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It’s not just about career.

Laptop, notepad and pen, glass of water and plant on a wooden slatted table in the garden.

A while back, I had a really meh Monday.

I was feeling tired, depleted, bored, irritated, lacklustre (keep the adjectives coming) and could not find my misplaced motivation to work. 

After completing a workout I faffed about a bit and decided to read my new book (A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting: A Novel) to escape into a world of period drama. 

It started to ease my weary soul and provide some much needed distraction and entertainment. It was then I decided I was just going to read all day. 

Yes, dear reader, all day long

It was wonderful – well, after I stopped feeling like I was putting off homework at school (that’s a hangover and a half!).

Since then it has struck me that I have been able to invest in important priorities in my life, not just on paper but in reality, because I engaged in an exercise to get me dreaming big, and as one client put it, ‘let my imagination go wild!’ 

This was all part of working out what I wanted to do next in life, which took on new meaning when I found out I was being made redundant. 

I evaluated what I wanted my days to look like, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to wear, how I wanted to feel etc. 

It was from this exploration that I began to realise that I didn’t want to use the opportunity before me to figure out only my next career move (which was the goal I started with).

I also wanted to establish a new daily rhythm so I could maintain energy levels and focus on what I had identified as important, hence I chose to become self-employed.

One of the results? 

I can read a book on a Monday when I need/want to.

Let me share a version of this exercise with you.

If you want to discover what you really want to do next in life (be it about career, a new project, establishing yourself in a new season – the reasons are many), than a large part of your journey should be spent looking at all the important aspects. 

At first you need to go big, and I mean really big, with what you want.

Disengage from the ‘how’, the ‘why’, the ‘where’ and the ‘when’ and bring in some (dare I say it) long overdue freedom and space to re-engage with dormant desires and unearth new ones.

Once you have done this, challenge yourself to see where you can bring in a little of what you have identified to your life now

This might be a small change, a taste of something new, letting something go, moving things around or looking at something differently. The key is to keep it small, a first step towards your bigger aspiration. 

Then watch for the ripple effect into your thinking, your feelings and your motivation.

Create some new possibilities for your future.

Give yourself about an hour, grab some paper and write (or maybe mind map, as I did) what you want from these 5 key areas of your life:

  • Relationships
  • Finances
  • Home
  • Leisure and hobbies
  • Health

As you write, ask yourself these questions to pull out all the details (it can be in the detail where the gold is!):

  • What does this look like?
  • Are there feelings associated with this?
  • How will I know I have achieved this?
  • Are there sights, sounds, noises that bring this to life?
  • Who am I with?
  • What am I wearing?

Keep asking yourself ‘what else?’ and dig deep. Don’t leave anything out!

Before you get started, here are a few key points to remember as you undertake this exercise:

  • These possibilities are not time dependent, they could happen in a year from now, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years.
  • Pull out your dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem.
  • If you’re unsure about an idea, add it anyway.
  • Capture everything that is important to you and that you would love to have happen.
  • You are not focussing on any form of ‘work’ here, paid or otherwise – this comes later!

Once completed, come back to what you have captured, adding, deleting or amending as appropriate.

Then, identify and implement one small step change – the whisper of a possibility.

Don’t let your brain hijack you with advice on being realistic or judging the small change you make as being inconsequential.  As always, be curious and see what happens.

Here’s to the ripple effect of creating new possibilities.

Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash