In business and life, we sometimes lose sight of why we do the things we do. In our hamster-wheel efforts to complete our endless to-do lists, it’s easy to become lost in the details of what occupies our time, our energy and financial resources. Most of us rarely stop and ask ourselves the simple question, “why?” In this environment, we lose sight of the reality that our businesses, though important and profoundly personal, are really just a means to an end, not the end itself. We forget to ask ourselves why doing what we do day-in and day-out is important.

As certified EOS® Implementers, we are passionate about helping companies put in place a simple operating system that, among its many benefits, reignites the passion and helps everyone connect with the importance of why, beyond the financial rewards, our businesses exist in the first place. With understanding and awareness of our higher purpose, the “whys” are placed front and center.

A few weeks ago, I was reminded of how powerful this awareness can be. During his keynote address at the annual Conference for Companies Running on EOS, Gino Wickman, founder of EOS and author of the best-selling book Traction, described the discovery he made about what lies at the heart of what all of us really want from our businesses and lives. Gino calls this “The EOS Life.” Like all things in EOS, it’s simple but not necessarily easy. It’s a life that consists of:

  • Doing what you love: When we spend our time doing what we love to do and are great at doing, our energy and creativity are at their peak. The possibilities are endless.
  • With people you love: When surrounded by people that we truly love to be around and to work with, we collectively create value for one another and attract others who are willing and able to help us grow.
  • Making an impact: While it may sound like a cliché, the value we create by obsessively doing what we love, with people we love, changes people’s lives in a positive way. This change is exponential. It creates momentum and accelerates personal and organizational growth.
  • Being appropriately compensated for what you do: The value of what we create when doing what we love rises for everyone connected to us. The more time we spend doing what we love with people we love, the more valuable we are to the world.
  • Having time to pursue other passions: Our businesses are really just a means to an end. All of us have families, hobbies and other things we love to do and that place a call on our time. The freedom to choose how we use our time is the ultimate return on investment.

You may have noticed that the word “love” appears 10 times in that description. This is not an accident. This is about true passion, not about “like” and “enjoy.”

If the EOS Life sounds good to you, here’s an exercise to get you moving toward it. It’s called “Commitment Time,” and involves five simple steps:

Step 1: Schedule an hour of uninterrupted time with yourself out of the office. Turn off all your devices. This hour is 100% thinking work.

Step 2: Use the framework above to challenge yourself and to describe what your EOS Life would look like. For each element of the EOS Life, describe specifically and clearly what you love and what you want.

Step 3: Capture your thoughts on a single sheet of paper.

Step 4:  Pick a future date when you’ll be living the life you just described.

Step 5:  Get to work.

Like everything in EOS, simple, not always easy, but always worth it.