A desire to learn, to try, to adventure, to build. Deep inside us all is a desire to determine our purpose and leave our mark on this world.
Harvey Mackay said, “Find something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” We should pursue a vocation that fulfills our desires. After all, the Latin root of vocation is “voice.” Unfortunately, many associate the entrepreneurial spirit with money and greed, when it is really about discovering that voice and answering your calling.
Personal growth can stem from change
Life is too short to not wake up every day and do what you love. I’ve come across doctors who become businessmen and businessmen who become carpenters. Often success comes when we realize our true desires and have a change of mind.
Take Sam Pak for example. Pak left post-war South Korea at the age of 17. He enrolled in high school on his third day in America, speaking very minimal English. Today, he is known across Central Florida for his “I love appliances” TV commercials.
Pak entered the appliance industry working for his brother-in-law at a local business. He eventually became warehouse manager, and then moved into sales. Like most entrepreneurs, Pak began questioning if he should continue learning by working under someone else or by taking a chance on his own.
Manufacturers’ warehouses were crowded with merchandise that had been returned from retailers because of scratches and dents, and Pak saw an opportunity for business. With his wife and financial officer Eun Bee, he opened Appliance Direct, selling scratched and dented products to consumers for a lower cost.
It took a lot of hard work to achieve his American Dream, but at the end of the day, he loves what he does. Pak said, “That is why I consider myself lucky. What I was essentially forced to do was something I found I love doing… selling appliances.”
Strive to reach self-actualization
In 1943, Psychologist Abraham Maslow published his Hierarchy of Needs in a paper titled “A Theory of Human Motivation.” The philosophy of human needs is often illustrated in levels of a pyramid, as some needs are superior to others.
At the bottom of the pyramid are our psychological needs: To eat, to sleep, to reproduce and to have shelter. Above that is safety: A need for order, stability and security. Next is the need for love and belonging in relationships, then esteem or self-value.
At the top of the pyramid is self-actualization, understanding our meaning in life. It is at this level that we validate our desires, maximize our potential and fulfill our purpose.
Self-actualized people do not solely focus on the destination – they enjoy the journey. Go along for the ride knowing you can still reach the endpoint without removing all obstacles. In addition, self-actualized people are accepting of their own flaws. Overcoming failure has everything to do with how we perceive ourselves after mistakes and how we move forward.
Celebrate your success with others
Another aspect of accomplishing self-actualization is building authentic relationships. When we are successful in the pursuit of our desires, we give credit to our support system, whether that is our family, friends, coaches or advisers.
These are the people who believe in us. They lift us up so that we can reach our dreams. They remind us that although we have failed, we aren’t failures. They are what we refer to as balcony people.
On the other hand, you may come across basement people, and they may be people who are close to you. Basement people bring us down through criticism. They see fault in situations. They make us fear failure rather than seeing it as a growing experience.
Surround yourself with balcony people, and practice being a balcony person to others. Use every opportunity to better yourself. We grow the most when we understand our deepest desires. Determine your meaning in life and you can unleash your true potential.
“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” –Confucius