Many of my clients come to me to figure out the answer to this very question. They have lives that are pretty good but they still feel like something is missing. It’s just not awesome. They want more. And they want to know what they can do about it. The first thing we do is figure out and identify what you really want. What would your ideal life look like? Your work life? Your personal life? At first glance, it seems like these are simple questions to answer. And we often treat them as such - giving simple answers where we write down a few details and we’re good, right?
Not really. This is actually how many of us end up not achieving our dreams. We are so eager to connect the dream to specific tactics quickly that we forget the fundamentals.
For example, when I wanted to make my career transition, and was brainstorming about my ideal work life, I thought about how many clients I would want to have, how many hours I wanted to work and how much money I wanted to make.
This is how I was taught to articulate my vision. Get super specific. Identify everything I can. But, here’s where it can go wrong. While those are important questions to answer, it’s important to start somewhere else. Instead of thinking about how many hours I wanted to work or how many people I wanted to work with - I needed to answer the fundamental questions first.
What kind of work makes me come alive? What kind of people make me love doing the work I want to do? What’s work that I would do just for the sake of doing it? What is the work that would make time stop (or slow down) for me?
These questions get at the underlying emotions and needs associated with your dreams. These questions help you craft a vision for the future that is stronger and more compelling than any detail you can dream of.
Once I knew exactly what kind of work made me come alive...the number of hours I worked did not matter. Once I knew the type of people I LOVE to work with, the actual number of people I work with ceased to matter.
Now I understand that getting to the specifics is important. After all, it’s how we bring our vision to reality. But there’s the fundamental reasoning that they must be based upon or you’ll find yourself struggling to maintain change in your life. So how do you do it?
Think of the path for change as a linear one. At one end is your dream and vision for the future. At the other, the tactics to make your dream a reality. But the middle isn’t simply an empty line - it’s a bridge. The bridge that connects everything together. It allows your emotions behind your dream to connect with the actions you take to make it real. And ultimately, it will make change easier and more likely to happen.
Have an area of your life where you feel like something is missing? Or do you generally feel like there has to be more to life? Don’t know what you really want? Answer some fundamental questions first. What do you want that part of your life to FEEL like? What could you do that would make you come ALIVE?
Figure this out and you know you’re on the path to awesome.