“Rather than setting New Years goals around what you will do - set on them around who you want to be!” is a quote shared by a friend that profoundly changed the way I approach life as well as New Year's resolutions.
Who are you and what defines you?
Is it what others say?
Is it what you say (& what are your reference points?)
Is it who you are or what you do?
Is it your impact or your legacy?
These questions apply as much to companies as individuals. Companies with inspiring visions engage their team because work becomes so much more than a job. It becomes about who you are and what difference you are making. A vision for our business and our life sets our course, determines our choices and decisions and pulls us ever forward, sculpting and defining you with every passing moment.
One of the most challenging facets of vision-casting is that there is no one ‘right answer’. In working with companies I find this wrestling with vision and purpose to be one of the toughest and most rewarding parts of my work. People’s visions are as varied as the characters that make up this cosmopolitan kaleidoscope of life that we have the privilege to live in.
Indeed to live in a country, where we have the choice to choose what we want from life, is a freedom many take so much for granted that the magnificence of this brilliant opportunity is lost in an eclipse of comfort and entitlement.
Leonardo DiCaprio captured this well, “If you can do what you do best and be happy, you’re further along in life than most people”.
Are you happy (at least most of the time anyway)? How do you want to be remembered? What footprints do you want to leave on the shores of life?
Exploring this topic afresh led to much profound and varied wisdom:
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” - Thomas Jefferson
“Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything” - Imam Ali
“Define yourself; you have the monopoly on your life’s dictionary.” - Matshona Dhliwayo
“It's the way we deal with what fate hands us that defines who we are.” - Lisa Graff
“Never defend yourself, but define yourself with your imagination and actions.” - Debasish Mridha
“Strong people define themselves; weak people allow others to define them.” - Ken Poirot
“Our past may shape us, but it doesn't define us.” - Alyson Noel
“When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment, or the moment defines you” - Kevin Costner
“Judging a person does not define who they are...it defines who you are” - Anon
“The chances you take, the people you meet, the people you love, the faith that you have. That is what is going to define you.” - Denzel Washington
“What defines you as a person is not the life you were born in to, but what you made of it.” - Shahid Kapoor
Make the time to do the tough work of thinking through and answering these challenging questions. For me, I found my defining identity through my faith. The answer gives a depth of meaning to life that is hard to define and explain - rather like trying to explain to people who don't have kids the joy of having children, or the privilege that freedom is to those who have lived in the ‘free world’ their whole life.
Think. Act. Be.
Here’s to your success!