Facing the reality and making difficult decisions in our personal and professional lives to go from where others want and expect us to be to where we genuinely want and strive to be
There will always be people around us who genuinely happy for us when something great and exciting happens in our life and will happily celebrate it with us. However, there will always be those who secretly wish to see us fail or face obstacles in life, and that’s what makes them feel good inside, feel better about themselves. Therefore, it is my belief that the more we spend time being around those who want to see us fail, the more such energy and circumstances naturally would gravitate towards us, bringing problems, obstacles, and unhappiness. On the other hand, I believe, if we spend more time around people who wish us success and happiness, that is exactly what we will attract to ourselves. So, we should often take a close look around and see if people who are surrounding us every day, with whom we interact on the regular basis, and ask ourselves – “are they helping us to pursue goals and dreams of ours, or are they holding us back with constant negative outlook on life and opportunities they we encounter on our path?”
Pay close attention to words and actions of those whom you are analyzing. Anyone can tell you what you want to hear at any given moment, but very few actually mean what they say and follow through on their words with actions, helping you to tackle a difficult situation and cheering you up when you need a boost of motivation. Those individuals who only tell you what you want to hear, making it look like they care, typically aren’t actually there when you need their help and support. Then, when you overcome a particular challenge or tough time in your life, individuals who were not there for you when you needed them, all of the sudden re-appear in your life like nothing had ever happened.
With all this in mind, we should be very careful and selective with whom we share our life’s happy and sad moments, our wins and our failures, our dreams and our fears, because, those who care and wish for you to be happy, will do everything they can to help you achieve your goals and dreams, and those who want to see you fail in life, would celebrate every moment when things in your life don’t go according to plan.
It takes time to get a good understanding of your surroundings and to get a good look at true intentions and actions of people around you. But, once you do have a good understanding of what is happening around you, at that point you would need to make your own decision if you are ok with everything to remain as is, or if you wish to see a change to take place. In terms of change, perhaps, it’s time to move on from where you are professionally and seek something different, something that’s more closely aligns with your wants and aspirations. Or, maybe, it’s time to change where you are today and, explore the worlds around you by using different states, different countries, and search for things, people, and places in life that motivate and inspire you to be your best self every day, and be happy. Change can be scary sometimes, but also changing your present and pursue something that you’ve always wanted could be the most rewarding thing that you could do for yourself and those around you. Then, once you find your happiness, keep it protected, keep it to yourself and those who genuinely want for your to be happy. As Kahlil Gibron once said: “Travel and tell no one, live a true love story, and tell no one, live happily and tell no one, people ruin beautiful things.”
Don't let fear and uncertainty of change dictate your future
Our own history can often be the main reason why we are unable to move forward and achieve the future that we always wanted. Why? Because, we keep telling ourselves that something has not been done or tried in the past and, therefore, we should not risk it. Or, we listen to other people telling us that we either don’t have the experience, knowledge, and/or drive necessary to start something new, and pursue the future that we want to build for ourselves and our children. But, are all these self-limiting thoughts, comments, and internal chatter in our mind true? We cannot possibly know if it is true or not until we actually take the first step and try accomplishing that what we said that we genuinely want. Until that happens, we could never know what reality actually looks like for us, and would continue to listen to opinions of others who do not know our inner truth, our inner warrior that lives in us and ready to be revealed to the world.
Is it scary to leave our self-limiting thoughts, beliefs, and experiences from the past behind, and to step into the unknown and unexplored, risking it all? Of course, it is scary, and if somebody tells you otherwise, they are probably just telling you what you want to hear and not the truth to motivate and encourage you. But, is that what you need? Do you need often scary and uncertain reality to be sugar coated to only reveal itself as soon as you take the first step and be immediately discouraged? I personally don’t think so. In my opinion, we should always have an opportunity to know and have true and good understanding of all challenges, issues, and fears that we will most likely face when we choose to pursue a change in our personal and professional lives. This way, even though we may not know everything and understand the risk that we are about to take on, we are going into it prepared mentally with our eyes wide open and ready to face various challenges on our path. It is more difficult to start something new and potentially change our life forever, knowing of risks and failures what others had faced in the past, however, I believe, we are more likely to succeed and keep trying to create long-lasting change when we are not completely blindfolded.
If we have a vision in our mind that we had always wanted to pursue with a goal of creating a positive change in our own life, as well as lives of those whom we love and care about, then we must leave our own historical self-limiting thoughts and thoughts of others based on their observations of what was done in the past, and simply try to forge out own path creating the future that we hope to have. If we fail, we would have already gone through such scenario in our mind before and had already developed a plan ‘B’ to try again, incorporating lessons learned, doing it differently, doing it better. As Oprah Winfrey once said: “The great courageous act that we must do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.”
Finding much needed and ever-present support and motivation when things don't go according to the plan
The love and care for my family is what gives me strength and purpose in life. It’s what gives me the willingness to try and work hard every day, no matter how tired or discouraged I may be at times. Simply knowing that my family depends on me, believes in me, and gives me unconditional love and support is enough drive and fuel that I need to give it my all, give my best to everything that I do or start.
We all need motivation and support, especially in times when things don’t exactly go according to plan or create struggle. That is when it’s very important to have those whom we love and care about to remind us of why we do what we do each day, and those difficult times will pass, followed by a period of great success and happiness. It’s not easy to navigate life’s challenges alone, so having your family, your loved ones by your side supporting you along the way, could be the best source of motivation needed.
Some of us may not have our family close by, standing by our side, however, having a close friend to whom we can turn to, someone with whom we can speak freely and share our inner thought, concerns, and worries, can help us to re-motivate ourselves, re-energize and re-focus in order to keep trying, keep going pursuing our personal and professional goals and dreams that we all have.
