People stay in situations or careers they cannot stand, or they take on new opportunities for all the wrong reasons. Most often this is because they have no idea what drives them or why they do what they do beyond just to receive a paycheck. Here are some of the stories I hear all the time: It is the only industry you have ever worked in. It is close to home. The work is easy. It pays well. You do not believe you are qualified to do anything else. In reality, the work is rote, boring, un-stimulating, and provides minimal personal satisfaction. That is living to work, not working to live. Before considering your next move, travel 10,000 feet above your search by looking at the drive behind your search.
How does one figure out what sort of work energizes them?
Why does having clarity on your purpose matter?
What impact does knowing your values have on the choices you make?
How does one even figure out what they value?
It took me getting in my own virtual helicopter and traveling up above my life to 10,000 feet that finally allowed me to see that it is really not that complicated. We just make it complicated because we are conditioned to believe that it must be hard in order for it to be effective and to create change or growth.
Surprise! Not true.
It does require washing off the dust that has built up on your life and re-grounding yourself back to basics.
Several years ago….
I tried to read The Master Key by Charles Haanel. This book was first published in 1916 (no, that is not a typo) and it is most likely the original and world’s first personal development book ever published. It is a strangely difficult book to read and follow, but with the most amazing applications to life today. It is also the motivation behind such concepts as The Law of Attraction (also a book) and the book & movie, The Secret.
I share this because one of the most impactful (still to this day) lessons I learned from the book (Full disclosure – I never finished it!) was the simplest of messages: Be the Water.
The idea of overcoming a difficult situation or confronting a challenge is often fraught with fear, dread to confront, procrastination. You name it. Now imagine that this difficult situation is a large boulder on a mountainside with a melting snow-cap higher up the mountain on the path of the boulder. The Law of Gravity states as the snow melts it will travel down the mountain. The water is looking for the simplest and most direct path down. When the water reaches the boulder, it does not stop. It does not go over or through the boulder either. It cannot. It seeps into the ground and moves around the boulder so it can continue its most expeditious journey down the mountainside.
“Be the water” is often my mantra when I am faced with a difficult situation or challenge I just do not see a way out of. This works because it takes me out of the part of my brain (lizard) which focuses on negative messaging and moves me into the part of my brain (pre-frontal cortex) where I can create and innovate solutions and look for opportunities around the challenge.
Why is this story relevant to these five foundational requirements? Because you, too, must be water. Be like the water and follow the Law of Gravity.
The Law of Gravity states what goes up must come down. Gravity is one way. Right now, you are so far up up the mountain you cannot see the ground. This is why you must be the water and travel down the mountain. Here is where you will rediscover the drive behind you.
SIDEBAR: If you choose to dive into The Master Key System, please do not go it alone. Get the original classic edition and build a mastermind group of 3-4 to work with. If you need help on this, reach out to me.
Step 1: Expert Support
Stop being a martyr. It’s ok to ask for support from the outside. You do not have to do this on your own. People who ask for help have a more positive outlook in life, are more productive, and are more respected by their peers.
How does getting support from the outside help?
True story. I tried three times to sell my home. I first tried the DIY method. 6 months later – not 1 offer. I then worked with a realtor who flooded me with showings and just 1 low-ball offer in 6 months.
Finally, a second realtor told me before they would consider taking my listing, I needed to invest in the home. I invested $10k in my home, painting walls, baseboard, and garage floor, changing out all the doorknobs, resurfacing the driveway, the pool – everything they recommended I did.
I had two strong offers the first day the house went on the market, and a contract by day 6 for $30k over asking price.
See the difference? I invested in myself. The realtor that requested I invest in myself coached me through the process and held me accountable to the improvements, and that made a $30k difference in my return.
Step 2: Respect your ENTIRE self
Stop treating yourself like the gum on the bottom of everyone else’s shoe. We so often put our careers ahead of family, our family ahead of a to-do list, and then our to-do list ahead of our own personal needs to refuel our tanks. Can you say headed for burnout?
FACT: If you don’t start putting yourself first, your body and brain are going to do it for you. They will let you down and break down on you. Your body will start to physically breakdown, and your brain will become useless as your every thought takes up permanent residence in your amygdala.
