Gain Clarity On Your Mission In Life By Asking Yourself This Question.

It’s funny, we put more candles on our birthday cake each year, but many people still tell me they’re not sure what their ultimate calling is.

I’m not talking about people exclusively in their twenties either. Some of the seasoned business executives I work with tell me they still haven’t figured it out. Sure their current job gives them some level of fulfillment, but most acknowledge there is something greater in life for them that they’d really like to spend their time on.

It just hasn’t hit them yet.

Lately I’ve been low-key obsessing over what my life’s purpose is, what i’m on this planet to do and how I really like to spend my time.

The one question I keep asking myself to push the envelope on this topic is:

“What do I have to offer this world?”

Think about it.

From the day we were born we’ve been doing 2 things:

  1. Collecting information
  2. Learning behaviors and skills

As we get older, go through schooling and accumulate experience in life, we begin to fill up a metaphorical bag of valuable human capital.

Every one of us have this metaphorical bag and no two people have the same items inside their bag. That’s what makes each person’s bag valuable.

So ask yourself, what’s in YOUR bag?

What experiences do you have to share that could benefit others?

What do people ask you for advice on?

What are the top qualities you have?

Collect the answers to these questions and like puzzle pieces, see what you can create when you out them together.

But..but…i’m not creative. Like not creative at all. I can’t even draw a stick figure.

No one is asking you to create a sculpture or draw a pretty picture. All you need to do is brainstorm and think about the answer these questions and see what comes to mind.

You may try this several times and get frustrated by the lack of ideas that show up.

But that’s normal.

You don’t become a body builder after spending 1 hour in the gym and your life’s purpose won’t be clear after thinking about it for 5 minutes.

Like consistently going to the gym and seeing results over time; consistently think about the answers to questions like this and try putting them together. Similar to the muscles you’ll develop, you’ll gain more and more clarity on your purpose.

One thing is certain, doing nothing will fail to create anything. Doing something can create anything.

Will you do something or nothing?

If you enjoyed, please comment, share or like this post 🙂

-Danilo Vuk Capric

 

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My Top Experiences & Lessons Learned in 2016 (Written for Millenials)

2016 has been the best year of my life. I invested a lot of time into learning about myself and took the most action towards achieving what mattered most to me. This is the way I determine the success of … Continue reading

How a Group Of Cows Taught Me About Team Work

Holstein cows at pasture, grazing. Staffordshire.

It was an average Tuesday morning on my way to work when I saw a sight on the side of Highway 75 that made me question everything I knew about team work.

Let me tell you the story.

I woke up for work around 6:30 AM and brushed my teeth just like every morning. Next, I threw some gel in my hair, got dressed and headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. After eating my omelet I walked out of the door at 7:30 AM.

I took my normal route down 75 where I would then take exit 131 in order to make it to work by 8 AM. Normally I would see nothing too exciting on the highway, usually other cars, birds, trees and the occasional heard of cows here and there.

But on this morning the cows surprised me; that’s right, the cows stole the spotlight for the day.

Let me explain further. You see, the night before it had rained heavily (as it often does in Florida) and as a result I could see the fields in which the cows would usually roam were severely flooded. I imagined the cows wouldn’t like to sleep wet and was wondering what they do and where they go during times like this. My question was shortly answered as I cruised down 75 in my Honda Civic.

On my right hand side I saw the cows. What they did left me amazed.

Out of their entire roaming area which was covered by stagnant water, there was one small hill. It was almost like a little mountain; about 10 feet wide and 5 feet above the normal roaming grounds.

There were about 15-20 cows standing on it together. At the same time. Collectively, they resembled one massive cow standing on this platform to avoid the water. It reminded me of human assembly and how humans gather together in times of support and need. It was truly amazing to see them work together like this.

From adults to calf’s these cows came to the understanding that they did not want to stand in the water.

In addition to this understanding, the cows also had to physically get every other cow on this hill successfully. How they managed to do this and how long it took, we will never know, but they got it done.

The cows acted as one based on a mutual agreement. Everyone agreed, everyone acted in the best interest of the group and everyone stayed dry as a result.

Great, but don’t humans do this all the time? Isn’t this why C-Level executives spend a third of their day in meetings with their teams? Sure this is true but often when humans are on teams we have to deal with the issue of every team member putting in equal effort, don’t we? I can recall many school projects and even work assignments that everyone did not place the same level of importance on. This is an issue and led me to ask this questions:

Is the real issue not finding team members who work hard, but finding a goal that all team members actually care about?

