What is your Underpinning?
This week's quote comes from Steve Jobs who said:
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it"
I am writing about the broad topic of loving what you do but equally important is understanding what comprises your 'underpinning' - the values that form the core of who you are and what you are all about. Implied in the quote is a constant testing which will be a consistent theme throughout your life.
This topic was actually inspired by an older building contractor who has worked in the trades for years and is very knowledgeable about his craft. Recently, he's come upon difficult times which has tested his entire belief system. His sole anchor in his period of turbulence was his love of what he did for a living and the stability in knowing that he had something to work toward every day. This was his 'underpinning'. This was his anchor.
As the contractor described the unusual circumstances surrounding his life I started to reflect on a scene from the movie Ben Hur - specifically at the pivotal point where Charlton Heston is about to undertake the race of his life against his nemesis Messala. If you recall the scene where Heston is talking to the four white horses, all of whom are named for the stars. One by one he respectfully addresses each horse and identifies their strongest traits and even some shortcomings. When he comes to the last and smallest of the four horses Heston says "steady Antares, you will be our anchor".
Now it's important to note that Antares, which is also a super-giant star, was the last of the four white horses that Heston addressed. He had already mentioned the other three and the consummate qualities that each possessed including speed, agility, intelligence, etc. However, what I believe the writers were getting at when they wrote the movie script was the importance of knowing what that key ingredient was that held all the other traits/horses together as a team - stability. Stability is the very core, that anchor, that veritable 'underpinning' that you will find in the building contractor as he travels through the challenges he will face and that is what Steve Jobs was alluding to in his quote. What work you love to do is in fact your underpinning, your anchor, your stabilizer. It represents everything that you are and everything you want to be. As Steve Jobs said ... "Don't Settle".