Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Remembering the "Why"

There are a lot of reasons we do the work we do. But when we consider our "great work" it really boils down to one reason, and that usually is to make things better for others. When I say "Great Work" I'm referring to work that makes us feel better about our accomplishments more than any other work we do. In the book Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters Great Work is defined as "...what we all want more of. This is the work that is meaningful to you, that has an impact and makes a difference. It inspires, stretches and provokes. Great Work is the work that matters."

But Great Work is difficult. It requires change and change doesn't always come easy. It requires perseverance because change often takes time. It requires taking the long view and often doesn't bring immediate results. And most of the time it's not very profitable if profitable at all.

And that brings us to Remembering the "Why". Just when Dorothy and the gang thought they had made it through the worst of it they discovered upon reaching Oz that there was more work to be done and it wasn't going to be easy. They had to kill the wicked witch in order to go home. Remembering the "Why" kept them going. Remembering "there's no place like home" provided the intestinal fortitude to step up and finish the task.

If you're discouraged or thinking about giving up, remember the "Why" of your Great Work. Stop, take stock, talk it out and think about alternatives and ways around the road blocks. Quitting and giving up are two very different options. Quitting involves a thorough assessment and coming to the realization that the work is not possible or worth the expected results. Giving up is driven by emotion and can only be defeated by remembering the "Why".

Go, do something remarkable.