Figuring Out What To Do When You Finally “Grow Up”!

Christmas in July – what can I say?!

 

Where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. –

there you will find your vocation.

Frederick Buechner

Since January I’ve had four new clients approach me with the refrain, “I need help figuring out what I want to do when I grow-up!”

Each of these folks has graduated college (one is a post graduate) and each works at an established company. And each is deeply uncomfortable where they are in life.

So how do you figure out what to do when you “grow-up”?

The first thing is to acknowledge that you already ARE grown-up!

You are an adult – even if you may not always feel like one or act like one.

In addition, although you have a job or had a job, it’s critical to keep in mind that you are not your job – no matter what you do. 

You are the sum of your relationships and your obligations to those relationships, along with your feelings and beliefs, your spirituality and psychology, your values and habits.

All of that guides and influences what you do and how you do it and why you do it.

The legendary theologian John Henry Newman believed that “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.”

When someone says they want to figure out what to do when they “grow up” they are muddling the issue because the issue is not “when I grow-up.”

The issue is – given that I am today this grown-up, how will I reinvent myself?

In the early years of my adult life I lived in a religious community and prepared for ordained ministry as a priest. When I resigned from ministry after twenty years of community life I had only a hazy notion of who I was. And, yes, that it is a startling thing to admit!

My therapist told me that I had to find new ways of being “priest.” That required I do things that would force me to become realistically acquainted with the skills and talents I’d acquired and had taken for granted. I had to experiment, try on, risk and reevaluate.

Reinvention doesn’t necessarily require new skills. It does, though, require you to be familiar with the skills you currently have and become comfortable using them in new and possibly unfamiliar ways.

So how do you reinvent yourself – now that you are grown-up?

 

Cristina Nehring in her book, A Vindication Of Love, writes that when she was in high school:

My English teacher told our class that the most important thing about life was to live it as if it were a good novel – as if, she said, it were a good film script. ‘Would audiences walk out during the movie of your life?’ She believes that by living ‘deliberately, gracefully, inventively, and fearlessly’ any one of us can be “a piece of art.” 

Here are 20 questions for you to rummage around in and grapple with

as you create the piece of art that is YOU

1.     In your present job, what skills do you enjoy putting to use? What comes easy to you?

2.     For what skills do you get your most compliments?

3.     When you last were looking for work, what had you really wanted to do?

4.     What or who pushed you into taking this job?

5.     How you think you’ll emotionally be if you remain in your current job for another five years? Ten years?

6.     What are the practical reasons for you remaining in your current job? How important are those needs? Are those needs really “needed”?

7.     Who else is involved in your decision to reinvent yourself?

8.     What needs do they have? What fears are attached to those needs?

9.     Is there a specific field you’re interested in? Does it require new training? Do you know anyone who is doing what you want to do? Do you know anyone who knows someone doing what you want to do?

10.  Are you most excited by the idea of a new job or by having the opportunity to use skills you currently under-use?

11.  Is there any place within your current company that would let you tap more into the skills you want to be immersed in?

12.  A dream job is just a dream without a strategy. Do you have a dream or a strategy? What does your strategy look like?

13.  How will your life be different in your new job? Is this new job crucial to making your life different in the way you imagine?

14.  What will you miss from your current job and do you think you’ll find it in your new one?

15.  How will the new job make you more “grown-up” than your current one? What “grown-up” responsibilities will you have in your new job that you don’t have in your current?

16.  How are you sabotaging yourself now and would those techniques carry over in whatever new job you take?

17.  Do you have a tolerance for ambiguity, along with a dose of patience and grit?

18.  Do you think you have what it takes to reinvent yourself?

19.  What is one skill you have that will come in handy as you reinvent yourself? One is one skill you need to develop?

20.  What do you want to be remembered for in this life? Will your future job help you be remembered for all the right reasons?

 

Answer these questions and you will have more insight into your next possible job and clarity into who you want to be, doing what you’ll be doing.

