Chapter 1

Know your why

There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

Nelson Mandela

You may have picked up this book because you’re looking for some quick-fix ideas for reigniting your career, negotiating a better salary, dealing with a difficult co-worker or simply gaining more recognition for your work. I trust it will help you with all of that. But to accomplish all you are capable of, there is nothing more important than answering the perennial burning question, ‘For the sake of what?’

That is, why should you bother to work hard and take on new challenges that stretch you and put your safety, security and even your reputation at risk? To answer this question you need to reflect not just on what you want to do in your working life, but who you want to become through the work you do each day. In an accelerated age of superficiality and distraction, at a time when so many people are struggling with an uncertain future and unexpected challenges, finding purpose in work has become the new ‘mission critical’.

Psychiatrist Victor Frankl, who was the only member of his family to survive the Nazi concentration camps, devoted his life to understanding the power of purpose. Frankl bore witness not only to the murder of his extended family, but to the death of thousands of men who were unable to survive the barbaric conditions in which they found themselves. However, he also saw men whose resolve to live ...

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