The more I read and learn, the more obvious it becomes that the key to fulfillment is an alignment with purpose.
It is a vocation, life’s task, hard thing, passion, or obsession.
Whatever it is, sustained success depends on it.
When you stagnate, when the desire to excel and push your life forward ends, so does many other things in your life.
You cannot live a high-performance life without an outlet to perform. – Chief
♦ The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. A calling leads to a vocation or a life’s work which leads us the reason why we are born. That is the approach we must take for our lives. It is a deliberate process, a neverending search, a journey along a lifelong path. The art of work is all about how we approach and view our lives. The reason why we are born is the goal. Too many of us settle for a job, something to pass the time, stuck without a meaningful outlet of expression.
A CALLING → VOCATION (LIFE’S WORK) → WHY WE ARE BORN
Remember, life is but a blip of time. Don’t waste another second. Don’t ever be patient. Get after it.
♦ Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. This is an eye opening, first hand account of what it takes (really takes) to make it in the food service industry. Every single day is a struggle in the business of food and every single day is another opportunity to excel, if like Bourdain, your passion is a mastery of the art. Although this is a memoir of his exploits into the culinary underbelly, it is also a vivid depiction of the Hero’s Journey. It is a tale of mastery, not devoid of dark humor and a lack of regret, but teeming with insights into what it takes to be the best in the world. Hint: the process is never-ending.
♦ Go Long by Jerry Rice. This book was a first-hand account of pure physical effort and work as a path to greatness. Rice’s describes his journey from a small school in Mississippi to the NFL’s greatest wide receiver of all time. His path was forged through a combination of belief and effort, the secret sauce for a Master of Work.
♦ Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone. From the author of The 10X Rule comes another punch to the chest. It is a real gut check because it’s written in a way that makes you ponder your meager existence. You will think, “why haven’t I done more?” The premise of Cardone’s message is simple, you have to be obsessed. You need to crave the results and the action that accompanies greatness. Cardone, once handicapped by the perception of others, learned to break free of those shackles. Everything in his dream life came from giving into his obsessions — to not only crave more than ever, but to do more than ever.
When I finally quit fighting my obsessive mentality and started to nurture my obsessions, everything changed for me. – Grant Cardone
♦ Grit by Angela Duckworth. Easily one of the most prominent books on psychology ever written. One part research, one part action guide, this books gives you almost everything you need to design a high-performance, high-output life. The underlying message is that grit, a combination of passion and perseverance, matters most. It is a bit of growth mindset interwoven with a purpose driven life. Key principles from Duckworth’s research and observations:
- Talent x Effort= Skill → Skill x Effort= Achievement
- Effort Counts Twice; it builds skill, then makes it matter
- Environment Matters
- Deliberate Practice is the only kind of practice that matters
- Embrace a Hard Thing Rule: always have a hard thing that you are working on
The most important thing is the idea itself: Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.
♦ NSCA’s Fundamentals of Personal Training. Writing about physicality requires a total understand of the physical, emotional, and psychological principles of fitness and training. The textbook for personal training from the National Strength and Conditioning Association does a good job of covering all aspects of what it takes to make it in fitness training. The chapter on the psychological principles of training was useful for a surface level understanding of what gets people to embrace physicality — the emotional connection to one’s body.