Posts Tagged ‘Life Plan’

I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks now. Originally, my thought was “are you hitchhiking through your life?” But as I thought about hitchhiking, it didn’t make as much sense.

You see, hitchhikers often have a specific destination in mind, as they step out onto the road and stick out their thumbs, or hold up their sign about where they want to go. And they accept rides with folks, usually headed in the same direction…getting at least a few miles closer to their chosen destination. But, truly, they are pretty much at the mercy (in more ways than one) of whomever’s car/truck they climb into when they accept a ride. Meaning, they may get closer to where they want to go, or they may just get farther away from where they want to get away from…and may simply end up wherever the driver happens to be heading.

What spurred this line of thinking was a number of conversations with people in recent weeks — some of whom I work with in coaching or mentoring relationships — about where they are headed in their careers. One conversation with a young woman about 3 weeks ago, really brought this idea into the front of my thinking. I worked with her, planning an event, and asked her how long she thought she would stay in event planning. (As an aside, if you’ve never been in this line of work, it’s very stressful — being responsible for a lot of details to pull events together, when often times you have little to no control over many of the pieces required for your event to be a success. And event planners often do not allow themselves to actually enjoy the event they have exchanged so much of their life energy to plan!)

She shared some thoughts on things going on in the organization she works with, and hopes to have the opportunity to move up, as her manager will be retiring in the next 12-18 months. She talked about her education and previous work experience and then said the thing that raised my alarms!

She said, there might be some opportunities in other departments of her organization, but that she would probably wait to see what the others above her thought she would be good at and what positions they might consider her for.

I said that was well and good, but wondered what she thought she was good at and what she was interested in…what was she striving to accomplish in her career? She seemed surprised by the question and it was obvious she’d not given it any thought, but said she probably should think about it.

I’m not sure why this particular conversation struck me so, as I have similar conversations with many people at a frighteningly frequent rate. I’m astonished by the people who give very little thought to what they want to do in life and are so willing to just go along for the ride, allowing someone else to define who they are, what they are good at, and what they should be doing with their time and life energy!

So, my question to you this evening is this: Are you the driver and navigator on your life’s journey, or are you just going along for the ride?

If you aren’t clear about what you long to do, are called to do, are passionate about doing, find satisfaction in doing…someone else will plan your life for you, but he’s the scary part: What they plan for you will be more focused on meeting their needs, not yours, and while you may be capable of doing certain things, and may even be quite good at doing them…they may leave you feeling empty, dissatisfied…Just because you “can” doesn’t always mean you “should.”

Clearly, the choice is yours. I encourage you to make this decision thoughtfully and intentionally. The answer is really the difference between choosing to be a victim or victorious, choosing to live your passion or just passing time helping someone else live theirs.

I look forward to hearing what you decide.

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As we are nearing the end of our month of exploring our passion, where do you want your passion to take you in your life?

Are you able to describe a a dream connected to your passion?

There’s a lot of power in getting it down on paper. Having recently gone through this process, with The Deeper Path Coaching Cohort I participated in, I can say it’s an eye-opning experience! If you allow yourself to really work through it, it can change the course of your future.

What role does your passion play in your personal and professional lives?

What effect do you want your passion to have on others?

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As you know, I’ve been preparing to roll out a new mentoring program, and the time has finally come! It is called Empowerment Mentoring, and it is designed to empower you to really focus on where you’re headed and what you need to do to design the life you want to lead and move — with greater self-awareness and intentionality — proactively into your future.

As you know, I’m really passionate about the work I do; there’s nothing more energizing and exciting to me than working with and seeing people like you experience the life-changing “aha!” moments, gain new insights, reach new levels of understanding, and see your life — and its many possibilities — in new ways.

Empowerment Mentoring is a powerful program, and your life will not be the same once you get started.

Join me tomorrow night (Tuesday 14 May) at 7 PM EDT for this free orientation call. I will give you a preview of the material through a 15-minute teaching on the Purpose, Vision, Goals lesson. I will provide an overview of how the program will work, and answer any questions you might have.