It also helps to put our thoughts and everything that’s been piling up in our head on paper in a way of a daily journaling. This way we are able to move all worries, all overwhelming thoughts, all ideas on paper and out of our head. Doing so not only will we be able to have a clear focus and clear mind, but also we would be able to reference our thoughts and concerns by reviewing them at an time, and come up with a plan of action to address them over time. So, in my opinion, it is a win-win situation. Do you agree?
Our written thoughts, those that we share with our loved ones, our closest friends not only serve as reminders and triggers in our mind why we chose to pursue a particular goal, task, or an adventure, but also they can create images which translate to feeling in our mind of how we would feel when set goal or objective is reached. It’s like reviewing your own physical vision board, if you have one created, full of places you hope to visit or things that you hope to have one day. The best part is, with mental reminders we can reach them any time, anywhere as a source of motivation and inspiration fueled by the support and love for and of our family, our loved ones, our close friends.
So, be happy, stay positive, motivated, inspired, and focused every single day, no matter how tough things may get at times. Remember that you are not alone and that your family, your loved ones, your close friend(s) believe in you, so should you. As Maya Angelou once said: “I sustain myself with the love of family.”
Leading others by being a mentor and teacher, not know-it-all and do-it-all boss
As a leader, have you ever looked a specific project or task of yours and thought to yourself that it would have been much faster and easier to do it yourself vs. teaching someone else, and delegating the task or project to him or her? I have. But, every time such thought would come to my mind, I had to remind myself that by doing everything on my own, the only individual who benefits from performing a particular task is just me. So, am I teaching others how to perform the task, grow their knowledge and experience base in order to teach and train someone else in the future? No, absolutely not. As leaders, our main goal is to lead others by being an example to them, by being a teacher and a mentor, not self-focused manager who assigns tasks and then instead of helping others learn and work along side of them, just does everything on his or her own.
If we never teach others how to perform certain tasks required for the job in question, they may never learn how to perform such task and, therefore, never add such experience to the ever-increasing list of professional skills, as even the most experienced and highly skilled leaders and managers, we cannot do everything on our own, we must rely on other people whom we are leading to help us, and delegate various projects and responsibilities to them. We must learn how to let things go out of our hands into the hands of those whom we lead and be there for them as a resource and a mentor when they need our support and guidance.
As leaders, we can still be involved in the process by establishing a set of periodic check ins with our team and individual team members to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to check on the progress of the project delegated, to ensure that team is still on target to meet set expectations by previously established deadlines.
Just like the process of teaching someone how to ride a bike, it’s one thing to show them how you can do it, but it’s completely different and more effective when we provide an opportunity to practice and learn. Sure, mistakes will be made, sure there will be failures and disappointments along the way, but that’s all a part of a learning process. Everyone makes mistakes regardless how experienced they may be, as we make mistakes, we learn from them and try not to repeat same mistakes in the future.
The main point in everything that was said earlier is we as leaders and managers must understand and recognize the importance of empowering others, and provide them with an opportunity to learn and grow as employees, as professionals, and as current and future leaders. As Bill Gates once said: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
Creating a plan and going after our goals and objectives
Most of our life we wait for something, whether it’s waiting for a better job, bigger home, more money, ability to travel internationally on demand, or simply to spend some time one on one with the nature – relaxing and enjoying the beautiful world around us. We hope one day that what we so desire, the one thing that we so desperately want would somehow become available to us or become your new reality. The problem is, most of us continue to wait our entire life for things to come to us, for opportunities to find us, and they never do. Why would they? Why would new opportunities, new experiences, new lifestyle all of the sudden come to us when we are doing absolutely nothing to achieve it, when we are making zero effort to actually try to turn our inner wants and desires into reality? They would not. New experiences and new opportunities come to those who are putting in the effort and doing everything they can to turn their goals into reality, even if it is hard and when everyone else is doubting them.
So, if we genuinely want something, then we should go after it, instead of waiting for a better time, or putting off taking action until a later time. If you always wanted to travel across the world or simply to visit another country, then, perhaps, you can start by creating a plan of how you will achieve your goal by set date. Put things in writing and set realistic deadlines or checkpoints, so that you can measure your progress. Another thing that you can and should do is to create a budget, listing costs and other expenses that you would need to save up for in order to fulfill your dream of taking a trip to another country, and have comfortable and enjoyable time while traveling. Once you outline your plan, set deadlines/checkpoints, and create a budget, outlining how much money you will save by set date, then, instead of a wish in your mind, this turns into something real, something that you can work towards over time. Make sure that goals and checkpoints, target dates, and the budget that you create are real, not based on what the job you hope to have, or amount of money you hope to make one day. Be real with your present situation, and set your goals and expectations based on reality. This way, you would be actually working towards something that you are capable of achieving if you stay focused and determined of reaching the goal that you have set. So, if I know that in order for me to save up enough money and vacation time to go to Paris, I need to work 40 hours per week and save every penny after paying bills and other obligations each month, and based on my current income it would take me one year to save enough of money to be able to take a trip of a lifetime, setting a goal of going to Paris in three months simply does not align with reality and will be the source of disappointment and discouragement when I reach three month mark and barely have any money saved up.
The point is, instead of waiting for an opportunities to find us, we must create such opportunities by taking action, creating a realistic plan, and begin working towards it, even if we know that it may be a while be fore we can reach the finish line. At least this way we are making progress, even if it is a slow progress, which would enable us to reach our goal(s) and turn our dreams that otherwise would remain as dreams into reality. Go after your dream(s), stop waiting for a better time to start.