Implementing the following three steps can be extremely useful in making this decision:
Step One: Know what you want!
To get what you want, you first need to have a clear picture of your desire. Take time to think about what you want in life and what would it feel like to have it. If you merely want a paycheck, for example, you can get one in a job you hate or one you love. Which would you prefer? List your criteria for living well, for having that desire.
When you have a vision of where you want to be, set goals to help you move toward that vision. If, for instance, you want financial independence at a certain age, set incremental goals each year to get you there. The picture or vision will enable you to reach those incremental goals much easier, as the vision pulls you forward.
Set up a crossroads debrief meeting with yourself (or a partner) to review and make a list of what you have done since your last debrief or the past year. If this sounds overwhelming, here is a suggestion: Just as you write status reports to your managers, you can write one to yourself. This personal status report listing your accomplishments each month can be a useful tool for keeping track of your actions while moving you towards your goals and maintaining your motivation. Can you imagine what a jaw-dropping, eye-popping, good feeling experience it will be to review those accomplishments at year end?
Questions to consider:
- What happened since my last crossroads debrief?
- What goals have I reached?
- Where am I on the goals not yet completed?
- What were my most proud achievements? What did I do to reach them?
- What challenges/difficult situations occurred? How did I handle them?
- What did I do well? What would I like to do better?
- Where do I want to go from here?
Step Two: Feel and act as if it already is here!
Today’s world is a difficult place-recession, workforce reductions, more work and less time, etc. All these circumstances can lead to difficult options. Let’s remember we always have a choice even when faced with alternatives we don’t care for. We can choose to be a victim (why me?) or we can choose to look for opportunities and move on! Step 2 is about taking responsibility for our attitude, emotions, and choices.
Below the Line is where we take on the role of victim. We play the Blame Game-why me? Why did they (whoever “they” are) do this to me? We stay stuck in anger, frustration, wishing for what was. We take a wait and see attitude, confused about what to do next, or in denial until our deepest fears happen. How does staying in this ‘victim mentality‘ serve you? Would you not rather be Above the Line, taking accountability for your feelings, reactions, and choices?
This is a four-step process:
1) See it – recognize and acknowledge the current situation and your feelings about it.
2) Own it – accepting responsibility for where you are now. Your choices led you to this moment.
3) Solve it – finding and implementing solutions; perhaps as simple as updating your resume; thinking about what value you bring to the marketplace based on its needs, etc.
4) Do it – implement your plan, one small step at a time.
Step three: Be open to receiving it!
Keep in mind possibilities are endless. Be open and know the opportunities best fitted for you are on the way. Otherwise, you may never see them coming!
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