I recently had the privilege of listening to Mr. Jay Abraham, one of the greatest business minds in the world speak last week. One thing he shared resonated with me more than anything else during his 90 minute talk. He said “Fall more in love with the lives you change every day, than your profession.” J. Abraham.
I believe most people have one of three visions of their work.
1. People with a job see work as a chore and the paycheck as their reward. They work because they have to.
2. People with a career like the concept of advancing and succeeding.
3. People with a calling find their work fulfilling and think it feels meaningful, leverages their strengths and contributes to the greater good.
Unsurprisingly, people with a calling orientation not only find their work more rewarding, but work harder and longer because of it. As a result, these are the people who are generally more likely to get ahead than those who don’t have a calling.
It is so interesting, it is not just that people see their work in one of these three ways, but it also doesn’t matter what type of job one has. There are doctors who see their work only as a job, and janitors who see their work as a calling. No matter what job you have, you can find meaning in it. For years I honestly did not see meaning in my real estate career. Working with my father he would constantly be mentoring, counselling and helping other men in our community who struggled. This would drive me crazy and I would tell him we need to focus more on selling real estate and not so much on these men that constantly kept getting themselves in trouble. The irony of this whole thing was the more my dad helped others the more the business of real estate just kept rolling in for us. I soon realized our real estate business was a vehicle to help others in more ways than just real estate and housing. We had a bigger purpose.
I encourage agents to rewrite their job description to be more calling-focused. Think about how the same tasks might be written in a way that would entice others to apply for the job. The goal is not to misrepresent the work they do, but to highlight the meaning that can be derived from it. Then I ask agents to think of their own personal goals in life. How can their current business tasks be connected to this larger purpose? Even the smallest tasks can be imbued with greater meaning when they are connected to personal goals and values. The more we can align our daily tasks with personal vision, the more likely we are to see work as a calling.
You can also try this quick exercise to find a small dose of meaning in your job:
Grab a piece of paper, and jot down a mandatory work task you find devoid of meaning—something you dread. Ask yourself what the purpose of the task is, draw an arrow and write down the answer. If the answer still seems devoid of meaning, ask yourself, What does this result lead to? Write down that answer. Continue this process until you find a meaningful result.
After almost twenty six years in real estate I now know my real estate brokerage, coaching, speaking and training is a vehicle to change lives and that’s what drives me to go to work every day and do what I do. My passion for this industry comes from truly knowing my meaning and purpose and nothing is able to energize me more than that. Zig Ziglar said “help others get what they want and need in their life and you will get what you want and need back in your life, ten-fold.” Take the time right now to go through a rewrite of your job description and the quick find meaning in your work exercise and change how you feel and see yourself in this real estate industry today. You will be glad you did it!
Strength and courage,