I recently had a client start our first session together with, “I am SO BORED! Everyday it’s the same thing. I hate the rut I’m in but I don’t see a way out. Even if I did, what good would it do me? How can life be so unfulfilling?”
You may or may not be surprised to hear this is a common complaint. Day after day nothing changes. Yet you look back over the last one, five, ten, twenty or thirty years and everything is different. You have the power to focus those micro-changes so that rather than just ending up somewhere by luck you end up somewhere you want to be.
Stop sleepwalking (just doing) – You get up, shower, eat breakfast (hopefully) and head off to work. Your day is full of emails, meetings and to do’s. You fight traffic to get home, have some dinner, unwind in front of the TV, and go to bed. Repeat. Take a moment to think about how much of your day is on autopilot compared to how much of each day you spend on things that are moving you toward your goals. How much difference would it make in a year if you carved out just 30 minutes each day to work on a skill that is important to you?
Become your own coach – Having a coach is one of the best ways to be held accountable to doing what you’ve set out to do and to get feedback on ideas and progress. A great coach will alternately give you praise for success, suggestions for improvement and a kick in the pants when you need it. If it’s not in the budget to hire a coach, block out time in your calendar once a week to give yourself constructive feedback. Step back from the hectic do, do, do of everyday life and logically assess the what and how of your week. What are you doing and how is it helping you achieve your goals? Evaluation is an important part of progress.
Focus on deliberate practice – What skills do you need for your next job? Are you working on those skills so when the job opens up you are ready to take it? If you aren’t deliberately making time to practice and get good at what you need to progress you are deciding where you are is good enough.
Compare yourself to you – It is easy to compare ourselves to other people. The problem is other people are a moving target. The only valid way to measure your progress is to compare where you were to where you are and where you are to where you want to be. That measurement will allow you to see if the work you are doing is moving you steadily in the right direction. And if it’s not, provide you with the information you need to adjust.
Your journey must begin from where you are. You can get where you want to be from here if you stop trying to start somewhere else. You can’t wish or positive think your way to success. Dreaming is good as long as it is followed by action.
Stop worrying about the opportunities you might have missed. Focus on gaining the skills you need to be ready to catch the next opportunity that comes your way. As my sport psychology professor used to say, “Luck is found where opportunity and preparation intersect.”
What will you accomplish with purposeful focus?
As always, I wish you the MOST from your potential!
Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known motivational speaker, executive coach and corporate trainer. As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence by sharing active leadership, powerful teamwork, conscious communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills. She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time. To work with her one-on-one, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, please call 302-307-3091 or email her at DocRobyn@ChampPerformance.com.