Having published the last post about belief in achieving goals, I realised that getting focused and determined isn’t the thing people find most difficult, it’s deciding what they want in the first place.
“If only I knew what I actually wanted, I’d be able to go for it!”
Personally I think this is a bunch of crap.
When I ask people if they could have any job or lifestyle they wanted tomorrow, with instantaneous experience and a good salary/wage, they can think of 5 or so jobs they’d like to do within a minute.
So what’s the deal there? These people are usually very talented and capable people, who see potential for themselves in many areas. It’s these kinds of people who have a sharp eye for quality. They understand their own talent, and it’s exactly these kinds of people who have the most strict self-critique going on.
Indeed, it’s the really gifted individuals that are most lacking in confidence, because they see flaws everywhere around them, and can’t for the life of them assume they’d do any better. Scared of failure. The fact is that these kinds of people will always be the best at the things they’re most scared of, because they’re so critical. If only they could lift the pressure of self-criticism to see this blinding truth.
Of course, nobody is able to stroll into a well paid job doing exactly what they want tomorrow, and if someone has many options, all rigorously policed in the mind by their inner-critic, then it’s understandable they take jobs they don’t care about and nobody can understand wtf is going on.
Alas, there is an easy way through this, and it’s just arranging all the possibilities as you see them at this point in time, and trying to order them in terms of the difficulty involved in getting started.
For example, let’s say you wanted to do the following in your lifetime:
– Work with animals
– Be a vet
– Run a safari
– Launch a world-respected animal sanctuary
Invariably goals like the last one are perfectly achievable, but need a very long term dedication to getting there – or lots of money.
So, the first thing to ask yourself is whether this list of goals can be drawn on a timeline in terms of difficulty/dependency. ie. In order to be a vet, I need a qualification. In order to run a safari, I need to have experience working on one etc.
If they are easily plotted, then you’re in luck, because you just choose the first one on the list, and get cracking!
If they aren’t easily plotted, then you’ve got a bit of work to do in determining how you bounce between them during your life. Perhaps you need to choose the most profitable career path first, so that you can afford to do the other things you want to do.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to do a job you don’t enjoy just so you can get money – that’s the first nail in your coffin. You must choose a job/career that is on your list.
This is life planning, but it doesn’t have to be clear. It can be fuzzy and unqualified, but as long as this list is in your gut and in your heart, and you don’t give up on yourself, you’ll get exactly what you want*.
In other words planning your life like this doesn’t mean you have to decide from an early age exactly what your life will entail, just the things you would like to achieve, and believe that you can achieve them.
Sacrifice isn’t necessarily required if you think carefully and confidently about your choices.
* Note that “exactly what you want” might change significantly as you develop – see the previous post.