I used to believe life was about successful careers and having more stuff but now I know life is about the people we get to do stuff with and for.
In school we were taught that happiness and stuff were tied together and that to get the best stuff we had to get to the top of the latter in corporate America. They said, “the one with the most stuff wins.” (They didn’t really say that exactly but everything that we were taught for 12 years revolved around this one idea, That success was memorizing more than your friend, making more money than your neighbor, having more toys than the guy down the road, that whoever got to the top won. etc.)
The sad thing is that there are a lot of people who follow the steps that I learned in school. These steps that are supposed to lead to success and they reached the top of the latter and were still bored out of their minds or miserable.
Then on the other hand you have people who don’t really follow the rules that we grew up with. Who are having a blast, who love life and are killing it in the market place.
There is only one thing that I have seen consistently through 250 books and 400+ interviews with people and it is this.
There is an underlying theme in every persons life. Leadership expert Simeon Sinek explains it beautifully “people don’t care what you do they care why you do it.”
The men and women who are making an impact on the world, who are changing their city’s and government and schools. The ones who are different, who don’t settle for good when great is available, who challenge the status quo and make the people around them a little uncomfortable. The people who enjoy life and do the things that make the rest of us envy them. Those people, they know WHY they are doing what they do. And that WHY, 99.9% of the time has 0 to do with money or stuff or success.
If your reason for going to college is to get a degree so that you can get a good paying safe job that will get you stuff or a social status then you are falling into a trap that will leave you miserable and unfulfilled 5 year from now.
If on the other hand, you want to do something that matters, something risky and different. Something that impacts people’s lives and leaves this world better than where it was when you got here then you will live a rewarding and fulfilled life.
I used to think life was about stuff like success but now I know it’s about joining together with people just like you and me and making a difference for others.
Now I have relationships that are so much better than anything I could have imagined before. I believe a large part of that is because now
PEOPLE ARE NOT THE WAY TO GET WHAT WE WANT, THEY ARE WHAT WE WANT.
There is a new era arriving. One that is built on community and relationships. One that feeds on connection not stuff. How do I know? Because I have looked at Facebook. People all over the world are bored and tired of the way things have always been. That’s why while at work they check in on everybody, or while on a date they are tweeting or posting on Instagram. Why do you think Facebook and twitter and others like them are so successful? Because people want to be apart of something bigger than themselves. They want to be connected. They want to make a difference. They have something to live for and as more and more people find their WHY this new connection driven economy will begin to change everything. We can see the change beginning with people kicking the old way of doing things out and not only living more fulfilling lives but also killing it in the market place. Look at Steve Jobs at Apple or Blake Mycoskie and Toms shoes company for example.
The great news about this new era is that everyone now starts on an even playing field. It no longer matters who you know. You no longer have to wait on someone to pick you. Now the opportunity that we have is to pick ourselves. We have the opportunity here to connect with one another and make a difference in the lives around us if we are willing to put in the emotional labor of making our WHY about someone other than ourselves.