Do we need to challenge ourselves and wonder, maybe our groups need to be comprised solely of people who want to do this, people who truly support this cause, have desires to reach this goal and wouldn’t tolerate anything but success?

What do you think?

In conclusion, the cows taught me that anything as a team is possible so long as every team member wants to achieve the end result and gives it the same level of importance. The cows served as an excellent example of how goals are achieved when all team members are on the same page and want the same results for the same benefit. Hopefully as humans we can take something away from this to make sure our teams continually reach success.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the content. Please like, share, & comment if you found the content valuable and worth sharing. 🙂

 

How Death Sparked Drastic Progression and Growth in my life 

When you glanced at your feed today and looked at this title, you probably though something like: “What?” “Is this guy serious?” “How could death (the polar opposite of progression and growth) spark progression and growth at all?

 

Allow me to explain, this is my story.It was September of 2012 when I was still a chemistry major in college (yea I know, big mistake). I was studying in my room when I received a phone call from a dear family friend. He asked me if I was okay and needed anything. Confused by his generosity and sensing by his voice that something was wrong I asked him what he was calling about.

He told me after calling his place of employment to check his schedule, (the same place my father worked) he received news that my father had passed away. My initial reaction was a laugh because I had just spoken to my father the day prior. My father also had no medical conditions and fairly great health throughout his life. He was the type of man that you would never find sick; in fact, I don’t believe he ever broke a bone or had any surgical procedures of any kind in his life time either.

The family friend assured me that he was not joking. I still didn’t believe him, but decided to call my sister just to make sure all was well.

The phone rang about three times, then my sister picks up. “Hello?” Her voice was calm, this instantly made me feel as though everything was okay; certainly if he was dead she would be hysterical, right?

Wrong. She admitted that Daddy was indeed dead and that she was on her way with our neighbors from the east coast of Florida to pick me up (I live about 2.5 hours away from them on the west coast of FL). 

I’ll never forget that moment. I had so many questions, what happened? Where is he? Where is Momma? What are we going to do? How did this happen?

“His body is at the hospital. Momma is Hysterical. I don’t know what we’re going to do Danilo, but I just can’t cry anymore” my sister said.

According to medical examiners he suffered from a massive heart attack that none of us saw coming.

So after moments of grief and explaining what had happened to my roommates, I emailed my professors at Florida Gulf Coast University to explain what had happened and that I would be missing classes for the remainder of the week.

That weekend was a tough one for sure. But one thing was certain, this life event would spark a flame within me that would burn so passionately and cause me to reach what I like to call my “personal version of success”.

So after that week at home I knew two things. I needed money and I needed a plan.

Addressing money, my father made a decent salary which was able to help support me in college. I would pay for all personal expenses but Dad helped with rent and school. This meant that I now had to supply myself with enough money to cover both expenses. Thank goodness my mother was able to cover car payment, insurance and my cell phone bill for the time being. But I also knew that upon graduating I would have to have a job set up so that I could immediately begin making real money to help my mother and fill in the shoes that were now void in my family. This is where the planning came in. I had to figure out what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it and how I would make it happen. Thank goodness I still had 2 years left in college.

My immediate action was setting up a conversation with my manager at Cole Haan (my place of employment at the time. (Love their shoes by the way, go check them out!!) to discuss an interest in management. Which also meant discussing a pay raise (what I needed). The conversation went well and given that I had already been there for 2 years I ended up being a pretty good fit. So I was then able to pay for my own rent, utilities, credit card payments gas and food. But nothing else, I just had enough for the essentials, but thank God I had that.

Since I easily inherited stress from being broke with no extra money for myself or just for peace of mind at night, I decided to pick up another job in the mall I worked at. I would choose Brooks Brothers as my 2nd employer and used that money to get credit card bills down as well as be able to go out with my friends every once in a while.

The next part of my journey was not a part of the plan at all. I like to believe it was faith or perhaps a miracle. While working what seemed to be like an average day at Cole Haan, an equally average young gentleman came into the store and started to examine some of our leather British tan duffle bags. The bag he was considering was $400, so I approached the guy and started conversation.

Me: “It’s a beautiful bag, I’ve contemplated spending my entire pay check on it before.”

Customer: “It’s really nice, I have a trip I’m preparing for and this looks like the perfect weekend bag”

Me: “Funny, check the tag and you’ll see the name of the bag is actually the weekender.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s pretty funny”

From that conversation I would learn that he was an alumni of my college and a fellow marketing major (that’s what I stuck with after switching to chemistry). He then told me about the company he currently worked for and how they had an internship program he thought I’d be perfect for. He gave me his business card, purchased the bag and left the store.

