An apple tree knows its purpose in life – its purpose is to give apples. From the time the seed is planted till the first apple grows on its branches that’s what it does. It does a lot of other things too like – provides shelter for birds, squirrels, provides shade and oxygen, helps in water cycle, keeps the earth grounded with its roots. It’s main purpose still is it to give apples.
Now think about athletes – they grow up like rest of the us but at some point in their life they figure out their purpose be it tennis/swimming and they train for it. Everything they do, they do it for the purpose. They do other things on side too like breath, sleep, have mind chatter, brush their teeth, hang out with friends and family but they are aiming for the goal.
When they win a race or set a record in swimming we applaud them and maybe ponder on them for sometime or just dismiss the thought after a few seconds. But do we ever make statements like -“Wow, that was easy for her. She just got handed that race.” NO! We all know [at least I am making that assumption] the amount of hard work that goes into winning a medal. The grueling hours of workout, the strict discipline, the ever pushing the limits exercise schedule and not to mention your own mind chatter.
Now let’s thing about work scenario – somebody in your company gets promoted into the Executive Leadership level, where they are leading people – a role model for the rest of the organization. The thoughts probably range as before in the athlete example.
BUT, At this point we are probably not thinking about all the hard work that they have put in to get there. [I am talking about good leaders and I believe that for somebody to get to the top 3-4 levels in any company they have to be good leaders]. They probably spent a lot of their time becoming a good leader which we do not think about.
For example, an SVP I know has a grueling schedule – he has a workday from 5:30 am – 5:30 pm,runs 6 miles a day and eats healthy. Indra Nooyi, Obama all do similar things. But a lot of us forget about the work that they have put in to reach where they are at a personal level and they are probably still on the journey [Stay hungry , Stay Foolish]
Life is a school – whether we have a purpose or not , whether we know it or not. And there is nothing stopping us from becoming the human being we want to be. You are already one – whether you are aware of it or not. The motivation to be better has to be intrinsic if it has to be long lasting otherwise it will fizzle out soon.
First you have to make a choice – on what kind of a person you want to be and act on it. And use other people as an example to inspire you on your journey and not use them as an excuse [Oh! she just got it handed to her] for us not to work on ourselves. And they are on a journey as well – we put them on a pedestal. They can make mistakes like anybody else.
To Summarize: Choose your path or it will be chosen for you. Think of how the leaders got there and not just where they are now.