Hello, my friends.
I have a provocative question for you: Do you make love at work?
I’m not talking about the kind of thing that makes the news or gets you in trouble with the authorities. It’s not what you think.
The birth of this subject comes from one of my boyhood heroes, the oceanographer and film maker, Jacques Cousteau. I loved his television shows, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. This was before the days of on-demand entertainment, where you can watch anything at any time. Back in those days, we had to really plan when we were going watch that show…because if we missed it, we missed it.
Jacques Cousteau said many famous things. He was a powerful, charismatic speaker and environmentalist. He said, “Many people attack the ocean, I make love to it.”
I remember thinking about that.
When I was twelve years old, I got an opportunity to meet Jacques Cousteau. What an opportunity it was! I got to ask him a question. I asked, “How do I go about becoming a member of your crew?”
He found that quite funny.
Needless to say, I never did become a member of his crew, but I was bitten by the notion that you could go to work each and every day, and love what you do.
Years later, I read a book called Good to Great, in which the author, Jim Collins, talked about the three circles – three questions to ask – to define where you should spend your life, particularly your work life.
Those three questions are:
- What are you great at? Or it could be, what can you be best in the world at? Put another way, what’s in your gift zone?
- What do you love? What do you love to do so much that you lose track of time when you’re doing it?
- What drives your economic engine?
As a kid, I also wanted to become a member of the Boston Red Sox. I loved baseball. I loved playing baseball. The problem is, one out of three on that list of questions isn’t good enough. Though I loved it, I was not particularly good at baseball.
Once I got to be a teenager, it was clear that I wasn’t skilled enough. And of course, if you’re not skilled enough to play college baseball, then you’re not going to drive your economic engine playing baseball. So that was one out of three.
Think about these questions as they pertain to what you do, or what you plan to do.
How many of these three tests does it pass?
I am going to challenge you not to settle.
You want to live a life full of satisfaction, enjoyment, and fulfillment. At the end of your days – hopefully a long, long time from now – you want to look back with a sense of satisfaction and not regret about what you have done.
You don’t want to be saying, “Woulda, coulda, shoulda.”
“If I had only made that choice, taken that chance, or taken a risk…”
Believe me, take the chance…take the risk. If you’re in something where you’re settling, it’s not good enough.
Just recently, I was on a fishing expedition with a client in the Gulf of Mexico. The guide who took us to the fishing spots where the fish were biting told us what bait to use, how to cast, and basically, he got some real neophytes to catch a lot of fish.
We had many conversations during the hours that we were on the water. I learned this man had done many things. He had been a truck driver. He had also worked in the oil and gas industry, where he made more money than he made on the water, but he never loved it.
In fact, he tolerated it. He just endured it.
That’s just no way to go through life.
He said he kept being drawn back to the ocean.
So he started his own guide business. Clearly he was very talented at it. You could tell he loved what he was doing. We were novices, and he didn’t show any signs of frustration. He was very happy. It served his economic needs.
Just think about that. Do not settle for two out of three, or one out of three. You need three out of three in order to really be living your purpose, living your passion, and becoming that person you have the potential to become.
Does what you’re doing pass the three-question test?