There are a couple of milestones in my career that are, hands down, the absolute definers of the whole story. The decision to give this career a shot is one of them, of course. Leaving my first job even though I was comfortable and making good money was another. Opening my own business was yet another. The absolute best decision I ever made for myself and my family was most likely seen as a failure by most and maybe even myself had it not been for a little lesson I learned from my business partner, Todd Bumgardner. Since Todd shared his visioning techniques with me I have more control over my career and have never been happier.
I am a man of many faults, for sure. I think the most self-limiting one is my tendency to get caught up in the moment. I’m about as impulsive as could be and recognizing that was the best thing that could have happened to me. Everything I chased down up to the point of figuring that out was mostly inspired by a thought that I was “supposed” to.
All I was doing was following someone else’s dreams and definition of success. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially today when you have almost no escape from getting other’s definition of success shoved down your throat.
Well, today I can tell you that I am truly happy and, maybe even more important, free. I am free of caring what other’s think of my career path. I am confident and able in handling diversity. It’s all because I have a clear vision of what it is I’m after and a plan on how I’m going to get there. Prior to learning how to figure out what I truly wanted out of life, I struggled finding happiness; always chasing things that were spoon fed to me through my environment and not realizing that those things weren’t necessarily aligned with what made me happy.
This didn’t deny me success. I had a fair share of them and I am grateful for all of my experiences. But it did cause some problems that we can all do with out.
Self doubt. Aimlessness at times. Stressing about things that, it turns out, weren’t all that important to me to begin with. In hindsight, I’d say the biggest problem I had was a lack of authenticity. I was a skilled coach with a ton of motivation and good work ethic, I just didn’t have a rudder on my ship and that caused me to pursue some things that weren’t what I was all about. When that goes unchecked, you may not be able to pinpoint it but you certainly will feel it through all the problems listed above. Other people may not see it either, but they can feel it and it doesn’t give them the warm and fuzzies when they are around you. I had degrees of happiness and success but I just wasn’t fully comfortable in my own skin.
So what is this powerful technique all about?
A visit to a shaman in the high desert?
While I’m the type that thinks that would be an absolute hoot, we can make a lot of progress with a much easier and more accessible technique.
Here’s what you need:
- Timer. Easy enough! We all have one on our phones. But set that sucker to Do Not Disturb because this is all YOU time.
- A quiet place where we will not be interrupted.
- 10 minutes or so. Just go ahead and look at your screen time on your phone and try to tell me you can’t find 10 minutes to better yourself.
- Pen and paper. Will a computer work? Sure. But there’s something about pen and paper that allows me to tap into my brain a little better and maybe you’ll find this to be true for you too.
Before we get started, let’s make sure we’re in a good frame of mind to view our future from. Block the neggy and let the posi flow! Take a couple of minutes to think about a set time period. If this is your first time doing something like this let’s make it real manageable. Say a month or even a week. Now think about all the things that went right in that time period.
Ahhhhhh! Feels pretty good to bask in those rays of sunshine doesn’t it?! Let’s ride that wave into the future, shall we?
Here we go!
Set that timer for 10 minutes, grab that pen and paper, and write. And when I say write, I mean keep that pen moving for 10 minutes. Let’s get it all out!
- Start writing out those highlights.
- What is it about those highlights that make you happy?
- Do some highlights out weigh others? How do we get more of that in the future?
Let that mind roam free. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to getting your thoughts out on paper and it’s all important.
Ok, so the timer goes off. Pen down. Now read back through what you wrote. Any surprises there? I know I had a couple. Feeling pretty damn good? I bet! Feeling a little uncomfortable? That’s normal too. This can be a powerful truth finder and that’s not always easy to deal with. But I promise you that you’re not a jerk if you figure out that you’ve been fooling yourself or chasing something that isn’t what you really want. Be OK with being wrong about something and strong enough to change it.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully tapped into some deep thoughts that you may not have allowed to surface before let alone paid attention to. And that’s what this is all about. Paying attention to you. Sounds weird, right? Unfortunately, it’s not. It’s easy to get swept up in life, in other’s opinions, and in stuff that we think is important but deep down don’t hold a lick of value to. What you just did is a way to wade through those waters and discover what it is that really makes you happy and what you really want out of life.
The great philosopher Ferris Buehler once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you may miss it”.
Visioning is just that, an opportunity to stop and look around. I hope it helps you like it has helped me!
This is a great start to what could be a big part of being happy with your career and every other cornerstone of your life. That friend of mine I mentioned earlier, Todd, dove way deep into this technique in our last Mini Course. He talks about refining this skill and how to progress it into something that can provide a bulletproof guide to YOUR happiness.