area in our brains that control out base emotions – fight or flight, anger, sex drive, attraction, fear, hunger. It is a strong and powerful force that drives us (often unconsciously). It is not your conscious motivation (frontal lobes). Think of it as heart. So is more than just a saying to say the heart is the strongest muscle in the body – it is grounded in psychology and how our brains work.
- Heart = passion. Passion = motivation and drive. Motivation = the day to day energy to become all you can be.
- Heart = emotion. And that is how I want to live me life. Not out of obligation. Not out of duty. Not because I have to. Because I want to and because I love doing it. And following your heart is not always easy. In fact it is easier said than done. I know, I’ve left my job twice to follow my heart and chase my dream. It comes at a cost but it is a better way.
And so on my birthday may I give you the one of the best presents I can give you – the inspiration and encourgement to follow your heart and live from your heart. And may you encourage me to continue to do the same.
I was thinking about various books and speakers the other day and one interesting thought came to me.
The authors and speakers who are most successful (eg Richard Branson and Anthony Robbins at a recent seminar) refer often to “never giving up” or “always find a way to make it happen”… It was only the lower level speakers and less known authors wo you often hear say, “this only takes half an hour a day to be successful..”
They annoys me because they are lying to sell their system / product. To achieve requires effort. The key is to get your purpose, values, emotional state, strategies and life structure right, so that you can ENJOY putting in the effort along the way.
You may remember a video I had in one of my previous posts from Michael Jordon (one of my heroes). In it he says …
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
And after two Olympic Games, I absolutely know this to be true. You achieve because you work hard at it. Talent is never enough. A system may be good but it takes work. You will inevitably face obstacles and at that point you need perseverence and mental toughness to keep going. To be successful requires:
1. Putting effort and energy into your life (and the many forms that that takes)
2. Putting it into the best strategies, decisions and structure. (don’t find these first before you find the energy to put into them)
My challenge today is to find that energy FIRST. Forget the structure or strategy. That gets added once you find and have the energy to apply to it. This is the key !
Life is a funny thing isn’t it. Often it is unpredicatble. It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t all scripted and set in place. But isn’t that the thing that is exciting. WE can make our life whatever we want it to be.
And here is the point. YOU DECIDE YOUR DESTINY. Noone else. Not your friends. Not your schooling. Not your background. Not your parents. Not just your talents and abilities. Not money. Not your circumstances. You are 100% responsible for your own life and it isn’t scripted. Regardless of what anybody tells you. Regardless of the statistics. Regardless of the experts. You don’t have to be limited by someone else’s expectations. It is always impossible until it is done. People will happily tell you that you can’t do something or you shouldn’t but when you do … well, I never see them running to tell me ‘You know what, you were right !’. And in any case … who says you can’t ?
So forget other people. Pursue your passions. Determine how you want your life to be and follow YOUR dreams. Make your life what you want to be for in life just as in sport .. ALL BETS ARE OFF !
My challenge … think about something you really dream of doing and now think … WHY instead of WHY not ? … and from that place … well let the rest be history …