You don’t have to be happy to execute. I repeat, you don’t have to be happy to execute, to create movement, to shift things in your life, to show up, to make progress, to get things done. I’ll prove it to you. Raise your hands if you currently have a job? Now raise your hands if you currently hate your job or dislike your boss or coworkers? I imagine there are still a lot of hands raised. Yet you still show up, scoff every Sunday evening at a weekend that wasn’t long enough, pull yourself out of bed from a night where you didn’t get enough sleep, journey to a job where your chair doesn’t quite support your back and your computer screen isn’t quite high enough, and fight through traffic to get back to a wife and kids who try to understand but secretly resent what you do because it takes away from the precious time you have with them. But you do it anyway. Disgruntled, half asleep, and not quite prepared with all the facts and statistics, you still show up. You finish the project, you meet with the client, you show up to the meeting with co-workers who all too often hijack the meeting to showcase their egos, you close the deal, you get the job done, you execute.

Yet, when I sit with people who say they want to change their situation, I’m often surprised to find that the willingness to pursue their dreams is attached to their emotional temperature. “I need motivation” or “I’m not ready yet” are typical answers I hear when asking someone why they haven’t at least done the task they know they are capable of completing. I’m not saying that emotional conditions and mental health aren’t important factors in how we show up. But make no mistake, to even begin defining these ideals, it takes execution. So as we talk about execution, I want to invite you to focus exactly on what execution is without it being mired with the things we attach to it. Simply put, execution defined as the carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action. It’s just doing it; whatever it is.

I want to present this idea to you again, you don’t have to be happy to execute. My personal belief is that happiness is a byproduct of execution but you don’t need it to take action. The problem with most people; they treat their dreams like their hobbies. They show up whenever they want, they only do it when they feel like it, they make excuses for why it’s too hard to do, and they allow their emotions to dictate their growth instead of just getting it done. As such, they experience the mediocrity that comes with lacking efforts. At this point you may be thinking, “wow he has a point, I execute all the time even when I’m not happy; why am I able to do this so easily?” Glad you asked. The truth: you’ve been taught and conditioned in your thinking to do this. Few of us set happiness as a prerequisite for performing at our jobs but when it comes to our passions and dreams, we have this big checklist of things that have to be right before we get started. Perhaps it’s because we are our own worst critics. Maybe we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Either way we can’t allow our natural inclinations to rob us from understand exactly what execution is; action.

Solution: Treat your passion or your dream the same way you treat your job. Understand, at some point it takes commitment to execute. A mentor once told me, “commitment is doing the thing you said you were going to do even after the feeling in which you said it has left.” Know that pursuing your passion will not always be rose petals and sunshine; but when you commit to executing, you’ll find that the very act of doing, will birth in you the ability to push past emotional barriers to produce results that will position you for what you really want.