Fulfillment, happiness, and reward...

The other day I was wandering around one of the local artisan boutiques in my neighbourhood and came across a young woman preparing for spring — with Christmas behind us the next big commercial event is SPRING, and as you know, the commercial machine is well oiled to sell us something. I suppose we do need somewhere to direct our tendencies.

I could not help but take a moment to watch her put the final touches on what she was doing — I will admit it was visually stunning, and the positive energy that was coming from someone doing something they love was "palpable" (and infectious). As I watched, she caught my eye and smiled at me; she looked back to what she was doing and then bounded over to someone I can only assume was her boss. Their conversation seemed full of positive energy.

As I looked back at what she had done, I could not help but think that she definitely has talent, seems to very much love what she is doing, and has a long runway for success.

"Do something you love, get really, really good at it, and the money will follow"

I can't remember if I read this or if someone mentioned it, but it still resonates to this day. And I believe it to be true!

There is a self-awareness and an understanding of where your strengths lie that is needed — knowing what you are good at, and conversely what you are not so good at, is important. And just as important, the definition of your strength needs to be yours and not anyone else's (and most definitely not with what you see on the internet). HAVE THE SELF-AWARENESS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR STRENGTHS.

It should be pointed out, particularly if you are under thirty, that there is a big difference between being good at something and its other advanced iterations — great, elite, master, expert, best, number one... and the ever popular "best ever in the whole, wide, world". The advancement of good takes practice, work, continued development, coaching, more practice, more work and time... lots of time. WHEN YOU FIND YOUR STRENGTH, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT PRACTICE, HARD WORK, AND TIME IS NEEDED TO GET REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD.

Share what you are doing with people and discard the concept of perfect. Everything we do is an evolution from good to great. In fact, there is something to be said about watching your progress — it's motivating; not only for you but also for those who may be watching you. IF YOU WAIT FOR SOMETHING TO BE BULLET PROOF IT MAY NEVER GET DONE — GET YOURSELF STARTED, SHOW PEOPLE WHAT YOU CAN DO, AND KEEP DOING IT.


And one more thing, if you leverage your strengths, do what you love, and the reward never comes the way you think it should, you still have fulfillment and happiness — and let me say that if you have this, you pretty well have everything.

I wonder where that young woman will take her talents over the next thirty years?


Bloggers note — when I sent the first draft of this blog to my daughter her response was, "Dad, that's not exactly what happened". To that I suggested it was artistic licence on my part. Her response was something about the integrity of information on the Internet. So in the spirit of not feeding "fake news" and staying a hero in my daughter's eyes, I will say the young woman is my daughter — I didn't watch her put the commercial merchandising display together or watch her bound over to her boss (although I was told her boss did like her work). The picture is real, and the thoughts on Fulfillment, happiness and reward" are mine. In the end, my position is I'm practicing my creative writing skills to tie all of this together.

What can I say, I'm a loving father — sue me.

"Risk and reward is real."

One of the best people leaders I have ever met just got a promotion — into the C suite.



When I heard about this I just had to send a congratulatory note, and when I received a reply (in classic style) it said, "Risk and reward is real".  As I read the reply I could not help but smile and nod — it still resonates with me.

risk [risk] NOUN — a situation involving exposure to danger: VERB — expose (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss:

re·ward [rəˈwôrd] NOUN — a thing given in recognition of one's service, effort, or achievement: VERB — make a gift of something to (someone) in recognition of their services, efforts, or achievements:

I am certain almost everyone has heard it said, in one iteration or another, that the greater the risk the greater the reward — and although it maybe trite, it's more often than not true. There is certainly a correlation that needs to be considered with everything that we do. 

As they say (and I'm not sure who they are) — "Life is a contact sport".

In other words, this wonderful life we have been given is dangerous — it challenges us, it wants to eat us, it wants to make us sick, it'll take what we have away from us if we aren't paying attention, and for every action we take there is a reaction that may or may not be in our best interest. Life and our actions (which includes non-action) inherently brings risk with it, as well as those associated rewards. Life is simply a series of risks and rewards for about seventy-five years (give or take), so we might as well get involved because staying under the covers really isn't an option.

With risk being an inherent part of life, it then becomes all about mitigating risk or taking on calculated risk — and whether we appreciate it or not, either through innate ability, training, or luck, we become experts when it comes to risk management. Our goal should then be about constantly developing our abilities in this regard, and getting the most out of the risk that comes our way.

It is all about understanding and aligning our abilities with our understanding of the situation — and having the confidence to believe we will be successful.

  • Know your abilities and continually strive to expand them — they are the tools that allow you to take on a situation (an intellectual endeavour)
  • Understand the situation you need to deal with and align your abilities with it — and then objectively determine if your abilities allow you to be successful dealing with the situation (an intellectual endeavour)
  • The confidence to be able to use your abilities and deal with the situation successfully — this is the innate understanding that you can overcome the risk of not being successful (more often than not an emotional endeavour)
  • The will power to overcome obstacles, make things happen, and not stop until you are successful (I'm not even sure how to categorize it)

And reward?

This of course can be anything, either intrinsic or extrinsic, and mostly reflects the goals of taking on the situation and risk in the first place. And yes, we naturally gravitate to money as the reward but it can be anything from simply learning a new skill to the satisfaction of doing something never done before. The subtlest reward though, and probably the most valuable, is the confidence that comes with taking on risk and succeeding... which in turn encourages you to take on new situations and more risk (and so on). Until one day you look back on it all and say to yourself, "Look at everything I've done and how far I've come"

Of course none of this happens if you find yourself still under the covers.