His name was John and he had no idea that he had just given me the direction I needed which would dictate my future.

The company he worked for was called Gartner Inc. an IT research and advisory firm. It was a great company that paid its employees well and I knew if I could get into that company, I would be able to earn enough to support myself and help my family during this difficult time.

I followed up with John immediately but then had to ask myself…okay now what? How can I put my foot in the door here? How can I ensure that I get this job when I graduate? Mind you I was two years away from graduation at this point. The answer at the time was, “I have no idea”.

So I started where I could and decided to research the company. After reading the “about” section, I still had no clue what the company did nor did I locate any way to apply. So I did the next best thing, I directly called a recruiter.

That’s right, a 20 year old college kid called a recruiter of a company he knew nothing about and asked about a job that he wasn’t qualified for.

To this day, I am so glad I decided to do this.

It turned into a wonderful Q&A session all about Gartner with a woman named Liz. She was great and even told me about a Gartner open house that was happening in the following month, she told me I could learn more about the internship program and even meet the person who was in charge of recruiting for the internship!

Are you kidding me? This is exactly what I needed. A plan was being created without me even knowing it and it felt amazing.

So I attended the open house, met the internship coordinator and applied in January 2014. After 5 intense interviews later, I was told that I had been accepted as an Intern and would begin in June.

I was ecstatic. This is exactly what I wanted and knew that if I crushed it in this internship, I could land a full time job after graduation.

I worked my butt off and built a positive brand at the company. People knew me as the sharply dressed kid who could get meetings and sounded good on the phone. My managers gave me positive feedback after all of the tests we had undergone and I was certain that I was in a good position to get the job. But I never acted like it was secure, I knew that at any moment if I slipped up I would risk all of the work that I had done thus far and I wasn’t going to let that happen.

Fast forward to the end of the internship. I’m now at the career development office at Florida Gulf Coast University, meeting with the internship coordinator there to discuss the details of the internship. I had still not heard from Gartner on whether or not I received a job offer. Then in mid discussion on the job duties of the internship my phone rang. I stepped outside to take the call.

It was Natalie. The internship coordinator who I met at the open house one year prior. She told me she would like to have the pleasure of extending a full time job offer.

I almost dropped the phone. I started crying. I had accomplished my mission. I went from a troubled kid who had no idea how he would crawl out from a devastating death that gave the family financial woes, to someone who had just landed a full time job with a great company and be financially secure moving forward.

This is my story.

I honestly have no idea where I would be or what I would be doing if my father was still alive. I credit his death and the insurmountable stress and worry it caused which left me with no choice but to succeed or fail entirely.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Please comment, like or share if you found the content valuable 🙂

The importance of asking your self “Whats Next.”

Asking yourself “What’s next?”

As humans, we are creatures of habit. But we must understand that habits are highly poisonous. Did he just say poisonous?” Hold on, relax. I know what you’re probably thinking, “what about my morning routine?” “Or going to church with my family on Sunday’s? Are those habits poisonous too?” Let me explain before you exit this window. When I say, “Habits are poisonous” what I mean is that habits make us comfortable.

I am not saying that you should stop brushing your teeth every morning or quit the job you have been working at for 2 years now. That would be silly. What I want people to do is to ask themselves one question. “What’s next?” This habit will allow you to make changes in your routine life and achieve the goals you have, faster. In order to do this, it’s best to set up short and long term goals. Once you reach them you ask, “What’s next?” You can see how this forces you to make a choice on what to do, your next move has to differ from what you did to get there because your past moves have already been made and you can’t repeat them.

The same principle can be applied to working out. If a person is doing the same series of exercises month after month, there is no new challenge and with no new challenge comes no new results.

Never settle for “Just good enough.”

These habits that we form are the same as settling at just being “Good enough” and most of the time we even get praise for it. We have a job to be our worst critics because we are the only ones who know what we are capable of and only we know when we can do more.

As a student I have always done well in school, networked my way into jobs/internships and even secured a full time offer before graduation. I did this by always asking myself “What’s next”. I can’t tell you the amount of praise I get for my “Successful endeavors” from family and friends but I simply look at those accomplishments as things I “was supposed to do”. Isn’t that the point of college essentially, to secure a job afterwards?  I hadn’t done anything extraordinary and I knew that I could do more!

