Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Adam Rico from WorkYouEnjoy.com
Recently I had an exchange with someone that went like this.
“How was your fifty mile run?’
“It went really well. After I finished the run I threw up for three hours. It was great!”
It was great? I thought about that statement for a couple of days afterwards. Here was a seemingly lucid man I’ve known my entire life. He’s never been crazy before. Poor guy, I wonder what happened?
However, as I thought about it more, I realized how throwing up for three hours could be considered a great experience!
You see, it wasn’t the actual throwing up that was great (I don’t think), it was the satisfaction that he had achieved a self-determined goal, pushed himself beyond where he had been before, and experienced success on a very visceral level.
So how does this relate to your career?
Well, let me start with a question:
When was the last time you went all out for something in your career? A time when you didn’t hold anything back and put everything you had into achieving a career goal?
For a small number, this may be a daily experience. My guess is that you are living and working in your strengths, in which case you can probably stop reading this post and let us in on your secret. Others may be scratching their heads thinking ‘how would I ever be able to go all out when I can’t stand my job?’ The thing is, in my experience, this just means you haven’t found the right goal.
The hardest part of the whole thing is figuring out what your goal is.
It is personal to you and only you can decide what you want in your career. Maybe this career goal has nothing to do with your current job or business. Maybe this career goal is for your next job or your next business. When you take a step back and shake off everyone else’s expectations, what do you dream about? What is that thing in the back of your mind you’ve been thinking about but always feared that you couldn’t do?
Your fear is not unfounded, but it may be the first clue that you’re on the right track. You will have obstacles if the goal is truly something that will stretch you and push you beyond what you thought you could ever achieve . You will experience pain, throwing up if you will. In addition, whenever we declare a career goal that is unique or different from the status quo, we will receive a cautionary response and likely even criticism. However, when you arrive at the finish line of your goal you will experience meaningful accomplishment like you have never felt before.
My running friend taught me a valuable lesson that day. He taught me that it doesn’t matter what other people think about your goal. The only thing that matters is that you feel so good about accomplishing your goal that you can throw up and still call it great! That’s when you know you’ve chosen the right goal.
What is your next career goal? I’d love to hear about it (unless of course it involves bodily fluids).