Have you read the famous Stanford commencement address by Steve Jobs in 2005? It was a powerful speech, with Jobs sharing 3 personal stories about connecting the dots, about love and loss, and about death.
One of Jobs’ key messages is this: ‘You’ve got to find what you love’.
When Jobs was fired from his own company Apple, his love for what he did kept him going, eventually bringing phenomenal successes with his companies NeXT, Pixar and Apple.
‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,’ said Jobs. And these were indeed wise words for the Stanford graduates.
The question is, how do you really find what you love? Is there a “magic formula” that one can use?
FINDING WHAT YOU LOVE
One of the books that best answers this question is Delivering Happiness: a Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. And that’s why we chose to include it as the first of 2 titles in our monthly ReadinGraphics subscriptions.
From the book, we picked up some really cool insights about how Zappos grew to a billion dollar business by investing in customer service, culture and training, and how Hsieh found his own path to happiness while creating one of the world’s happiest workforce at Zappos.
For this article, let’s just zoom in on 1 of the 4 happiness frameworks that Hsieh shared in his book.
The idea is simple: the most lasting form of happiness comes from being part of something bigger than yourself.
For Hsieh, it’s about bringing happiness to the world. For Jobs, it was about making technology simple and accessible to everyone. For us at ReadinGraphics, it’s about spreading actionable insights to empower breakthroughs.
So, what’s the higher purpose that will guide your choices in life and your day-to-day actions? If today was the last day of your life, what would you wish to focus on?
Find that purpose, and you will find it easier to align your passions and daily pleasures toward the fulfilment of your wider purpose.
So, what do you really love? What purpose or cause do you really care for?
A great place to start is by looking inward. Take a notepad and make a list of all times in the past when your work/ project/ activity fully energized you and pushed you to stretch yourself beyond your usual limits. Do you see a pattern emerging?
Next, keep a journal and make a note each time you find yourself feeling energized, inspired and performing at your peak. As you start to pay attention to what you love, you will inevitably find the answer to your questions.
If you haven’t yet read the book Delivering Happiness, we strongly recommend that you grab a copy. Or, if you have already subscribed to our Reading Graphics, a shortcut should be to take 5 minutes to finish “reading” the book in graphics, identify just one key idea that you resonate with, and commit to start implementing it right away.
If you have already completed the book and wish to deepen your search, you’ll probably want to check out these 3 titles:
• In The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, he explains how to use the “focusing question” to find our Big Why and align our daily activities to achieve the most meaningful results.
• In Finding Flow by MihalyCsikzentmihalyi, he outlines how to improve our quality of life by creating flow to maximize enjoyment and excellence from our everyday activities.
• In Good to Great by Jim Collins, he shares the Hedgehog Concept that great companies use to identify the 1 core thing that they should focus on. [The same principles apply for finding what you can focus on in your life]
If you still haven’t found your higher purpose, don’t fret. It takes time. As Jobs said, ‘If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.’