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If the numbers in your work (like sales and profits) matter more than the alignment of your work (like fulfillment, purpose, and appreciation), then even if you succeed on those terms, you may end up with bigger numbers but with lower alignment, which can strangle your motivation.
Good luck pursuing bigger numbers when you’ve lost your mojo because you feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated. Better numbers aren’t much compensation for the daily punishment of feeling emotionally out of sync with life. This approach will just disconnect you from your heart, and then you’ll likely feel inclined to spend more money trying to get back in touch with it.
If, however, the alignment matters more, and you make that a real priority, then it gets easier to flow into nicer numbers because you reduce friction to doing so. But you may not even care about raising the numbers if the alignment is good – you’re likely to stay focused on other priorities that matter more. Other people’s obsession with their numbers may even amuse you a little… or disturb you when you see it’s not helping them.
People so often underestimate how much motivation matters – and especially how sensitive it is to alignment. It’s so easy to make misaligned decisions that eventually drag down motivation and lead to a place of stagnation, where it’s possible to be stuck for years.
For many people numbers just aren’t very motivating. Motivation often comes from other factors like self-expression, teamwork, playfulness, connection, and purpose.
That said, it’s good to appreciate numbers when you can. Numbers can be part of the alignment picture, as long as you keep them in perspective. If you can pause and appreciate whatever numbers you do have, it can add more meaning to those numbers and make them feel more heart-aligned and less mental. Simply say “thank you” to reality for the numbers that show up.
It’s tempting to declare that bigger numbers equate to bigger purpose, and then lose sight of the purpose altogether in pursuit of the numbers. How many times have I seen someone trying to squeeze more self-worth from their numbers when they’ve fallen out of alignment with meaning and purpose? If you desire bigger numbers and see that they can align with a bigger purpose, don’t mistake the numbers for the purpose. Keep the purpose and the alignment out in front.