Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finding Focus Part Deux

A short while ago, I wrote about a general malaise I was feeling - which I identified as a lack of purpose.

For years, I'd concentrated all my efforts on writing and moving to New York and now I've achieved those ambitions, it was time to turn the page and work out what I want to do next.

I think a lot of people feeling 'depressed' are actually just in limbo, wanting some strange, unidentifiable 'more' in their life without quite realizing what that 'more' is (and if you don't know what you want, how can you go about getting it?)

I intended to write down some definite, realistic goals and ambitions and hope that identifying them will help me achieve them.

It's all based on a principle outlined in Rhonda Byrne's book The Secret.

That book was crammed with all sorts of rubbish about the universe magically granting people their heart's desire - but strip away the magic and you're left with a very sensible and practical guide to getting what you want.

There are three simple steps to 'getting what you want.

Identify - Actually think about what it is you want that would make your life happier or more complete. This has to be something tangible - there's no point saying 'I want to be happier.' You have to work out the specifics of what you want: 'I want to be thinner," or "I want a new car," or something along those lines.

Visualizing what you want is something The Secret stresses. Like, if you want your agent to give you a call about that job you interviewed for, the book says you should close your eyes and actually imagine the whole process. Where you’ll be sitting. The sound of your phone ringing. The physical sensation of the cold plastic against your cheek. Your agent’s voice in your ear as he tells you the good news.

Sounds like a load of rubbish – but actually this is what I did desperately the day before I got the final call welcoming me onboard with the company I now work for.

Visualizing your ambitions is an important step in making them tangible.

Actualize -
This just means identifying what it is you have to do to achieve your stated goal.

That's why your goal has to be tangible. It doesn't need to be realistic - you can wish for something 'impossible' like a million dollars and then, the next day, suddenly have a great business idea that delivers you your fortune (after five years hard work.) But the second step in achieving your 'wish' is to actually trace a line (however convoluted) between what you want and how you could get it.

The important thing is that this line flows from you - you can't rely on other people acting a certain way (they never do) or something random happening (like winning the lottery.) Your route to your ambition must stem from within yourself.

Accept -
This is the most important step - actually accepting what you want when it finally comes around.

It might sound easy - if somebody offered you a suitcase stuffed with twenty dollar bills, it would seem difficult to say no! But often, the things you want don't arrive in quite the way you envisioned them.

Like if you were dreaming of a new, better paid job, you might suddenly be offered one in Arizona. The price of realizing your dream is to move away from everything that’s familiar at home.

Alternatively, some people are just naturally self-sacrificing (read: masochistic.) They might get offered what they really want - but turn it down because achieving their ambitions is actually quite a daunting prospect.

The third and most important step in achieving what you want is actually being brave enough to accept it when it comes around.

Now I’m not saying this stuff works – but it’s surprising how rewarding and successful the simple three step process can be. The most obvious advantage is actually focusing your own mind on what you want. It’s amazing how easy it is to drift through life knowing you want something, but not being entirely sure what it is.

To that end, I’ve devised a nine question ‘Action Plan’ to identify the things I want out of life. It’ll be interesting to see whether this helps me achieve them or not.

So here is my Action Plan. I’ll be filling it in and posting it later:

The Action Plan

1: Name three things about yourself you would like to improve:

2: Name something you would like to achieve:

a) Within 1 year:

b) Within 5 years:

c) Within 10 years:


3: Name something you would like to help achieve for somebody else:

4: Name one place you haven’t been, but you’d like to go:

5: Name one person you haven’t met, but would like to:

6: Name three material things you would like:

a)...

b)...

c)...

2 comments:

Kali said...

"OK, so how do I do this?"she anxiously questions.

The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

This is helpful.. I have a list, but I still don't have the drive..

Hopefully, it'll come soon..

:(