All too often, it feels as if the cards are stacked against you and you have very little chance to succeed. You feel closed in and are letting fears hold you back from embarking on an adventure that you really do want to take. In your daydreams you are reaching your goals and living the life you want to live. I am here to tell you to stop letting your fears take control of your life. It is up to you to take the bull by its horns and live out your dreams. I am also here to tell you to manage your expectations and understand not all dreams are possible for everyone. This does not mean you cannot be happy. It just means, don’t go thinking you are going to walk on water or fly around the world with superpowers because we all know that is just not going to happen.
In my younger years, I was never the top of my class or the best player on my sports teams. I always gave it my best, but knew I would need to advance in other ways. I pride myself on the fact that I will outwork anyone to the best of my ability and this is how I’ve made my dreams come true. Later in life going for my masters degree, I ended up being a top student due to the effective hard work I put in. The key word here is effective. Over the years, I’ve learned to be effective and create strategies that work for the direction I want to go. In my younger years even though I worked hard, I did not have a strategic mindset. Other players on my team that were not as talented physically could out perform me because they knew the game better. Other students who did not work as hard as I did, could out perform me because they knew what was important and focused on that.
I am much older now and would like to think I am much wiser than my younger years. I have greater responsibilities with less time to get things done. It isn’t simple to juggle my career, business, gym workouts, family time, and everything in between. In each bucket (i.e. business, gym, family) I set goals. Basically, what is most important to me in that focus area? I prioritize that goal for the year and do not let the other insignificant activities get in my way. In using this method for the past year or two, I have seen greater results. Specifically, in my career I stopped chasing the many small carrots and focus on the larger carrots that give me more positive exposure to many cross-functional groups at multiple levels. What projects are going to return the largest results and are most beneficial for my career?
There are times I need to enter uncharted territories that make me feel uncomfortable. In time, I’ve become more comfortable with these types of situations. I have come to realize it is rare to have an opportunity lead to a bad experience. Just recently, I transitioned to a new role in a new department. It was something I was not 100% comfortable with, but determined it would be a great move for my career. It has been a few months since I transitioned and it did really turn out to be a great move. Can you think of an opportunity you took that ended bad? Or can you think of an opportunity you took that had nothing good come out of it? I would be surprised if you could think of many of these. If you can, you should really question your decisions. What are your thoughts on all of this?