Yesterday, I quoted George Bernard Shaw in my post. He is one of my very favorite playwrights. I always enjoy a production of one of his plays. Today, I’d like to quote him again, as he makes such a great point about how important a personal clarity of purpose and direction is to your career and life success.
“This is the true joy in life; being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
He’s talking about two things here: accomplishing a lot – being a “force of nature,” and more important, having a mighty purpose to direct that force. Clarity of purpose and direction is one of the four keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System. I discuss it in detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS, I Want You…to Succeed, Star Power, and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. You can develop your clarity of purpose by doing three things. First, define what success means to you personally. Second, create a vivid mental image of you as a success. This image should be as vivid as you can you make it. Third, clarify your personal values.
Your clarity of purpose and direction provides your foundation. From it, you can build the successful life and career that you want and deserve. The more clear, and the more mighty your purpose and direction, the stronger your foundation.
I’m a sixties guy. After all these years, my favorite recording artist is still Bob Dylan. My favorite Dylan song is “Forever Young.” He rerecorded and rereleased it recently. Pepsi has picked it up and is using it in its ads that run on NFL games. I used one of the lines from it to introduce my bestselling book Straight Talk for Success – “May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung.”
Check out some of the other lyrics…
“May your hands always be busy.
May your feet always be swift.
May have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.”
By now you may be saying, “Get to the point, Bud.” So I will. You can begin your success journey by clarifying your purpose in life. Why are you on this earth? What are you meant to do? I believe that the more mighty this purpose, the more you are likely to succeed. A mighty purpose gives you that strong foundation “when the winds of changes shift.”
I’m here to help other people succeed in realizing their purpose. I think this is a pretty mighty purpose. I may help someone who someday may become President, or a Supreme Court Justice, or find a cure for cancer, or just be a loving and caring parent. This purpose anchors me. It keeps me going when I get frustrated, or when I feel like quitting, or when I feel that I can be “good enough,” not great.
Commitment to taking personal responsibility for you career and life success is another of the four points in my Common Sense Success System. And, it’s what Bernard Shaw is talking about when he says “being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” Man, that guy could write – “selfish little clod of ailments and grievances” – that’s really turning a phrase. What he means is take personal responsibility – commit to it. Yeah, stuff happens as you go through life. Some of this stuff is frustrating and can piss you off. But successful people react to the frustrating stuff by choosing to react positively. They learn what they can from difficult situations and people and go on to bigger and better things. They are not “selfish little clod of ailments and grievances.”
In most posts, I usually discuss only one of the four pillars of my Common Sense Success System. You got a twofer today. I was able to hit on Clarity and Commitment in one post, just by discussing one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite writers.
The common sense point here is simple. Success is built on four pillars; clarity of purpose and direction, a sincere commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and career, unshakeable self confidence and competence in a few key areas. George Bernard Shaw’s quote on being used for a mighty purpose gets at the ideas behind developing your clarity of purpose and direction – and the importance of taking personal responsibility for your life and career. If you want to succeed, start by determining why you are on this earth, and then devote yourself to living that purpose every single day of your life.
That’s my take on George Bernard Shaw, a mighty purpose and not being a selfish little clod of ailments. What’s yours? Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.