Earlier this year, I wrote a post about re-igniting your passion in your work. If you recall, I was struggling with burnout and reconnected with a few things to get back on track. You can read that post here.
There’s another aspect to that reconnection, re-ignition, or whatever you want to call it that I want to touch on today, fulfillment. Does what you are doing make you feel good on an inherent, human level? It’s not about the work itself or the pay or the people, it’s about how you feel about the impact you had on people’s lives.
Before I get into the two pieces I want to cover here, I want to make a couple of points.
First, the same work can have differing levels of fulfillment. When I worked in new home sales, I loved working with first-time buyers. I felt so good about the work and the impact on people. I got “promoted” to a community with much higher prices. Most people would have been cool with that. I hated it. I actually asked to leave and go back to a more entry-level community. The work was the same. The internal reward was very different.
Second, I have long said that Realtors, in particular, need to do a better job of taking a moment to recognize and give themselves credit for the impact they have on people’s lives. We are the purveyors and protectors of the American Dream of Homeownership. That’s so cool! Too often, we get wrapped up in the minutiae of the day-to-day. Take a minute every now and then to recognize how you help shape people’s futures.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming. I want to focus on two aspects of creating fulfillment in your work.
Are you creating, in your business or life, what you want that business or personal life to really look like? Are you creating processes and systems that lead to success? Have you created habits that ensure success? Have you just even taken some time to be creative?
Creating avenues to success in your work is powerful for a lot of reasons. First, we feel better, in general, when we are achieving the things. That’s a given. Second, when we create, we also create ownership. When we take ownership of what we are doing, we are more likely to actually follow through on what we create. We also create a sense of control. That control allows us to test, review, and revise very quickly.
What about just being creative? In January, I started scheduling a creative day each month. It’s a day each month that I can detach from electronics and work on things that give me fulfillment. Sometimes it’s just reading. Sometimes it is reconnecting to nature. Sometimes it’s working on actual creative pieces or writing.
Regardless of the method, the create portion of fulfillment is 100% internal. Your ability to create will drive your ability to fulfill whatever your dream is because it both leads to and receives feedback from your ability to contribute to the dream, creating a cycle of fulfillment. Which brings us to…
While creating is internal, contribution is the opposite. It is 100% external to you. Your contribution is the action that results from the creating portion of fulfillment. This contribution could be tangible, like you built something, or it could be a feeling or emotion in the person receiving your contribution.
Let’s say you build a car. You then sell that car to Joe. Joe uses that car to drive, obviously. No real contribution there. But what if you knew that Joe just became the first person in his family to graduate from college and that the car you built would take him back and forth to his first professional job. That job would fund his ability to literally change the trajectory of his life and serve as an example to others around him. Your contribution is pretty damn profound to Joe, right?
As Realtors, we have the opportunity to play a similar character in the story of people’s lives. When someone buys their first home, builds their family, and creates wealth, memories, and legacy, we get to be part of that. When someone buys an investment property, we get to be part of the wealth-building adventure with them. When Joe asks us to help him rent his first home, parking his new car in the garage for the first time, we get to be part of his story.
How freaking cool is that?
If you follow a morning routine or practice any kind of spirituality or whatever gets you going each day, take a minute to think about your fulfillment. Think about your impact on your world and the people in it. Thank about how you fit into that story. Where the first part of my story, the re-ignition, brings me happiness and excitement, this part brings me peace. I think that’s a big part of the fulfillment equation.