Several years ago, I followed the common business advice of the day on how to pursue your passion. First, find something you’re truly passionate about. Second, pursue it obsessively. And then third, become wildly successful and wealthy! Easy, right? All you have to do is work longer and harder than anyone else. Be smarter and stronger than everyone. Sacrifice everything to achieve your dream.
As a business transformation keynote speaker, I often speak to organizations on how to achieve peak performance. Last week I was delivering a presentation to a sales division of a very successful multinational conglomerate when someone asked, “How do we really become a great sales team?”
My Aikido martial arts academy attracts a lot of high-powered students in Washington, D.C. I have State Department employees studying with me, FBI and CIA agents, U.S. and foreign diplomats, all sorts of people part of the country’s — and the world’s — power structure.
Many years ago, I was sitting in my cubicle at work and started to yawn. I was hungry and a bit bored with the less-than-challenging work I was doing. Thinking it was almost lunch-time, I glanced at my watch. 9:38 AM. What?! It felt like I had been sitting there in my little felt box for at least three or four hours. Ugh.
The toughest Aikido martial arts class I ever taught was a bunch of teenage girls. I’d been brought in to teach at one of the most exclusive, private all-girl prep schools in Washington, DC. The kids in this school were straight out of the movie Mean Girls — privileged, entitled, ruling their own corner of the world.