Put your own oxygen mask on first! This means, you take care of you first. This will give you the energy and bandwidth to handle any challenge. You can’t climb a mountain if you are not physically fit and haven’t trained for it. You can’t win the game of life if you are not physically, mentally, and spiritually fit for it. You first! Not optional.
Step 3: Get clear on your values
Do you have clarity on your top 5 values? Did at least your top two values pop into your mind as soon as you read that first question? No? We need to talk. How can you align to live your life true to your values if you can’t even name them!? What’s more, knowing and living into your values becomes your daily litmus test for every opportunity, choice, decision, etc. you make in your life.
Perfect example: A few weeks ago, Halima Aden, who first rose to fame by being the first hijab-wearing model on the cover of several high-profile magazines, announced she is quitting runway shows.
Who leaves such a lucrative career?
A person with such clarity on their values will recognize when they are out of alignment with them. Having clarity on one’s values allows you to live your life with integrity, even when it means making the tough, not-so-fun choices. But it sure as hell allows you to sleep well at night!
“Muslim model Halima Aden quits fashion shows after feeling pressured to ‘compromise’ religious beliefs
‘Being a minority inside of a minority inside of a minority is never easy,’ model says”
You can read the full article here: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/halima-aden-quit-fashion-religion-muslim-b1762322.html
Step 4: Know your purpose
It starts with WHY. Yes, I know you have heard that line before. Now, have you done the work to figure out your why? No? Then it’s seriously time for you to get to work. There is so much value in figuring this piece out to carry your life forward – it’s like manna from heaven. Knowing your why is about your purpose, your mission. It’s your NorthStar, your guiding light in everything you do. Your motivation and your reason for pushing towards your goal.
As many are familiar with Simon Sinek’s Start with WHY Tedtalk, I instead invite you to this short reel Simon published in 2016 to explain the origin of WHY. He talks about purpose right around the 4:20 mark. I often watch this with my coaching clients prior to our work on defining their Purpose and it is at that moment that they say Aha! It’s powerful, impactful, and so pleasantly simple!
FACT: While I was in my first career for well over 25 years and was at the top of my industry heap, I was not paying attention to my values and purpose. I didn’t even know what they were – and I burned out of career I loved and always imagined I would retire from.
My health was rapidly failing me (see step 2! You are a whole human being!) at this point. Because I wasn’t paying attention to all of me. All of me is way more than just my brain; it is my body and soul too. They all matter.
Step 5: Passion & Expertise
Now you’ve defined your values and purpose/why. Next question, what do you want to be when you grow up? Oh, already a grown up? Me too. I did a reboot and you can to. And I didn’t have anyone to walk me through how to do it like you do!!
Still…. back then I needed a tool to help me drill down into what I was really passionate about (not to be confused with purpose). When I couldn’t find what I was looking for I created it (4Q™). I went down this passion and expertise rabbit hole for over two weeks.
I went all the way back to my childhood. What was I good at? What did I like to do? What did I suck at? What was a dread for me to do? What got me excited at the prospect of doing? What drained my energy at the thought of doing?
After two weeks of this, I could literally see career options rising from the exercise for me. It was amazing! From here, I discovered the profession of coaching and I haven’t looked back.
I’ve my passion back for my career. I am living 100% into my values. My health is better than it was at age 30 and my stress levels are lower than it has been in years.
So, there you have it. It really is as easy as getting back to basics. Wash off the layers of bullsh*t you’ve been carrying around with you all these years. Stop ‘should-ing’ all over yourself and start living life you always wanted, instead of the one you were told you ‘should’ have.
Need help getting started? I got your back. Let’s chat.
BEFORE YOU GO
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Are you a high performer who can’t say no and fears burnout? I love to coach high performers through the process of learning how to set boundaries and navigate the challenges of being a high achiever WITHOUT burning out. Coaching provides you with an outside perspective, someone to hold you accountable to your goals and get you to the finish line quicker – an advocate for your success. Let’s chat for 30 minutes on my dime and see if we are a good match to work together on your journey.
And if you (or someone you know & love) are anything like I was and would rather be more like what I have become – someone who wants to do great things in your career while still loving your life – I invite you to hop on over to my website and take a look around. Then let’s stay in touch.