“If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.” Dale Carnegie
When you think of self-help authors in the last 100 years, Dale Carnegie’s name will come to most people’s minds. His influence went beyond those who read his books, and is still being felt today – over sixty years after his death.
This particular quote from him speaks to the importance of pushing forward when the odds against your success seem insurmountable.
The key part of the quote is the beginning…. “If you believe in what you are doing.” For most people pushing past obstacles is only possible when they are certain what they do matters. When you believe what you’re doing is important and makes a difference you will find a way to get the work done.
I think most people, well hopefully not most but too many for sure, never stop long enough to ask themselves if what they are doing is important. They never stop long enough to consider if and how their work matters. They don’t wonder if they stopped doing what they are doing if they and their work would be missed by anyone.
Sadly, the quality of their work and their level of success is reflected in their lack of interest in doing something exceptionally well or in doing something that makes a difference in the world.
I completely understand that circumstances very often dictate what a person does for a living. I get that many times people simply take a job for the money because they have families to support and bills to pay. In my younger days I too had jobs where I was more interested in putting in my time than in putting in real effort.
But your job or career is not your entire life. If you’re in a place where you can’t make a difference for your organization that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference in the world. Find someplace outside of your job or career where you can do something that matters to you….and others. Something that you can believe in. Something that will leave a part of you behind when you’re gone.
Here are some questions to consider as you look for that meaningful work. Hopefully you will find it right where you are.
- Do I believe in my work?
- If not, what work can I believe in?
- What work is most important for me to do today?
- What, or who, distracts me or keeps me from doing the work that is most important to me and my future?
- What unimportant things should I stop doing in order to invest my time on the important things that can make a difference?
When you have concrete answers to those questions take these action steps to get and keep yourself moving forward.
- Remind yourself of the importance of your work as you begin each day, and at any time you feel distracted or feel like stopping.
- Recognize the power of momentum, and get going.
- Read this quote from Dale Carnegie often to help you stay focused on your key goals and to keep you focused on doing the work required.
Don’t waste time lamenting that your “day job” is less fulfilling than you would like. There are enough hours remaining in the day to “work” on something that does matter to you.
Know what you want to achieve, realize it can happen IF you’re willing to work for it and then get started. You’ll never finish what you never begin. Why not begin today?