Present and Future

Have you ever thought that you could have been farther along in your career than you currently are?  Zen philosophy applies:  Stop agonizing about how this isn’t the way it should be, accept that this is the way it is, and put all of your energy into making it what you want it to be.

Simple words that aren’t always easy to put in place.  Work with some of these tips and see if you can shift some of your thinking.

Tip 1:  Get crystal clear about what you want.  You can’t change the past – it is what it is.  You do have all the power to shape your future.  Take some quiet time to think about what you want.  Take a piece of paper and make two columns.  Under column 1 write down all the things you don’t want.  Write out everything you can think of.  When you’ve  finished with the first column go back up to the top of the page.  Under column 2 write the contrasting statement to what you don’t want – if you don’t want… then you do want….  This exercise will help you throw out the negative and will clarify what to focus on.

Tip 2:  Take action.  Pick one or two items on the list to tackle first.  What would it take to get what you want – more training, different experiences, working on a new project?  Even the smallest steps toward what you do want can move you toward your goals.  Taking a small action each day toward one goal will make a huge difference in the long run.

Tip 3:  Enlist support.  Find someone who has achieved what you want and ask them how they did it.  People love to help others out.  It’s a compliment to them.  Find a mentor to work with.  Successful people use resources and others to get what they want.  You don’t have to go it alone.

Tip 4:  Patience.  There will be bumps along the way to achieving what you want.  Recognize these are only bumps – not roadblocks.  Don’t give up on your dreams just because life isn’t always smooth.  Find a new path to get what you want.

Tip 5:  Growth.  When you’re growing and going down new paths you’ll feel uncomfortable.  This is completely natural.  Fight the urge to return to the old way.  Stretching and growing is about taking risks.  Remember how you felt the first time you drove a car, nervous, now it’s become second nature and routine.

Tip 6:  You can’t mess up.  There is no “right way” to get what you want.  Experiment and see what feels right to you.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks your goals should be.  It only matters what you think and want.  Judge yourself by your standards.

What we do today will determine tomorrow, blaming the past doesn’t help.  Look forward with the excitement of what you want to achieve, put your energy and focus on the future.  You may find that you’ll exceed your goals.

What has worked for you?  Any other tips for moving a career forward?  Any tips for leaving the past behind?  Leave your comments below.

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