There are two key steps to success:
First, figure out what you love to do.
Second, find someone to pay you to do it.
My definition of a genius is a person who is able to get paid for what they would be willing to do for free. If you can pull that off consistently, you will exponentially increase your happiness and enjoyment of this thing called life.
Here’s the problem that prevents most of us from feeling successful: We skip the first step and instead focus our energies on the second. When you set making money as your goal, you become like a cat chasing its tail: you go in circles.
When you take the alternative approach of just doing what feels true and right to you, money again becomes like a tail. The difference is that, like the tail of a cat resolutely moving along its path, it follows you wherever you go.
When you do what you love, the money follows. When you pursue money, on the other hand, love is unlikely to follow. Rather, the opposite occurs: People see right through your motivations and are reluctant to trust and believe in you.
The reason: the pursuit of the mighty dollar, euro, or pound is a relatively selfish exercise. Other people may be attracted to your ambition because you can help them with your financial resources; however, they may also attribute your energy to a self-serving motivation. This perception does not tend to generate love and respect from others.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).