In the book, Leading with Vision, the authors shared a story that has been stuck in my mind for weeks. Co-author Simon Vetter tells the story of how, when he was 12 years old, he played soccer every week with his friends. He loved playing soccer and would often play until the sun went down. But on Wednesdays, no matter what the score was, he left his friends on the field promptly at 6pm and sprinted home.
There was only one thing that could tear him away from soccer with his friends- apricot pie. His mother’s apricot pie was his favorite thing. He could practically taste the pie as he sprinted all the way home. He knew he’d arrive just in time for her to scoop out some ice cream and top that pie. Nothing could keep him from his mom’s apricot pie. So, on those days, he’d race home and take stairs two at a time to reach the dinner table as fast as he could.
Something about that story really resonated with me. I’ve never had apricot pie before, and my mom rarely cooked dinner, let alone a homemade pie, so it wasn’t the food itself that caught my attention. It was the passion I felt from that vision. He loved apricot pie so much that he was willing to bypass soccer time with friends for something better.
He took stairs two at a time.
When was the last time you took stairs two at a time? When was the last time you were so passionate that you had to run, not walk to reach your goal?
Throughout our lifetimes, we spend 90,000 hours at work. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy what we do. Given the fact that 71% of the workforce is disengaged, it’s clear that most of us haven’t found our apricot pie.
- If you watch the clock every day and count down the minutes until 5pm, you haven’t found your apricot pie.
- If you grow increasingly depressed on Sunday evenings, you haven’t found your apricot pie.
- If you wake up in the morning and brainstorm which sick day excuse will be the most believable given your frequent absences lately, then you haven’t found your apricot pie.
For many of us, defining our own Apricot Pie vision is the hardest part. Once the vision is cast, the next challenge is taking that first step. Pursuing apricot pie is often a risk. We have to let go of the familiar and secure in pursuit of something bigger. We have to acknowledge that we’ve been on the wrong path. We might have to say goodbye to friends, colleagues, and mentors to move forward.
Be brave and relentlessly pursue what ignites fire in your soul. Be unapologetic for letting go of anything that stands in your way. Acknowledge that the only thing standing between you and your best life is fear. Fear doesn’t stand a chance when you have apricot pie in your heart!
“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