I will also, this one time only, extend the discount I offered last week. If you participate in this orientation call and enroll in the program by midnight (EDT) 15 May, you may register for $597 for the full six-month program. I offer a 30-day money back guarantee, so what do you have to lose?
Here is the dial-in information:
Code 569934

This is through Freeconferencing.com; if you dial from a landline, you may be subject to long-distance charges; if you dial from a cell, you may be subject to minutes charges (obviously, this depends on what kind of phone plans you have). This call will be recorded. If you aren’t able to attend the orientation call, but want to listen, send me a note and I’ll send you a link.

You may call through Skype, following these instructions:

  • Log-in to Skype
  • Select menu option “Contacts/Add Contact”
  • Add the SKYPE name: freeconferencing.5597261200 as the contact name
  • Select “CALL” button to begin dialing. To show the dial pad on Skype, click on “call” in the top menu bar and “show dial pad” or select the dial pad located in the bottom menu bar below dialing screen
  • You will need to enter the access code

NOTE: There is a risk in using Skype in that calls are sometimes dropped (less likely if you pay for Skype premium).

Please share this invitation with anyone you think might be interested!

I look forward to “seeing” you on the call tomorrow night at 7.

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Take a few moments, today, to describe what your life could be like if you lived out your passions each day.

What would that do in your life and the lives of others?

What effect could passion have on your leadership?

I’ve been working on painting this picture for myself, through The Deeper Path Coaching Cohort I was participating in. I have authored my OPUS (what my life’s masterpiece will be…) and am working on the refining touches. I will share it with you soon.

All I can say is, having this level of clarity about my passion and focus is both unsettling and exciting. Unsettling because I never thought this intently about what I wanted my life to be life, and it’s an intense process to go through. Exciting because having such clarity makes it ever so much easier to say yes or no to opportunities that arise, without a lot of contemplation.

And, I can say with certainty, that when I am working in my passion, people notice. I was blessed to have the opportunity to give a keynote presentation at a women’s leadership luncheon last week. One of the participants shared this feedback with me: “You were awesome. Your passion is palpable.” I’m thankful it’s so obvious!

Is yours?

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Another month has gone by; we are now one-third of the way through 2013! Time to wrap-up our thoughts on this past month’s topic: Focus.

My mentors frequently remind me to “spear fish” rather than “net fish” when I’m looking to build my tribe. While I might like to fantasize that everyone will want what I have to offer, and all will hunger equally for growth and learning, it’s not true! Not everyone is interested in growing, stretching, learning, becoming more. And that is ok; it is as it should be. You see, I want to work with a specific sub-set of the population and most likely, you are part of that group, if you are reading my blog.

Here’s where my focus is:

Imagine a world filled with light…light that allows clarity of thought, of beliefs, of values, of purpose, of vision; light that fills you with hope and the expectation of positive outcomes; light that fills your soul; light that allows you to see yourself – the best possible version of who you are truly meant to be.

Imagine this world inhabited by growth-oriented individuals, teams, and organizations seeking greater levels of awareness (of self and others), operating intentionally with thought given to outcomes and implications, striving to achieve higher levels of performance in whatever they choose to do.

Imagine a space that is safe and comfortable, yet stretches you at the same time. A space that is thought provoking and soul-searching. A space that challenges you to be, do, and have all that you dream of and long for.

Welcome to my world. I am the Sunshine and I am here to beam those rays of light on you as you grow into yourself and your potential.

This is my BIG DREAM as defined in the OPUS (my life’s masterpiece) that I am authoring. The whole point of working through the Deeper Path / OPUS process is to gain crystal clarity (FOCUS) on what I want in my life.

Grasping for everyone to work with me will leave me exhausted, frustrated, and likely without the quality clients I desire, and certainly less than the results I seek to achieve. For example, there are a lot of companies out there, many of whom could change their performance in amazing ways with the kind of focus I can facilitate, but they don’t WANT what I have to offer. And, truth be told, I don’t want to work with them, either! I want to work with the ones who want to improve and are willing to do the work to make it happen.

