Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Weekends Were Made For

I spent the weekend preparing for an annual exam my doctors recommended I have as a cancer survivor. I am not going to bore/gross you out with the details, but if you absolutely must know, read Mark Cuban's recent posting of his experiences. I expect my doctors will have a slightly tougher time performing my procedure, as I understand they'll have less room within which to work than Mr. Cuban's doctors.

On Friday, I was pressed into service at the last minute to host the 6-7pm hour. I've been asked to share the comments with which I closed the show. Caveat: not all of these thoughts are original (are anyone's, really?) When you're scrambling to pull together material, you use a lot of sources. Here's the result.

I want to close the hour with a few observations I’ve been mulling over this afternoon. The markets are closed for the week—you either made your nut or you didn’t. There’s nothing you can do about it until Monday, so let it go.

What I want to address with you is this: Why do you do what you do?

Oh, I know all the standard answers to a question like that: I want to make lots of money—and we’re all about that here at The BizRadio Network. We live—we exist solely—to help you make money: We do it through information, through research we provide, or through the wisdom of special guests we book on our shows that you’re just not going to get any where else. We want you to become rich…

But richness has many definitions…many criteria.

So the standard answer to “Why do you do what you do?” –to make money—is really a pretty shallow answer. If you do what you’re doing to make money, then why aren’t you doing something else that pays you more money than you’re making now?

So, I’ll ask you again…especially if you’re sitting there in late evening traffic on a Friday…wouldn’t you rather be somewhere else? Why do you do what you do?
Is it for happiness?
Is it for fame?
Is it for another purpose?

Helen Keller once wrote, "Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
I want you to think about that this weekend as you go through your down time routine.

It’s important that you have downtime.
There’s a cycle we all go through…and for most of us, the weekend is that part of the cycle in our lives where we recharge, replenish, and refresh our minds and bodies.

You really have only two kinds of days in your life: Productive and un-productive.
At the end of the day, you’re finishing either with a net gain or a net loss on your efforts, energies and activities. Just like the stock market…up one day, down the next. Even when the markets are flat, there’s still positive or negative movement. Same thing with you, too. We all have good days and bad days.
Productive and non-productive.

Of those productive days, there are three kinds of activities you will have: Planning, doing, or resting.
Think about that: In your work—in your life—whether you’re a CEO, a factory worker, a house wife or a kid going to school—you’re going to be involved in one of three activities on the days you’re productive.

“I’m always doing,” you might say.
No, you’re not.

Before you Do, you must prepare to do.
You must plan, research, verify, theorize, hypothesize, check and recheck. That’s work—activity—but it’s not Doing.

Doing is what happens with the plans you’ve laid.
Execution of the plan.
A turning of the wheel—applying the electromotive force of your brain to the task at hand, moving towards the goals you have set.

And once you’ve laid out your plans and executed perfectly your intensions…it’s time to rest.

Take a free day—take the weekend. Do nothing involving your job, or work, allowing your brain to float un-tethered from those cares.

That clears your head so that you can start the cycle over again on Monday…planning your week, executing your plans…which makes resting afterwards so rewarding.

Which gets us back to the primary question—why do you do what you do?

If you’re not doing it for the love of doing what you do—you may be in the wrong job. You are mis-cast on the stage of life, suited up for the wrong game—pick a metaphor, but deep down inside, you’re a fish out of water.

So what’s the point? How do you take this muddy nugget of wisdom and turn it into a pearl of great price? What’s it mean to you?

IS what you’re doing a worthy cause?

Albert Enstein said, "Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value."

Is what you’re doing really worthy of your time and efforts—and I think another important aspect of this question is whether or not what you do is beneficial to others?

We all have people who are downstream, of us, and you are down stream of someone else. Seems like we’re all swimming upstream, doesn’t it?
Doesn’t have to be that way.

That’s why we’re here for you at The BizRadio Network…and I’m not saying we have all the answers, but we do have the people with the passion—and a purpose—to help you become truly successful, truly happy, truly valuable to yourself and those around you.

If you’re not happy where you are—what are you waiting for?
Make the change—bust the move—do something that will positively impact yourself and those around you.

Jonas Salk gave only one major interview in the final decade of his life…but from that conversation emerged a simple, two-word formula for getting where you want to go: "Study success."

Succeeding in business without really trying happens only on Broadway. Coach Woody Hayes once warned, "Success comes before work in only one place -- the dictionary."

Aside from work, other elements emerge – a little luck, the ability to work with others, a dose of perseverance and more than a dash of discipline. You must also have that unique combination of goals and vision-- Allegheny Technologies former Chairman Dick Simmons once identified this as innovation. In order to achieve or succeed, you have to have an image to pursue. A better way.

Why do you do what you do?
How will you know if you’re successful?
How clear is your vision for the way ahead?

This is what the weekend is for: so dust off the road map, clean off the windshield…and we’ll see you on Monday on the Radio.

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