On the outside, you look calm, confident, and thriving in a great job that others covet. In reality, you are bored, not sure, or particularly care where this career is going, and you lie in bed each morning, dreading the day ahead.
You feel stuck, and there is no one to confide in. And, even if there was someone you could talk to, you know they would tell you to “buck up” and appreciate what you have. That, and you really don’t know what else you would do. So, this is where you will stay until it is time to retire. You are not alone.
I’ve been there. Twice. The first time it took me a long time to figure out what it really was, I wanted to do next. The second time, I tried something different to see if the results would happen any faster. It worked. And, it was as simple as keeping a journal.
Yep, that’s it. At the end of every day for six weeks, I would write a few notes to myself, such as where I was happiest that day and what I was doing when I was bored and not challenged.
And, when I say happy, I don’t mean laugh-out-loud, giddily happy. No, I mean just content with what I was doing that particular day. Just glad to be in that place at that moment, accomplishing whatever it was I was doing. And I also wrote down the things that made me want to jump up and join the day ahead.
With the holidays here, things may be slower for you, and this is an excellent time to get into the habit and start writing. Write in your journal every day at the end of the day. This is not a novel, just a few words at the end of each day, a meditation of sorts on your last 24 hours.
Be brutally honest with yourself as you write; this is for you and no one else. It’s not for your partner, it’s not for your boss, it’s not for your family, your parents, it’s not for public viewing. This is 100% about you and your future.
Now, here’s the deal – don’t read what you have written until you have been writing continuously for six weeks. At the end of that period, take some quiet time alone and read what you have written. Then, let that roll around your brain for a few more weeks. A pattern will begin to emerge, and you can start to think where your skillset intersects with what you have discovered about yourself.
I discovered I liked working for myself, I liked working alone, and I loved writing and creating business content for myself and others. I also realized I wanted to spend more time at home with my kids and to have the flexibility to do things with them on their schedule.
I know for me it was really a revelation, especially for someone who was such a go-getter and working in a fast-paced, successful business, and for someone who was always in the public eye as a media figure. So, it took some time, but over time I was able to create a freelance business and have worked from home ever since.
Once you start to see what you might really like to do in your future, start one small step at a time. It could be telling your life partner what you are thinking about. Or joining an organization to learn more about whatever it is you are interested in. Small steps, you have a long future ahead of you. Just start. It doesn’t take a crystal ball or a fortune teller to figure out what your future success looks like. Why? Because you invent your own future starting now.
Happy holidays and happy writing.