You spend one-third of your life at work! And if that is so, it is safe to say – what you do at your job is largely what you do in your life.
Question is–are you happy at work?
Assuming a large majority of you have answered it in negative, here’s another one–
Do you really know what you want out of your career?
It is daunting that I have been asked this question so many times by so many people that now I have stopped bothering about it – was a response by one of my coaching clients. And I have had variations of the same answer from multiple people. Nothing new.
And I am pretty sure you too have something similar to say.
So today, I want to help you find an answer to this very question.
Why does it matter?
Well, if I were to ask you what have you achieved at the end of the workday what would it be? Then go beyond your workday and think of what you have achieved at the end of your work-week, your work-month, and so on.
I am sure you have got the hint.
So it matters because you don’t want it to be this way, do you?
The way out
Gary Keller in his book says
The one thing is the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results. The one thing is the best approach to getting what you want.
Furthermore, Chris McChesney, Sean Covey & Jim Huling in their book The 4 Disciplines of Execution opine that
The more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish. So you must channelize your energy to accomplish your widely important goal.
Do also read my blog post – Five lies that come in your way of Grand Career Breakthroughs
So the key here is to find out what matters the most to you and work towards it.
How to go about doing it?
Now, this may not be the only (or may not be the best) way, but I have been able to use it for myself and my coaching clients to help them find their ONE THING and it has worked wonders. This is inspired by Vishen Lakhiani’s three important questions to ask yourself and further modified. So download the worksheet here and follow along–
Step # 1: Answer the 3 most important questions.
- What are the best experiences you want to have in your life?
Make a list of all that you want to experience–world tour, luxury bungalow, cars, whatever you wish. But remember, these have to be your ultimate experiences. Beyond these, you should not desire for more. Go to that extent when you would not have any yearning whatsoever.
- What is the growth that you want to see in your life?
Growth in all aspects – Financial (how much bank balance you want to retire with?), Professional (what designation you want to retire with?), Spiritual, Health, Relationships, and more. Think of all the growth that you ever want in all the spheres of life.
- What is the contribution you want to make?
List down all the contributions you want to make to your immediate family, extended family, friends, society, charity, or whoever else you want to give to.
Step # 2: Calculate your magic numbers
Each line item under every question will come with a cost. Assign a cost (an approximate rough number) against each and every line item you have in your list under all three categories. Remember, everything will come with a cost–direct or indirect. E.g. The designation you want at the end of your career will attract the cost of training/coaching / mentoring, etc. So think of all associated costs. Finally, total up all the costs. This is your magic # 3.
Now think of the age you want to retire. From this age subtract your current age. This becomes your magic # 2.
Divide the magic # 3 by magic # 2 to get your magic # 1.
This magic # 1 is the amount that you need to save from this year onwards so that you will be able to fulfill all your desires.
List down the first thought that comes to your mind when you look at this number–achievable, daunting, anxiety raising, not possible, action propelling…
Step # 3: Get realistic
Ask yourself what’s the ONE THING you can chase such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?
The answer may not be easy, but all the effort to arrive at the answer would be worth it.
This ONE THING is the thing that you need to be working towards every single day. That is your calling!
Now that I have found my ONE THING, should I not be doing what I have been doing? – is a common question I get after this exercise.
So yes, the ideal scenario would be to only chase your ONE THING. However, given the scenario that the work you do every day has to be done; you must work towards your ONE THING every single day (you can begin with just 10 minutes a day and gradually increase it) the first thing in the morning. And then ask yourself–has this put you one step closer to achieving what matters to you the most? You get the hint, don’t you?