We have another responsibility of not letting the comments of others inflate our egos in such a way that we get comfortable and feel as though we have accomplished enough to cease the challenging of ourselves. Knowing that there is always room for improvement and new ways to challenge yourself is the key at never settling, this is why asking the question of “What’s next” is so vital.

The stepping stone concept

I have a picture that I like to paint for people when I illustrate this concept verbally and this it’s called “The stepping stone concept”. Hopefully this will make it clear for anyone who is in question on how to follow this methodology.

Picture a series of stepping stones; these stones are close enough to where you can walk from one to the other without much difficulty. The stones start off being rather large in size but as you progress and each task gets more difficult, the stones become smaller and smaller, requiring more strategy and planning for how exactly you will make your next move. You carefully travel from one stone to the next but you can never go backwards because as you leap from one to the other, the previous stone disappears. Now this leaves you with one option, to move forward and keep going on to the next goal or challenge. This way you keep growing, you get exposed to new things and people, you evolve as a person and this, my friends is how you accentuate your life. It is when people stay on a stone that they have found comfort on or when they feel as though they have crossed many stones and have no need to continue jumping that they feel this comfort; consequently becoming stagnant in every aspect of your life.

Not only will this accentuate your life by consistently sharpening your mind and body, but you will be able to help others get past the same stones that you once had to leap on. So in turn while you accentuate your life, you return the favor to another; and trust me when you’re able to give advice as a person who has been in their shoes you will notice that they will place more value on your words. So imagine if we all asked ourselves “What’s Next” and never settled, we would constantly go forward, always help others move forward and progress together. We need leaders in this world and if you can get through all of the stones that’s great, but you minimize your impact if you can’t teach another individual how to get to the same place as you.

-Danilo Vuk Capric.

5 Ways to make people like you instantly.

  1. Talk about THEM, not what you want.

When you meet someone for the first time, be inquisitive. Ask them about what they like, their interests, hobbies and goals in order to show that you are genuinely interested in them and what they have to say. Everyone loves to talk about themselves so the more listening you can do, the better. When you see an attractive person and wish to contact them in the future, do you just walk up and ask for precisely what you want? No, you need to talk about them. When people show a genuine interest in us, we relax, we are no longer under the impression that this person wants/needs something from us and consequently are more willing to offer something if indeed there is something we can help them with; but only after they express a true interest in us first. This is effective because we all lookout for ourselves before considering anyone else, so when a stranger approaches and considers everything about the other person and nothing about themselves, the result is a sense of importance created within the other party. Once that is established you will be able to acquire what it is you were initially looking for.

  1. Praise and recognize the work THEY do.

Do you know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy being congratulated or told they did a good job at something? If so please contact me immediately because I would love to meet that person.

Acknowledging people and their efforts, letting them know that they don’t go unappreciated, is one of the best ways to make people like you. Isn’t that why we have award ceremonies?

If one of your friends is trying to lose weight and constantly hits the gym, changes their entire diet and life style to complete a goal. Praise them for it! Acknowledge that you see the sacrifices they made and you realize how much will and determination that it took in order to make those changes. Not only will you help that person continue to pursue that goal but you positively reinforce their behaviors as well. You also become a great friend.

  1. Smile

The following benefits of smiling have been scientifically proven:

  • Increased speed in stress recovery
  • Release of endorphins
  • Causes others to smile (contagious)
  • Considered more attractive

With the following facts presented, failing to smile is a huge disadvantage that could be the difference between a great first impression and a not so great first impression. Another question you might want to ask yourself is, don’t I enjoy myself more when I’m surrounded people who smile? People who laugh? People who radiate positive energy? A common prerequisite to all these things is the act of smiling.

  1. Deliver on your promises

People don’t like being let down. Ever. If you say something, be sure to commit to it.

If you purchase something online with an expected delivery date and it does not arrive by the promised date, how does that make you feel? Most people would agree on a feeling of frustration or being let down, disappointed…etc. When you don’t keep your promises people may take it personal or feel as though you don’t find them to be of much importance. Once trust is lost, it is extremely difficult to get back.

  1. Remember their name

Nothing can be more insulting than forgetting a person’s name. No matter how inspiring your connection with them may be and how much common ground you can uncover, by the end of the conversation, if you have to ask “what was your name again?” It almost destroys all of the rapport that you just spent precious time building up. Compare it to building a log cabin for 5 years and just before you put the roof on it…a land slide demolishes the entire structure.