If you strategize with these questions, you will not just find a new job. You will experience transformation.

Leadership guru John Maxwell calls transformation the “journey to significance.” Significance, according to Maxwell, is all about adding value to people.

Angela Duckworth, author and expert on “grit” believes that, “Rather than ask, ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ ask, ‘In what way do I wish the world were different? What problem can I help solve?’ This puts the focus where it should be — on how you can serve other people.”

 

Deep. Yes, I know!

Going deep, though, is what adults do!

 

Do you want to help discovering who you want to be when you grow up?

 

To explore how life- skills coaching can help you live your life

 with enhanced confidence – and joy

please contact me

  [email protected]

818-415-8115

A Brave Act of One’s Own

 

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Last weekend I met Marie at a housewarming party. She is the motherly neighbor of my friends who hosted the party. When she learned that I officiate weddings and coach communications, she maneuvered me to a table and proceeded to tell me about her daughter, Clarice, who had filed for divorce just six months after her wedding. Marie asked if I would meet with her.

 

I doubted Clarice wanted some stranger to “reason” with her; but I felt sorry for Marie and agreed. Out of respect for her mother, Clarice, who had moved back in with her mom, also agreed.

 

When I stopped by the next day, I reassured Clarice that I had no intention of trying to talk her out of her decision. I admitted it was none of my business, but just out of curiosity, I wondered what had happened in the span of six months to want her to dissolve her marriage.

 

Embarrassed, Clarice told me that she and her husband Frank had dated since high school. They continued on through college. Everyone just presumed that some day they would marry and once out of college, the pressure was on.

 

She then told me something that initially shocked me: “We didn’t want to disappoint our families and so we decided to get married and we just got caught-up in it all.”

 

Then one day, some six months later, they realized that while they loved each other, they had no desire to spend the rest of their lives with each other.

 

Once again, I was reminded that life can get very whack-a-doo!

 

The self-help guru from the 1980’s, Leo Buscaglia, maintained that,

Not very many of us are really, in the real sense of the word, alive and living fully. I’m certain that as long as you leave your life in the hands of other people, you’ll never live. You have to take the responsibility for choosing and defining your own life.

 

As odd as Clarice’s story first sounded, I later realized that she really wasn’t any more “stupid” than most of us are at one time or another in our lives – and I say that respectfully.

 

I think most of us can be sloppy when caring for our lives, going along with decisions made by others because we don’t want to hurt feelings or accept the consequences of hard decisions.

 

Ironically, Clarice and Frank deciding to divorce was the kindest and bravest thing they could do for each other because finally, they were choosing and defining their own lives.

 

What about you? 

What kind, brave thing do you need to do for yourself?

 

Do you want to learn how to confidently live your life without worrying about what “THEY” will think?

 

To explore how life-skills coaching can help you present you

with enhanced confidence – and joy

please contact me

  [email protected]

818-415-8115

 

How to Respect YOUR Life

 

Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, wherever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there’s something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you’re good at – something that’s bigger than you are, and you can hardly wait to get at it again today.

John Maxwell

 

I believe that honoring is the foundation of successful living – honoring:

Self

Work

Others

 

In HONORING SELF

we fight against beliefs, ideas, emotions, and fears that work to prevent us from living authentic lives.

 

In HONORING WORK

we set goals, take responsibility, make choices, exert self-discipline, and tackle change.

 

In HONORING OTHERS

we recognize that all life is meeting and so we engage the other in our social and work dealings

with care, curiosity, and a readiness to learn.

 

Through it all, we honor self, work, and the other only when we honor the present, living with self-awareness in the moment.

 

Consider:

  1. How openly and comfortably do you honor your life?

 

  1. Which of the three arenas – self, work, others – is it easiest for you to honor?

 

  1. Which is the hardest for you to honor?

 

  1. In which of the three arenas do you have a fire-in-the-belly desire to become more successful?

 

  1. If you were more successful within that arena, how would you act? How would you communicate – with your own self and with others?

 

  1. