Recently, I have had some conversations with several of my good friends and some of my clients about life, work, family, etc. These are all highly successful people in their careers and in their life. They have their finances in order and live a very good life.
However, a theme that I noticed that kept popping up with them and with me, is “What do I want to do and be when I grow up?”
Sure, they and I have nice careers, but we are all thinking to ourselves what is the next thing? Does it mean that we aren’t happy doing what we are currently doing? I would say no. Because they all love what they do and they are really good at it and so am I.
Is it that the job doesn’t pay enough? I mean, I think all of us would always like to make more money, but we are all satisfied (I say that loosely) with the amount of money we are making.
Is it that they hate their bosses? Their company? No. Because most of them have worked for their current employer for many years. So what is it?
I don’t have the answer to the question, but I do have some opinions.
Since I know each of these people and myself, the first thing is we all have reached a pretty high level of success in our current career choices. Whatever this level is varies for each of us, but nonetheless success has been reached.
I think that high performing individuals like all of us, and probably you to. We are just wired to constantly think about what does the future hold and what does the next steps look like for me. What can I do next. Especially if you have had some level of success financially or career growth wise.
What do we do with this constant pursuit of what is next? For some this can be an all-consuming burden that takes it toll on our health and causes undue stress. Believe me, I have lived it personally through my own career at times. I am currently going through that right now personally.
My wife and I are asking ourselves what do we want to do and where do we want to do it? Are the decisions we made over a year ago the ones we want to live with in the near future?Or is there a different path for us?
A year ago we packed ourselves up and moved over 1000 miles to a place neither one of us have ever lived. We didn’t know anybody in the community. We don’t have any connections in the community. We knew absolutely nothing about this place.
Here we are a year later with a lot of questions about our future. But what is clear to me and what is clear to my wife. Is that we can do whatever we want. We have done it. We have made ourselves uncomfortable. We have pursued the opportunity when we didn’t have all of the answers. We know we will find a path forward even when one is not as clear as we would like it to be.
When things are not certain and the path is not clear you have to find some absolutes in your life. Meaning what absolutely must exist in my career, my family, my home, my community, etc. In all of the major pieces of your life.
What are those things that must be present for you to make a decision. For example: An absolute in our life right now is that wherever we go, my wife must be able to work for her current company. Another absolute is: wherever we live must not experience winter the way we always experienced winter growing up. Meaning very little or no snow.
Now, that I got you thinking some. Come up with your absolute list. Here is the challenge. Don’t be so narrow in your list that you rule out everything possible.
If you are thinking about switching companies. What must exist at that new company. What are the absolutes that must exist before you would ever switch companies. If it is a new career what are the absolutes that must exist in this new career.
I am not saying that creating this list will solve all of your problems, but once you decide on the things that must be absolutely present in your future, it makes it a little bit easier to decide how to go forward. It also allows you to decide what not to do and pursue when those absolutes don’t exist.
And then lastly, the key is to take action. Make a decision and go. Will it be right? I hope so. But if it is not. You will figure it out and decide what you need to do next. And so will I…
To your success and your future.