Why You Will Never Be Outstanding, Happy or Truly Successful In Your Work Or Career

Wouldn’t you love to know the  the secret of how to excel in your career and make your life extraordinary?

Many of us have created lives that give very little support for experimentation.
We believe that answers already exist out there, independent of us. What if we
invested more time and attention to our own experimentation? We could focus
our efforts on discovering solutions that work uniquely for us.
~ Margaret Wheatley

I don’t know about you but when I was at school I really did not know what my real talents were, not did I understand what passion was?

I was a good all rounder and succeeded well enough at just about everything I put my mind and my hands to, so when it came to making a choice about a career I was stumped. Nothing really gripped me, and like many others I ended up making work based choices that were more about avoiding boredom and the things I did not enjoy rather than moving towards things that inspired me.

In those early days back in the 80’s, I looked upon friends who apparently had a clear vocational direction in their careers with a little envy. I craved to experience the apparent certainty and confidence they expressed about the direction they were taking.

What’s interesting this is that as the years went by it seems that the haphazard approach I took in creating a really great work life eclipsed the careers of many of the friends who I though had nailed it.

So what actually happened that made the result of their carer ambitions fall short? And what was so different in my approach that created my satisfying and often unexpected successes?

I think that Larry Smith – in his TED talk “Why you will fail to have a great career” has some of the answers.



So, it seems that pursuing passion is key.

When combined with some of the traits that my parents and others tried to discourage in me –  such as unswervable (perhaps stubborn) persistence, insatiable curiosity, seeking pleasure from my work, a passion for experimenting, learning and developing new skills – it seems following passion as a primary goal has served me well.

Now I ask you:

Is there anything holding you back from an illustrious career or utterly satisfying work life? Is passion a key driver in your career?

Many people are at a point where they find themselves floundering within an industry or career that does not serve their higher choices? Are you one of them? Do need a jolt of inspiration and change to seek a new direction?

Whatever your answers I recommend that you ponder on these five passion inducing questions to get your creative juices flowing.


5 questions to help you to discover one of your most precious resources – passion

  1.  What kind of activities you do ‘naturally’? You know the ones, where you put in minimal effort for maximum reward and learning just happens?
  2. If money were no object, and you could choose, what would you do for free, just because you enjoy doing it?
  3.  What work inspires you and doesn’t make you tired even when you spend hours at it?
  4.  In a perfect world, no holes barred, putting all self-doubt, limitations, hurdles and fear to one side, what would your dream job be, and what would you then want to become or achieve?
  5.  What do you gravitate towards? What TV to you watch, what books and magazines do you read. What is it about those subjects that enthralls, inspires and captivates you?

I expect that has given you quite a lot to think about. Whatever the outcome, remember that life does not come with a plan. There is no hard and fast blueprint for success or personal greatness and there are no quick and easy answers to fulfilling your dreams.

So what’s the Key so a great career and work based satisfaction

The key is to have the courage to live your life true to yourself, despite what others expect of you.

In addition, I have observed that cultivating the skill of flexibility, and the capacity to embrace change will take you further than most degree courses.

And if I may I’d like to share a few lines of sage advice a mentor gave me:

Knowing your strengths and learning how to capitalize and grow them will speed up your progress far more than trying to fix a perceived weakness.

This guidance has helped me regroup when I’ve lost my way

Persistence and determination will trump talent again and again, so develop an unswerving aptitude for staying focused on your end goal, whatever the route you take.

Last but not least:

Never be afraid of messing up. The best mistakes often lead to the greatest discoveries.


What do you think?
Do you have a story about work or career? What about a tip to share with others who are looking for inspiration? What works for you might help someone else.

As always, your interaction with our posts creates a reservoir of wisdom for all our readers to benefit from so please share your thoughts, stories and questions in the comments box below and remember to tweet, like and +1 ~ thanks


Additional Resources:
So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

About Maya Mendoza

Maya Mendoza is a published author of 3 personal development books. She has run an NLP / EFT Practice for 29 years helping clients transform problems into personal power. Maya is also a accomplished copywriter and well known Digital Marketing & Social Social Media Strategist - Specializing in Google+ for business. She was named "best marketing consultant" in Glasgow, UK in 2013.  
Maya works with Authors, Coaches and Small Business owners helping them sky-rocket thier income by achieving "expert authority" status within thier niche. If you want help in building your expert profile on-line then take a look at to learn more about how Maya's expertise can showcase yours across the web.


  1. Christopher Stapleton

    I just added this blog to my rss reader, excellent stuff. Cannot get enough! Larry Smith’s TED talk “Why you will fail to have a great career” gave me some great insights – thank you.

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