This caught my eye, ear, brain and heart today as I was listening to the commencement speech given by Natalie Portman to a Harvard graduation class.
“Achievement is wonderful when you know why you’re doing it.
and when you don’t know,
it can be a terrible trap.”
Let’s unpack this a bit.
Achievement is the thing we all want. Right?
When we were 16 it was to pass our drivers test.
When we were 18 it was to graduate from High School
Any sort of thing in your world that gives you a sense of honor, accomplishment and success.
What are yours?
Did you know why you were doing them?
At 16 we wanted the freedom and maturity to drive anywhere we wanted to go.
At 18 we wanted to move on to the next step. College, freedom, or maybe it was the achievement of just getting out of school. Different motivations for everyone.
What is your why now?
Why do you want to go back to school?
Why do you want to work hard to buy a home?
Why do you want to pay for your child to go to school?
Why do you want to bench press 200lbs?
There is a reason why you want to achieve and know it. Focusing on it gives you power beyond all things. Mostly because you are then self-driven and that makes the achievement that much sweeter.
But how can it become a “terrible trap”?
If you don’t know why you need to pass the test, what you’re earning money for, or why you need to eat salad all the time. Then it’s pointless and all your time and effort is sucked into this word ‘achievement’. Just because you think that you have to do it. To make another person happy? to check a box?
Knowing your WHY is the point here. Achievement is secondary. You and you only will ever be inside your brain and body. You and you only know what is important to you. Others can motivate you along the way but it’s solidly you that gets to label anything you do as an achievement. Only you can know the WHY behind it.
Written by Lara Kenoyer Client Experience Manager at Nick McLean Real Estate Group