Let’s be honest. With the efficiency of Google and our avenues to seek information these days, it’s easy to find what we need to find, when we need to find it. A common theme among many of my clients is knowing exactly what it is they want. They’re highly motivated, extremely ambitions but lack the direction to channel their focus and energy to achieve something great. Drowned out by their upbringing, peer group or their own perceived expectations of where they should be in life and what they should be doing, my clients often find their inner voice barely audible.
How are we ever meant to find out what we want, right now at this point in time if we can’t listen to ourselves? When discussing how we as individuals earn an income, some of us grow up empowered to take charge of our lives, make our own choices and follow our hearts with the belief that the money will follow. Others grow up in the world of practicality, stability and ‘doing the sensible thing’. Believe it or not, both of these opinions (often handed down to us from our parental figures) were in aid of protecting our best interests and helping us live our best life. The jury’s still out on which one is better for workplace productivity and efficiency, however Angela Duckworth seems to be making headway with her book Grit. We’re currently seeing this generational paradigm within the Australian workforce. While Baby Boomers and Gen X did what they ‘should’ because they were raised rebuilding an economy, Gen Y and Millennials are demanding a life they’re passionate about living and, if the work they do falls in line with that life, they’ll give you everything they’ve got often exceeding your expectations.
So what are your expectations for your life? What is it you really want right now? Here are three tips I know to be true to help you get your merry way. Apologies in advance if this is not what you wanted to know or isn’t what you were looking to read:
1. It takes time and work.
Not the kind of work you can plough through. Not the kind of work where you can write a checklist and tick off item by item. But work that involves you sitting alone with “yourself”, getting past what your head says (filled with social media, family expectations, beliefs you’ve taken on during the course of your life and what your peer group are doing) and into your heart space and gut space to really hear what they’re telling you (mBraining). There’s no way around it. There’s no quick fix. It takes focused, concentrative time that only you can give yourself.
2. It also takes action.
This action may not be in the right direction. Actually, if I’m being honest, in the beginning it will most likely be in the wrong direction. BUT DO SOMETHING. DO ANYTHING! Over time (with resilience, perseverance and tenacity) what you want will become clear. Think of it as a reward for doing the work. It will take personal growth, failure, comfort zone expansion and uncertainty. There will be times of questioning whether you’re on the right track, whether it’s worth it and even whether you’re a little nuts. You’ll know whether the action you’re taking is going to be worth it, whatever the outcome is you’re seeking. Once you’re clear, the path and steps to take will organically fall into place.
3. Trust the process as this journey can be a long one.
While the path may be windy with its ups and downs, I follow the Perato (80/20) Rule. 80% of the time I need to feel like I’m working towards something and moving forward or at the very least that I’m enjoying myself. Preferably both. Life is short and while getting clear on what you want can be lengthy (it may be quick too – you never know until you start), enjoying the path and learning along the way means your time hasn’t been ‘wasted’.
By the way, nothing you ever learn or do is a waste. When you get clarity around what you want and your brain, heart and gut are aligned and telling you the same thing (so it “feels” right and excites you), all your skills, experiences and knowledge come together. It is what will make your outcome and path unique. When embarking on this exploration, know that nobody else is you. While it’s an obvious statement, you will end up doing yourself, your industry and the world a disservice by not listening to what it is you truly want and executing it.
Do the work, know it will be worth it and enjoy the discovery of yourself and your path.