I also consider myself fortunate enough to have clear focus when it comes to peripheral opportunities. About 18 months ago, I was approached by the Executive Director of the state-level of a well-known, reputable charitable organization. She was looking for a new Board member who had communications and public relations background, which I do. She asked me to join her Board. I was flattered to be sure; who wouldn’t be? My expertise was recognized and she believed I could make a positive difference in the future of her organization. But I knew, even then, it was not part of my OPUS. I  knew my future was in growth and development, and perhaps in teaching others to communicate more effectively, but not in being the tactical communicator any longer. And, while I respect the work this organization does, it’s not in my area of passion. The answer to her request was easy, “I’m honored, but no thank you!” No regrets; it was, without a doubt, the right decision for me. And I chalk it up to focus and clarity.

I want to work with people like you, my faithful readers, who are interested in being, doing, and having more in their lives and are willing to take the initiative and make the investment to move forward into your future, your potential.

As a leader, it’s up to you to select the vision most worthy of your time and attention, and fix your gaze upon it. You will encounter numerous distractions on your journey and your ability to focus will determine your level of success and satisfaction with your results.

As we have spent this past month thinking about and working on Focus, what have you discovered to be the greatest distractions for you?

How will you stay focused on your journey, now that your level of awareness has been elevated?

Having talent is a good thing, but it’s not nearly as important as seeing a clear picture of where you’re going and staying focused on getting there.

I will leave you with this parting thought, from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, which I’m currently reading:

What makes someone the best of the best in their chosen field? Talent certainly helps, but there is more to it than that. And there have been numerous studies focused on figuring out exactly what that something else is.

“The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert — in anything,” writes the neurologist Daniel Levitin.

What are you doing to get to your 10,000 hours? Or have you not quite figured out your area of expertise (focus), yet?

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As we near the end of our fourth month, it’s time for more reflection.

Get out your journal and spend some time writing about what you’ve learned this week, and over the last four weeks, about achievement through focused tasks.

Then, take it one step further. Is there a destination you dream of reaching in your life and/or career?

What is your dream?

What are some of the steps you’ll need to take to start to build the momentum you’ll need to get there?

Take your first focused step forward today!

Looking forward to hearing where you’re headed and the steps you are taking to get there.

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Focus: A state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding. A point at which rays (as of light, heat, or sound) converge or from which they diverge or appear to diverge;specifically: the point where the geometrical lines or their prolongations conforming to the rays diverging from or converging toward another point intersect and give rise to an image after reflection by a mirror or refraction by a lens or optical system.

Thank you, Merriam-Webster online!

Without focus, our efforts are haphazard, expending energy without clear direction. With focus, we can channel our energies and efforts toward clear objectives. We can set and stick to priorities. We filter the information we are drowning in — more than 3000 messages per day according to some sources — able to determine what is truly relevant to you and your mission and ignore the rest. Focus allows us to make decisions in line with our values, beliefs, priorities, and goals. We are able to clearly articulate our vision and guide others. We operate effectively, efficiently, productively; working smarter not harder.

Think of the difference between the light channeled by an incandescent bulb and that of the light channeled through a laser. The first gives you diffused, gentle illumination; the latter gives you a single, super-concentrated beam, intense enough to cut through steel. The difference between the two is simple: Focus.

What you accomplish will be determined by your ability to focus your thoughts, your energy, your efforts. When you have focus, making decisions and taking action is easy. Without it, you will drift through your life, randomly moving with the flow of whatever current you are caught up in. The choice is yours.

Before we begin this fourth month of our Intentional Leadership journey, take some time to consider these questions:

What goals are you currently focused on?

Who best understands your career focus?

How do you maintain your focus in light of the myriad daily distractions you encounter?

When has your clarity of focus inspired someone else to take action?

I’m excited to move into this next stage of our journey. Are you ready? “See” you tomorrow!

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