Sixteen days now into the New Year – how are things shaping up for you so far? Do you think it’s too early in the year to consider this question? If you already feel despondent and hopeless about your future – listen up!
What do you think is going to make you live your best life now? A new house, a new car, a new job, different colleagues to work with, moving to a different country, living in a different family, living in a different neighbourhood, having better clothes to wear, being able to socialise more, getting that MBA, passing Math and English, changing the colour of your skin – WHAT?
If you’re going through a painful season right now, confused and not sure which road you should take let me encourage you right here, and right now to find one thing – just one thing – that you are truly passionate about. What would you like to see done differently? How can you improve what you’re doing and where you are right now? Take some time for yourself and brainstorm. And for those of you who think that finding time for yourself is impossible do this exercise while taking that inevitable visit to the loo. You are important and this exercise will help you to zero in on what fires you up.
And yes Mrs Big Stuff that “who do you think you are?” voice is going to enter your mind but you’re not going to take it on because deep down inside you KNOW who you are. Up till now you’ve just been busying yourself trying to ignore the quiet calling in the pit of your belly. Take a magnifying glass and shine it over your ‘one thing’ until it gets white hot!
Denis Waitley suggests that we become the CEO of our future. Never again will you be able to go to your place of business on autopilot, comfortable and secure that the organisation, state enterprise or government will provide for and look after you. You must look in the mirror when you ask who is responsible for your success or failure. You must become a lifelong learner and leader, for to be a follower is to fall hopelessly behind the pace of progress.
And as you begin thinking about who you really are and what you should be doing, rid yourself of people who unknowingly will tell you to take it slow because they “Don’t want you to get your hopes up.” Why wouldn’t you get your hopes up?
Will others make fun of your dream or idea for improvement? Of course they would! Do you honestly think that you’re going to stretch yourself and go after a huge dream while average people applaud your efforts? Average people are average for a reason. They never have, nor never will stretch in order to leave a small life behind. They’re content with flying below the radar and that’s ok because how they choose to live their life is none of your business.
Start thinking of yourself as a service company with a single employee — YOU. You’re a small company that puts your services to work for a larger company. Tomorrow you may sell those services to a different organisation, or you may choose to use it to build a business for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less loyal to your current employer. Taking responsibility for yourself in this way does mean that you never equate your personal long-term interests with your employer’s.
Resolve not to suffer the fate of those who lost their jobs and found their skills were obsolete. Immediately begin the process of protecting yourself against that possibility—by becoming proactive instead of reactive. Ask yourself these questions:
How vulnerable am I? What trends must I watch? What information must I gain? What knowledge do I lack? Set up a training department in your mind and make certain your top employee is updating her skills. Make sure you have your own private pension plan, knowing that you are responsible for your own financial security.
You’re the CEO of your daily life and must have the vision, set your goals and allocate your resources. The mindset of being responsible for your own future used to be crucial only to the self-employed, but it has become essential for us all.
So Mrs Big Stuff – Who do you think you are? Well, by the looks of things – NOBODY – apparently. You try to squeeze yourself into a space that was never meant for you in the first place. Why do you keep listening to those ‘other’ small dreamers? Obviously they’re going to tell you that what you’re trying to achieve is not possible. That’s not because there’s something wrong with you. You have the capacity to achieve any idea given to you. Small thinkers and dreamers are great to have around if you wish to go no where. They will commiserate with you if that’s what you want but I know that’s not what you want!
graphic from http://www.spreadshirt.com