You complain every day that you spend hours every week working in a job and pursuing a career that to put it frankly, just doesn’t rock your boat. And, instead of feeling empowered at the end of each day or week, you feel a sense of ‘there has to be more’!
Put simply, you just don’t like your job and research indicates that you are not alone. In fact, there are “twice as many ‘actively disengaged workers in the world as there are engaged workers who love their job”, according to a recent report by US polling organisation, Gallup.
So, if compromising our happiness for our careers is so common, why don’t more of us have the courage to follow our hearts to pursue careers that ignite our passion and inspire us to be the best we can be?
Find your vision & purpose
I know how it feels to work without purpose and passion. It not only holds you back form achieving the success you desire, it prevents you from living your best life!
There are many reasons why so many of us ‘settle’ for jobs and careers that don’t inspire, motivate and elevate us. It can be money, lack of confidence, convenience or the fear of taking a risk to step outside of you comfort zone to try something new.
But underlining all those justifications is one simple truth: If you lack a clear vision of your success and have no real purpose for why you do what you do, you will never achieve the life and career satisfaction or success you desire.
Listen to your heart and intuition
There are many visionary ‘bizzoids’ and billionaires that share this philosophy. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple is considered among the most visionary leaders of shares his mantra: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”
Rick Sapio founder of Mutual Capital Alliance and its CEO for 20 years says, “When you’re clear on where you’re going and you know your North Star, take conscious action in the direction of your goals. Stay in alignment to your vision and watch your success unfold.”
I may not be a corporate mogul like Rick Sapio or global powerhouse like Steve Jobs, but I can honestly say from my experience, my greatest successes in both life and business emerge when I have a clear vision and purpose to guide me to make better decisions and choices.
In fact, I have my own mantra “the hard part to achieving success is finding the courage to visualise and trust in your BIG game. Once you have clarity and can see where you are headed, it’s far easier to map your road to success.”
The secret is: Discover the power of visualisation
To remain inspired, focused and persistent in your pursuit of happiness and greater success, you must incorporate visualisation as part of your plan for success. It’s a game changer!
I first learned the art of visualisation as an elite athlete at the Australian Institute of Sport. To become a champion 10-meter platform diver, I first had to overcome my fear of heights! Visualisation was a huge part of that process! Every day as part of my mental preparation and training, I would imagine myself diving from the 10-meter platform to enter elegantly and perfectly into the pool below.
As an athlete, visualisation is imperative. But, even outside of the pool or sporting arena, all top performers, in every profession, use the visualisation consciously or unconsciously to attract the success they desire into their life. They picture their success and all the forms it takes, in their minds before they set the framework for achieving it.
And just like an athlete, you can use visualisation as an integral part of your plan for success. To be able to visualise what success looks like to you, to see it, touch it and taste it, is the first step to turning your dreams into your reality.
So, what is your ‘BIG Game’?
Your Big Game is your dream! Your big picture, your passion and your vision that drives you to wake up in the morning feeling inspired and motivated; fuelling your energy, imagination and creativity.
To discover your Big Game, you must first learn to dream BIG! Nobody achieves greatness by limiting their thinking. Think of what you would most love to do in life and picture yourself doing it! It all starts from an idea, a dream and a vision. If you don’t open your mind to bigger and better possibilities and greater aspirations for success, and you don’t believe you can achieve it, then it flat out won’t become your reality.
As the New Year dawns, it’s customary to reflect on the year that’s past and set new goals for the year ahead. To most of us, planning yearly goals is pretty much routine and we have no problem setting our mind to creating a list of short-term goals. But investing in our future targets, life and career goals, spaning five to 10 years, takes more time, planning, hard work and focus. These long-term goals are the ones that craft your path to success, helping you define the significant milestones and pave your way to attaining your dream and realising your Big Game.
WIIFM?: Why it’s important to know where your headed.
Recently, a client of mine described how he had entered a motor bike race with the support of his coach who prepared him for the race, briefing him on his opponents, the conditions of the track, what corners to look out for and his overall race strategy.
The coach told him to go out hard, then settle back to keep pace with the key riders until toward the end of the race to overtake and hit the lead. The strategy worked beautifully. He took to the track, aware of the conditions and knowing who the key riders where he needed to chase. The adrenaline was pumping, and his focus was unwavering. Halfway through the race, he took his moment and accelerated to hit the lead!
Then something strange happened, he looked back at the field and saw all the other riders behind him in his wake, and he started to panic: ‘what do I do now?’ he thought to himself! ‘I’m in front but I have so much more of the race left until I cross the finish line. I’m not prepared for what comes next. Where to from here? I didn’t think about what my race plan was once I hit the front!’
This story is reflective of how so many of us view success. We work hard to get ahead, strive to beat our competitors, make more money and focus on our immediate goals and strategies for success.
What we forget to do is to identify our” where to from here”. When we have ascertained a certain level of success in our lives and careers, we tend to look back and acknowledge where we’ve been and what we have achieved, yet often fail to have the vision to challenge our perception of where we are going in the future.
Let’s figure out how to play your ‘Big Game’.
So, let’s begin the process to discover your BIG game.
Understanding your BIG game, is about unlocking your greater purpose in life and identifying why you do what you do, what lights you up in the morning and what you want to achieve from your career and your life.
Is it financial security, building an empire, giving back to others, creating a lifestyle, or fame and fortune, or a mix of any or all of these?
So many times, people struggle to achieve their long-term goals, as they spend most of their time dodging bullets and ricocheting from one opportunity to the next with no clear vision for the future. They know they should think BIGGER, but they get so tied up with their day-to-day to-do list that they spend little time thinking about their greater purpose in all of this. Then as they mature they look back and think – how’d I get here? And more importantly, where to now?
Knowing your purpose also helps you connect with others who share the same social, moral and ethical compass as you. It leads to greater fulfillment, deeper connections and meaningful bonds. It attracts like-minded people who wish to share and encourage your success and vice versa.
A simply exercise to unlock your ‘greater purpose’
So, let’s begin the process to discover your BIG game.
Here is a simple exercise you can do that helps you unlock your ‘greater purpose’ by identifying your core values and beliefs. Knowing your purpose unlocks your passion! And your passion is an essential ingredient to success and is what drives you to pursue your big game!
Divide piece of paper into 4 columns. Then consider some meaningful moments, milestones or positive and inspiring ‘ah ha’ moments in your life and career that have impacted you and influenced the way you look at the world.
In the first column, write down what was happening to you in that moment: A career change, a failure, a loss or moment of adversity, a success or triumph.
In the second column write down and acknowledge the values you were honouring, such as taking risks, compassion, innovation, collaboration, truth, honesty, creativity, influence, empowerment, learning, leadership etc.
In the third column, write down how you integrate these values into your current lifestyle, relationships, career and life goals.
Once you get to this stage you will have gained much clarity around what’s important to you – your core values, beliefs and passions. You will start understanding why you have formed these beliefs and the moments in your life that have helped shape who you are today.
Now, in the final column, write down what you do to challenge yourself in the future to better honour these values and beliefs. This is where you get imaginative and start to train your mind to think bigger, bolder and braver. Write down everything you can think of that will challenge you to look beyond your comfort zone and step into your passion zone!
Read more about how you can achieve greater success my Top Tips to Transitioning At A Career Cross Road.