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Lead Yourself & Inspire Others Self awareness

Don’t settle. Never.

In the end, it all boils down to whether you love what you do, deliver meaningful and creative work and have the energy to do it.

Last week I came across an interview with Paul van Vliet, a famous comedian in my home country the Netherlands.

Paul was asked what he thought was most important in life.

His answer was creativity.

He connected creativity to the many things that are part of our lives: work, relationships, hobbies, sports, entertainment.

When I heard him saying it, I reflected on the creativity in my life.

I love creating and writing my stories. I love to travel and experience new places. I love meeting new people and engaging in inspiring conversations.

I love discovering a new coffee shop or restaurant. I love finding new books. I love learning. I love creating growth.

That’s a lot of love.

What’s underneath is the need to discover, to learn, and to create.

When that happens, I’m at my best.

When it doesn’t, I’m at my worst.

In the end, it comes all back to energy.

What gives you energy, and what sucks energy?

If the energy balance leans towards depleting reservoirs, you need to move.

Don’t settle.

Words famously used by Steve Jobs when he described a passion for what you do:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.

And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.

Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Steve Jobs (2005 Stanford Commencement Speech)

Don’t settle.

When I decided a few months ago to go back on the payroll, I decided with my mind.

I wrote about it in one of my insights called ‘Never say never.”

Little did I know then that my heart would not follow. When I discussed my reasons why to go back to corporate, I listed six reasons.

Number six stated that it would need to be a role that allowed me to continue learning and growing.

And that’s the principal reason why I offered my resignation and decided to leave the company.

I didn’t love what I was doing, and I wasn’t learning as much as I had hoped for.

As a consequence, my energy was not there.

Of course, I deliberated whether I needed to give it time.

I also thought long and hard about what I could do to change it.

I played my own devil’s advocate. I indicated I wasn’t happy and asked a few people for their thoughts.

In the end, it all boiled down to whether I believed I could love what I do, deliver meaningful and creative work and have the energy to do it.

No. No. And No.

When that was all clear, the decision was easy.

So, here I am, back to what I love to do most. Helping leaders and teams grow. Creating content that makes a difference.

Lesson learned.

Don’t settle.

Your turn: Where do you settle (and perhaps you shouldn’t)?

Do more of what makes you happy!

Erikjan

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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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