It's interesting to speak with people around us and have conversations about what they want in their lives. I have observed so many times, people lacking clarity on what they truly want. So many are just going through the motions in life and their careers, without any plan of action, and wonder why they feel a lack of control and dissatisfaction in their lives. So many are just living on auto pilot....going to jobs they hate, complaining about their long commute, then come home and sit in front of the TV with nothing positive to discuss with their families, only to repeat this same pattern every day, and wondering why their relationships are growing apart. We see people drinking out of coffee cups with quotes such as "We owe, we owe, so off to work we go". They believe they don't have choice. They believe this is the norm. They believe that is just the way it is, and "everyone" does it. Many complain about this and that, but are not doing anything to change it. As Einstein said "the definition of insanity is doing the same things, expecting different results".
How do you gain clarity on what you really want and remove the LOCKS you have in your life? It starts with asking yourself better questions, and being WILLING to be fully authentic with yourself.
Here are some examples to get you started. If you are at a crossroads, print this off and set aside the time to really go through this in detail, with full authenticity to yourself. Get a journal or a notebook and start writing your answers to these questions to discover what you really want in life, what is holding you back, and find your own solutions.
How much do you want to be earning? Don't hold back on this. How much would you really like to be earning if there were no limits placed on you. Let's say that number is $100,000 per year, and you are currently earning $45,000 per year. Ask yourself, if I keep doing this work I have right now, do I ever have a chance of earning my target income? If the answer is no, ask yourself how committed are you to the target income. How much will I be earning in 10 yrs, 20 yrs, 25 yrs if I stay where I am? 25 yrs from now, if I am only gaining small increases and end up at $60,000 after 25 yrs of service (if you are not downsized before then) will I regret not making a change? If you are not satisfied at the lower amount, it is only going to get worse. Ask yourself what you need to change in order to hit your target income. Do you need a second income? Do you need to change careers? Do you need to upgrade your education? What is necessary to hit the target income? How would this change your life? Why is this important to you? Are you committed to doing what it takes, or are you going to settle for the rest of your life? What has been stopping you from taking action? How are you going to change this?
What's important to you in your ideal career? So often people never stop to ask themselves this question. Working isn't just about making money. You can find work that meets the needs you have inside of you. For example, do you want work that is meaningful and makes a difference? Is what you do meaningful to you? Do you believe in the product or service you are providing now? Is it making a difference in the lives of people you serve? Do you feel a sense of satisfaction and pride in your work? Will you ever be able to in this role? What type of work would you really like to be doing? Do you have all the knowledge necessary to do this work? What do you need to learn? How important is this to you to make this change? What is stopping you? What are you going to do about it?
What's important to you in relationships? Are you happy in your relationships? This includes spouses, friends, family, co-workers, etc. We do not have to spend time with people that we don't resonate with. We spend a massive part of our lives working...why are you settling and exposing yourself to people that are bringing you down? Is this how you want to spend this massive part of your life? Unhappy, stressed and unfulfilled? Do you realize that if you are a parent, you are actually conditioning your children to believe this is the only choice they have. They will grow up believing you can't be happy in your work. Is that what you want for them? Do you want them to repeat the mistakes you have made? Why are you settling? Is the money worth it to experience the stress and unhappiness you are experiencing? We work about 45 years...are you willing to commit 40 hrs wk (90,000 hours of your life) to something that doesn't fulfill you? What a waste! Could you find or create your own work, that would allow you to surround yourself with like minded people? If work colleagues are stressing you out, go find work where you can surround yourself with like minded people. If you are stressed at work, you will bring that stress home and take it out on your family...even if you don't realize there is a connection. That affects your family relationships. What type of people do you want to be working alongside? If you are not working with these type of people, it will only get worse. Where can you find the type of people you want to be working with? What do you need to do to change this?
Are you happy with your friends? Do they lift you up or bring you down? Are they healthy relationships or destructive? Do you share the same hobbies and interests, or do you find yourself going in a new direction in what interests you? If you are not surrounded by the type of friends you truly want, realize there is a world full of people that you haven't even met yet. What do you need to change in order to put yourself in the company of these type of people? Where can you go to meet them? For instance, you may find your friends are very negative, or they are in party mode and you are not. A new mom for instance, may find priorities changing once the baby is born. She doesn't want to party all night. Going to baby related groups, swimming lessons, reading groups, craft lessons, yoga for new moms, etc., will introduce her to other moms with the same interests. We become friends with people that we have things in common with.
Are you happy with your partner? As we learn and grow ourselves, we discover what is important to us. We are either growing and learning together, or we are growing apart. Do you have open communication about what is important to each of you? Are you talking about your dreams and goals? Are you supportive of each other? Is there something missing? Could your current work be causing a strain on your relationship? What can you do to rectify these things? Is this relationship going to support the life you want to be living? What do you have to do to support it, or, if change is needed, what are you going to do to change it?
Do you need to change anything in order to achieve your goals? Don't be afraid of change! Change is where growth happens. Instead of thinking about change as something to be feared, think of change as growth. Changing your perception of a word, can positively change your feelings into a more positive, exciting adventure to take.
What fears are holding you back? This is the number one thing that holds people back from change. FEAR is like a terrible four letter word society allows to control their lives. And we are fed it through media constantly! But, it isn't real!!!!! As so many of you have most likely learned, FEAR is False Expectation Appearing Real.
I had a conversation recently with someone that wanted to change their career, which is something I assist people with. One of the most basic things you would want to have clarity on, is the level of income you want to make when you change careers. This individual had no idea. We spoke about it for a few minutes and they threw out a number, yet when we spoke about that further, they changed the number to a higher amount. I asked them why that wasn't the first number they gave? The answer was, they were afraid it wasn't possible. POSSIBLE has nothing to do with it! If you don't get REAL with yourself, you keep these dreams buried deep inside and will never achieve them. You MUST have clarity on what you want, if you ever expect to find what you are looking for. For instance, if you are earning $30,000 per yr., and are not satisfied with this, and would ideally like to be earning $100,000 per yr., you cannot state you would be "happy" with $50,000 per yr. Although $50,000 would be an improvement, if deep down inside you want to be earning $100,000, you will still be dissatisfied with $50,000, and will still find yourself searching, and will not see the opportunities around you to actually earn $100,000. You will slow down your progress because you are afraid to get real with yourself on what you really want. Stop selling yourself short, in your career, and in your life. Go after what you truly want, get authentic with yourself and stop settling.
Writing in a journal is a powerful way to gain clarity. The key is to really be authentic with yourself. I remember when I was new to journalling, I was writing what I thought would be the "right" answers, and was not writing about what was really in my heart. This does not allow us to have the breakthroughs that come from journalling. The power is in the raw authentic conversation you have with yourself. Take this opportunity to set time aside to go through all of these questions, and journal about your authentic, heartfelt answers. You have within you what it takes....you just have to uncover it, and make powerful decisions and actions that support it.
Debbie Ruston has been an entrepreneur and trainer since 1986. She works with individuals, and groups interested in developing their entrepreneurial leadership mindset. Was this article of value to you? Feel free to share it on your social networks and with your contacts, join in the discussion below, and FOLLOW her on the top right corner of this page.
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As posted on LI: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-do-you-gain-clarity-what-want-your-life-debbie-ruston?published=t
Debbie Ruston - Entrepreneur - International Trainer, Visionary Leader