is to do what you love...... Steve Jobs
What wise words. You can do GOOD work. You can do GOOD deeds. You cannot do GREAT work unless the work is where your heart is, what you feel connected to, what you would spend hours doing and learning to do better. That work, that specific thing that you do well and / or are passionate about and want to do well...that is the only thing you will ever do that will be GREAT. Hear me out.
I had this all wrong. I thought that I could make any work great by association. By being a generous person, by giving of my time and talents, I could affect the change I wanted. I could make the work great simply through the virtue of doing it, especially if I did it better than anyone else.
They say you affect far more people than you will ever know, in ways you could not begin to understand. I believe this is true. I carry an iphone, I work on a Mac at home and I use an ipad to watch and read as the world burns, but this is not really the way that Steve Jobs impacted my life. They are the windows through which I watched, sure. But the change in my life is something you would have thought I could have realized all on my own. I could not. I couldn't see that nothing had 'happened', I had merely taken a road that didn't lead to greatness. I never allowed the thought that there was such a thing. I believed it belonged to the fortunate, the lucky, those hit by the lightning strike of greatness. Not me.
I started out thinking that you worked up from the bottom.Nope.
I believed that hard work + any job = success. Nope.
People told me I had to pay my dues, then I could do what I wanted. Not true either.
That hard slap in the face came at an enormous cost; my time. I cannot get that back.
Now I know all the ways in which I was wrong. And I know the one that I could be right. That I was right about all along. I knew that I knew, and yet I listened to the voices of other people instead of the one that rang loudest and truest in my mind. I paid attention to the imaginary voices that cast shadows of doubt onto my abilities and desires. I thought they knew more than I did. I thought wrong.
You know, right here and now, what you are. What you really are. Where your heart lives and your imagination runs and the place and situation that would create the wide open space you need to run wild with success. You are thinking of it right now. You can see it. Your passionate dream. You keep your hand around it, sheltering it from the wind, lest it blow out your tiny little candle of hope. I am here to tell you that you can move your hand away, the wind is only created by your depressive sighing, and if you let it see the light, it will glow bright and strong and true.
You already know where your great work lives.
The question is... are you going to go live there with it?
I have tried the other way. I have tried to make jobs into great work, then settled for a job well done. Nothing great ever comes from settling. Like everything important and wonderful, it will be hard and risky and treacherous. There will be difficulties and bad days. Nothing I am doing right now justifies the risks I will take for the one true place where I can do great work. If it is not worth risking anything for, it is not worth wasting your time on either.
Go do the great work your heart desires. Follow the one passionate dream you have. There will be costs and there will be greatness. You already know what this path holds. Imagine the world you could live in if everyone was their greatest self. If we did the work that made our hearts sing.
Don't wait for something to change. You have to change. Don't wait for someone to tell you its time. They are stuck figuring out their own time. Go be who you really are. And I'll go be who I really am. And when we meet again, we'll have so much to discover.