While scrolling through Instagram one day, I came across an interview with Clea and Jenna, from “The Home Edit”, and President Barack Obama. They asked President Obama what is one piece of advice he was given that has stuck with him. He said,
"Worry less about what you want to be, and think more about what you want to do. Because this town is full of people who want to be a congressman or want to be a senator or want to be president. And if that’s your focus, if that’s your moral compass, then you’re consistently going to be making decisions solely on the basis of how do I get, for me, what I want. If you think in terms of what do I want to do? ‘I want to solve climate change’ or ‘I want to employ disadvantaged youth’ or ‘I want to fix a broken healthcare system’, then even if you don’t get to the place you wanted to be or the office you wanted, during that entire time you’re going to be working on stuff that’s real and getting stuff done…Do great things.”
The original quote is found in this interview as well:
I do not know what it was about this statement that made a light bulb go off but it made so much sense to me. If you solely focus on what you want to be, mentally you will never be satisfied until you are standing on that platform. Sometimes we get so focused on a title or position that we forget to celebrate everything we accomplished along the way. However, if you focus on what you want to do, you will always be satisfied and continue to reach for more because you are continuously doing what you love to do!
It makes me think about the conversations Marcus and I have often about our life goals. Usually when he asks me what is my ultimate goal in life, my answer is usually, "I don’t know". I feel bad at times because it makes me feel like being in my 30's I should have an answer. However, when he asks me what I want to do with my life, my answer has always been, “I want to motivate and encourage women to be the best version of themselves.” I realize now, after reading that interview, that this is because I am focused on what I want to do rather than who I want to be. You see I refuse to wait until I arrive at the end of the journey to do the work. Purpose is found in what your heart desires. Every day there is something that drives or motivates you to live. That’s your purpose! Like Mr. Obama said, you don’t have to wait to be elected for you to make a change in the community. You don’t have to wait until the promotion for you to perform like a boss!
Is it a bad thing to only be focused on the end goal? I don’t believe so! There is a scripture in the Bible that tells us to “press towards the mark for the prize”. You see its important to keep your eyes on the prize, so to speak. However, we should all take advantage of the journey and get in the habit of working as though we have already arrived. The question that should be asked is what is the purpose of your end goal? What is motivating my movement? Is this my purpose or do I thrive off of titles? God gave each of us a purpose in life and we can never escape our purpose.
Do you remember being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” There was all this pressure to say something amazing like: an Astronaut, a Doctor or the President of the United States of America! I remember changing my mind so many times because I just did not know what I wanted to be and I didn’t want to make it seem like I didn’t have any personal goals. That’s unwanted and unneeded pressure for a child. An entirely different topic for a different time! As parents we should teach our children to focus on passion and purpose or position. You see it’s not about the title it’s about the impact!
Next time you meet someone don’t ask them where do they work? Ask them what do they do? IMPACT!
You may be answers like...
“I help people prepare for their future and ensure they are financially stable”- The Banker
"I help people obtain their educational goals to advance in their careers"- An Admissions Advisor
"I help people stay connected" - A sales representative at a Telecommunications Company
Now I ask you? What are you focused on? Are you focused on the platform or your purpose?