When I hear the same questions repeatedly I wonder what is causing that thought to be verbalized so frequently? With one week of July in the books the questions I have heard all week are ‘Am I in the right career?’ and ‘Am I settling for mediocrity to gain stability?’
We have all asked these questions at one time or another. But when summer comes and you put on the Ray Bans a huge rearview mirror appears causing you to reflect the cyclone of activity that has been your life over the past year. During this time we ask questions of ourselves from the lakeside dock, the top of a mountain, or on a flight to a soon to be checked bucket list item. The questions are deeper and we give them more cerebral CPU time as we decompress.
For some, such reflection is an incredibly exciting time as they focus on what is yet possible, discovering and breathing life into aspirations that are usually vaulted the rest of the year. For others, often too harsh in judging themselves, they hate this time because they look in the mirror of perceived accomplishment and are reminded of how far they are from where they would like to be.
In either case both groups of individuals are people of intense interest to me. Why? Because the are willing to examine what they have and are doing, and are at least thinking about growing, making changes, feeling more alive. It is the 3rd group, the ones who are not willing to examine their lives that I feel the most empathy for. Studies have shown these individuals keep themselves so tactically, operationally and task oriented busy so that they don’t have to reflect. Because what they will see frightens them.
You are one of the growth-oriented charges otherwise you would not be reading. So here is some ammunition to help you discover, craft, plan for and action what will be your compass adjustment to allow that next great, feel totally engaged and alive, adventure – business or personal:
1. Discover or remind yourself what you are truly passionate about. Take off the reins of your current identity and see what percolates up. I have seen a senior VP become a resort owner, a Chief of Staff become organic gardener and an Accountant become romance novelist. Enduring passion is your quest.
2. In working with seniors for over two decades I always hear, ‘I never thought I would get this old this fast.’ We always think we have more time than we do. There is rarely the perfect moment so go get it – now!
3. Improve your morning habits. If you own your mornings you will own the rest of your day because of the intentions you set. Drink water, ignore technology, feed your brain and get exercise. Do these four things regularly and you will climb mountains.
4. Check your adult ego at the door. Don’t worry about what other’s think – seriously. Most people live mediocre lives and their impressions, opinions and judgments should not matter. Hang with people who appreciate the word ‘abnormal’.
5. Have fun – be childlike in your enthusiasm! Our choices, quality of work and overall fulfillment increase dramatically when you truly believe that having fun, daily/regularly/spontaneously, is not just ok but is mission critical.