Using Life Principles to Do What Matters to You

Photo courtesy of Esther Dyson on Flickr

In Goodbye Career, Hello Success, Randy Komisar says “If you want to land the job of your dreams—even if you want to become a CEO—rid yourself of raw ambition. Avoid promotions that make perfect sense. Accept work based on friendship alone. Trust your gut. Then watch what happens: prosperity of the heart, soul, and—yes—the wallet.
Sounds likes a bold set of principles right. This article is a must read for anyone looking for meaning in what they do. Randy’s “non career principles” were actually based on a number of realizations along the way, which he translated into concrete principles. Here are four principles that helped Komisar to let passion drive his life:

  1. Create Your Own Rules: Randy set out to have a career but realized that he could not play the career game by the rules. So he decided on another set of rules: “taking jobs that, one after another, made me happy. Jobs that sparked my passion.”
  2. Integrate Your Career Path and Life: Komisar discovered “when you stop distinguishing between work life and personal life, you stop caring about a lot of things that used to seem important – like the title on your business card. At the beginning it feels frightening – and humbling, too. But it also feels authentic. Better yet it feels sustainable.”
  3. Become Comfortable with the Idea of a Non Linear Career Path: You will never know whether what feels like an insane idea is really crazy until you try it out. The insanity of an idea is minimized as long as there are a few good people and teachers to inspire you along the way. “I learned the virtue of following your passion, of obeying your gut.
  4. It Is Really Not About Options. At the End Of the Day, It Is About Choice. What Do You Want?: As Randy shares “after incessant years of go, go, go, I wanted to pause. I wanted to figure out what I wanted to be. Without actually realizing it, I had given up on the idea of a career. What was a career anyway? I had had a lot of fascinating jobs; I had built a life to be proud of. It was time to let go of the notion of climbing and just accept the fact that I was on a long and winding journey. Where I went next was entirely my choice.”

Randy shares many more great principles in the article. What is key is that Komisar paused a lot along the way, he figured out what he liked, what he was good at, what excited him and what did not. You have heard this before right? To master integrating your life, pause and summarize your career principles using the following exercise:

  1. Document your work and life story to date.
  2. For each major chapter, turning or starting point, capture what you learned about yourself, for instance where/when did you excel? What type of people did you enjoy working with? What activities have you enjoyed doing?
  3. Translate your findings into principles, and then write them down.
  4. Assess your current situation and determine which of your principles are satisfied.
  5. For the remaining principles, identify 1-2 concrete ways in which you can satisfy your unmet career principles.

Incorporating your principles will help you to embark on new paths or reconfigure your current situation. As always feel free to share one of your career principles using the comments section below.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Esther Dyson on Flickr

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