Dr. Doug Hirschhorn is a partner with the University of Miami Alumni Association, providing insight on excelling in your life and maximizing your potential. Send him your thoughts, comments and questions at alumniweb@miami.edu.


Editions

March 22, 2007 - A Journey to Greatness
April 19, 2007 - Why?
May 17, 2007 - Gaining Self-Awareness
June 21, 2007 - Taking the C.H.A.M.P. Approach to Setting Goals
July 19, 2007 - Taking Smart Risk September 20, 2007 - It All Comes Down to Accountability

May 17 , 2007

A Journey to Greatness

Gaining Self-Awareness

Hello readers. Thank you for your feedback and emails over the past month. I will continue to do my best to get to them all and then pick at least one email to respond to in this column.

To kick this month off, here is an email I received, which I felt was quite excellent. “Dr. Hirschhorn, I wanted to ask you about the process of discovering your potential. What if your passions are unknown to you or if you have doubts about your career path. What do I have to do to find out what it is I'm meant to do?”

Great email, great question and here are my thoughts. Passion is a funny thing. You see we all have it. Some of us are just able to see it more clearly than others. The reason we sometimes fail to “notice” what our passion really is, is because we are overly consumed by things like our day-to-day routine, earning money or doing what we think is expected of us. The real secret to love, happiness, success and, yes, even wealth is actually no secret. It boils down to one simple sentence.

Do what you love.

Yes, I know….we all have heard it before but that does not make it any less true. And even more interesting, is if this knowledge is not a “secret” and if it is so obvious and well known to ALL of us, then how come so few of us actually DO IT? That my friend is what keeps ME UP AT NIGHT.

I believe I have uncovered the answer and here it is. How can you do what you love if you don’t know who you are and what it is that you love to do in the first place?

Now as I told you all before, I believe in finding solutions. I am not a “life coach” or a “balance” guru. Nope. I am just a Peak Performance guy focused and committed to helping you get from point A to point B.

If you are like me, then patience is not high on your list of personality traits so let’s speed up the process.

First off, you have to have faith. What I mean by that is you have to believe that inside of you, me and every single living person there is something called “Passion.” Sometimes it is on the surface and sometimes it is hidden deep inside but we all have it so let’s start to dig it out by trying something different.

After you finish the article and before you move on to the next priority in your day, I challenge you to be proactive and stimulate the process of personal growth on this journey to greatness by dedicating 15 minutes to your most important asset – YOU. Are you up to the challenge? Good and don’t worry, the only way you can lose is if you don’t put in the effort to do it.

First, please get up and close the door to your office or room to create a peaceful contained environment for yourself. Turn your cell phone off and shut down your email. Next, pull out a piece of paper and a pen and answer the following six questions:

What are my strengths as a person?
What are my weaknesses as a person?
How can my strengths help me to achieve greatness?
How can my strengths get in the way of me achieving greatness?
How can my weakness help me to achieve greatness?
How can my weaknesses get in the way of me achieving greatnesses?

That is it. Painless, right? I am going to stop here for now as you all have your work cut out for you. Please do not just read them and say, “I will get to it later.” I don’t believe in passive learning because greatness is not inherited, it is earned. It is yours for the taking but you will have to work for it. Not later, not tomorrow, but NOW. Time is passing us by and self-awareness is the critical second step in our journey towards greatness because you have to know WHO you are to understand WHAT you are capable of achieving.

Thank you all for your time this month. Please keep the feedback emails coming and if you have something to say, share or even would like some feedback on your journey towards greatness please feel free to drop me a note. See you next month when we dive into uncovering how to set and achieve effective goals for yourself.