What Drives You to be Better?

July 8, 2011 | Posted By: Laura Smith | Categorized in: Family
What motivates you in the morning? What drives your day? Fill in the blank: If Iíve accomplished (this) at the end of the day, I was successful. We all have goals, dreams, to-do lists and responsibilities. I think thereís a balance somewhere between personal goals, professional goals and doing what you love. The hard part is finding and keeping balance, and handling change along the way.

I'm a mom, so I'm automatically child-driven. I have mom aspirations, unrealistic super mom expectations and role-model fear of "Am I doing this right?" But I do know I want to encourage the dreamer in my children. I want to soak up their view of the world and help them dream, believe, grow and be that unique individual they are meant to be. Here's to encouraging the dreamer in all of us, some guidelines (you probably know, but itís good to be reminded) for finding what drives you.

Ask Yourself Questions and Brainstorm


How you can make a living doing what you love? What areas of life do you want to improve? Check out Dream Manager online, read the book if you have time, start brainstorming and create actionable steps. This is one resource we use at FatWallet to inspire and help employees figure out their dreams, both personally and professionally. Finding balance personally can definitely inspire you professionally or allow you to see things differently. But remember to find someone you trust to hold you accountable.

Trial and Error


Itís not always easy to find your passion. I wasnít that kid who knew I wanted to be a doctor since I was four. Nope, I was the girl who loved so many different things and was inspired to create, help and do, not knowing how to sort through it. I have wanted to be a teacher, actress, author, artist, wedding planner, fashion designer, marine biologist, architect, professional volleyball player, counselor and mom. And Iím probably forgetting a few! Volunteer, take classes, try new hobbies, and get yourself out there. It takes testing, learning and patience to figure out what youíre good at. The hard part is figuring out what to do with it. Donít be afraid of not knowing or failing, be afraid of not exploring and trying.

Hard Work, Patience and a Canvas


We arenít all going to love baking cupcakes and open up the best bakery in town. But, if you do have an overnight success story, please share! Start with small steps, like working at a bakery and learning the business or ďcateringĒ family events to see what works and what doesnít. Also, try to see the whole landscape on your dreamy canvas. Not just the trees, not just the sky and not just the grass. Things often look different if we arenít getting the whole picture. Put all of the pieces together and see the beauty and the sum of the landscape.

The Journey


Find the good and the bad, the frustrations and the celebrations, and evaluate. Thatís the part a lot of people miss. They see the end result, and either donít know how to get there, or arenít enjoying the details along the way. I find myself stuck there often and I have to re-examine. I remind myself to take pleasure in the small things. Small things like replacing the bustle of bedtime with feeling the fan breeze, seeing the color of the curtains from the sunset shining through the window, soft little arms snuggling up to me and tired eyes wandering the bedtime book.

The best way to get people excited about what you're doing is to let your passion show. What are you excited about?
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Comments
July 8, 2011 | Posted By: Llilith
Right on!
July 8, 2011 | Posted By: HeatherS4
Beautiful post, Laura! Stretching our comfort zones is a journey as you say and I appreciate the reminder to slow down and enjoy the process. I can get trapped in the hard work phase and miss the beauty.
July 8, 2011 | Posted By: jaynekopp
wonderfully uplifting post. Could not have said it better myself. Thanks so much for the inspiration!
July 11, 2011 | Posted By: lolajean
@Llilith, HeatherS4 & jaynekopp - thank you so much for your comments! Slowing down and enjoying the moment is definitely the hard part sometimes. :)
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