3 Indispensable Ingredients for Making Great Work

You’re committed to making great work: purposeful and meaningful work. You want to add extraordinary value in the world. You want to serve others and make a difference in their lives. Here are 3 ingredients you’ll need for the great journey that is before you.

1. Confidence

Confidence—the belief that you have what it takes to make it or that you at least have what it takes to learn what you need along the way—is an important ingredient for your journey.

You wouldn’t go to a job interview unless you believed you had what it takes to do the job (or that you at least have what it takes to learn the job). Without confidence, you would fail the interview before it begins; your lack of confidence would show. When you go to an interview, you believe you’re the best candidate or that you have what it takes to become the best.

When you set out on your journey to do great work, choose a direction you believe you’re made for. There are so many directions you can take. No need to choose one where you lack confidence; your lack of confidence will mine your efforts.

2. Talent

You have strengths. You have weaknesses. It turns out that, to do great work, you must leverage your strengths (not your weaknesses). Doing great work demands that you put yourself in a position that allows your strengths shine and become stronger.

Thus, you must choose carefully the field in which you’ll put your efforts. If you put yourself in a position where the vital skills required to make a great contribution are in one of your areas of weakness, you’ll have a hard time producing great work; you’ll be at a serious disadvantage. You would be wise to build your “work” around your strengths (and outsource and delegate your weaknesses).

If you’re satisfied with making average work, you may get away with being misplaced. But if you want to make great work, you must find the sweet spot where passion and talents intersect.

You may not be there now. But that’s where you should seek to go. You’ll need to make sacrifices to get there, but it’s worth it; you’ll be way more effective (and happier too).

Part of making great work is knowing what you are good at and maximizing that.

3. Work

And lots of it. This is where the rubber meets the road. Many people are talented but they don’t want to put in the work, and because of this, they don’t maximize their talents and contribute as much as they could.

Work—hard work and smart work—separates those who make great work from those who make average work. Great work demands great effort. It’s not enough to be talented. It’s not enough to be confident and believe that you have what it takes to be the best. You must do the work.

The good news is that you can control how much work you’re going to put in. You can sacrifice a few hours of  TV or Internet and use that time to work on your craft. It’s up to you.

In my view, work beats talent. But if you have both and add confidence to the mix, you’re unstoppable; you have what you need to do great work.

Keep making great work and making a positive difference in the world!