This is one of the questions that Dr. Gerald Suarez* helps us answer for ourselves in his excellent new book,
“J. Gerald Suarez’s extraordinary experiences in the White House and on campus help frame this remarkable book by offering wise perspective and deep insight into the struggle of balancing one’s life’s gifts, passion and direction.”
So what guidance does Dr. Suarez give us for knowing if we are following our passion? Here are some examples. He suggests asking yourself to think about this scenario:
“Your employer guarantees your current salary for life, adjusted for inflation. You are told that you are free to do whatever you please; there are no expectations whatsoever and no adverse repercussions.”(p. 38)
What a great question! Suarez goes on:
“What would you do? Would you report to work as usual? If you decide to work, why would you? If you would not go back, also ask why.” (p. 38)
“To most of us, the possibility that we can take away the financial aspect of our current jobs lets us consider what we really want to do. We can pursue a course of action because it feels right. It gives us a sense of joy. It nourishes and energizes us.” (p. 39)
“Removing these constraints, even if simply through a mental exercise, allows new themes and possibilities to surface. If you listen carefully to these themes and reflect on the possibilities, you can find yourself operating from a wholly new perspective.” (p. 39)
These are just some examples of the pearls of wisdom in Leader of One. I highly recommend it and encourage you to order your copy soon! Peter Drucker once said that the most important person we lead is ourselves. Indeed true. Leader of One helps you understand how to do that most effectively.
*Dr. J. Gerald Suarez is Professor of the Practice at the Robert H, Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and former Director of Presidential Quality for both the President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush Administrations.