The Secret to Success; Falling in Love, Part II
Since I wrote Falling in Love, part I, I have noticed a debate raging online about love and success. One perspective is “do what you love”, the other “love what you do”. Both approaches have very adamant proponents. And both have merit. Yet, notice, no one has mentioned “falling” in love. Whether you do what you love or love what you do matters little, as long as you are continually falling in love. Falling in love is in the present. It’s something you experience, every day, in the moment. That’s the magic. It’s not in the past; “I have loved architecture since I was a kid”. It’s not in the future; “I’ll love this when I’m in charge”. It’s right now, the current, active process of falling in love, over and over again, daily, moment by moment.
Parents might know this experience. My son is away at college. He came home for a short visit and when I was dropping him off at the airport, I had the incredible experience of falling in love with him (again) – who he is now, in this moment. Of course I love him, have loved him for 19+ years but in that moment, at the airport, as he was walking away, I experienced that deep, full, amazing feeling of falling in love, as if for the first time. It brought tears to my eyes it was so joyful.
I regularly experience this with clients. I’m blown away by their courage or brilliance or humanity and I fall in love again. It keeps our relationship bright and current and rich. I experience this with the company I run, Leading From Center, and keep falling in love with what it is becoming, what it is in this moment, again and again. And of course, my staff feels the warm glow that comes when I keep falling in love with them.
Falling requires letting go, trusting, not knowing. It’s not a linear “I’m going to fall in love now” process. It’s a different mindset of appreciation, of grace, of the miraculous. It requires seeing what is right in front of you instead of thinking, planning or doing something. Falling isn’t easy for adults. We’re scared. Think of the last time you fell. Were you thinking “oh boy, can’t wait to do that again”? Well, maybe if you were skydiving, but generally no. More like, “Ack, what did I do to my knee?” Yet think of babies who are learning to walk. They fall down and giggle. They jump right up and do it again with a sparkle in their eye. They aren’t afraid. They are falling in love with walking.
So no need to determine whether it’s better to love what you do or do what you love. Just keep Falling in love, in the moment, right now. It’s the “ing” that matters.