Recently I sat down at my desk and looked at my daily calendar. It is one of those inspirational calendars and I’ve been using it for years as my motivation at the beginning of each day. It is becoming something of a mantra for me; the way I find my chi. At any rate, that morning my calendar read: “Every great human achievement is preceded by extended periods of dedicated, concentrated effort.”
I would say that, for as long as I can remember, I’ve cared a lot about the work I do; about the way I maintain relationships, about seeing a task through to completion, about being assertive without being “a redhead” (for the record, this is the hardest), and about giving 100% every day. However, I’ve always said that knowing your weaknesses is even more important than knowing your strengths. Conversely, what do you do when your strengths become your weaknesses; when the things that you once greeted every day with dedicated, concentrated effort become things that you barely recognize?
As with every New Year, this year has brought about a sense of reflection – where I’ve come from, where I’m going and, most importantly, where I am right now at this very minute. Honestly, where I am now career-wise is not a place where I’m really that comfortable. I’ve been with the same company for eight years. And while it was a great job when I started and helped shape my beliefs and direction in the business world, it’s not where I want to be any more.
What I’ve learned is that feeling “comfortable” isn’t always a good thing. It often masks the reality of what we are really feeling, which, for me, at this very minute, is stuck. I assure you, if this hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. Inevitably, we all feel stuck in our lives at one point or another. The hard part is reminding ourselves to be brave and do something different when we do feel stuck. It is when we need to remember what motivates us and not to be afraid to dig deep to find it. For example, being motivated by money is skimming the surface – digging deeper would be defining why you think you need the money.
Once you can determine what motivates you, start setting goals that will help you progress, to get “un-stuck”. And, for all that is holy – start small! Don’t make rash decisions because you want instant gratification (unless you truly believe that you can handle being even more stuck than you are right now). Trust me, this is the hardest part. I’m all about instant gratification (which is probably why I own so many shoes), but if the risks outweigh the rewards, it isn’t truly helping you move forward.
I push myself in every aspect of my life because I want what I do to matter. I want what I do to make a difference. I am no stranger to the fact that if this is what you want, you have to chase it with everything you’ve got.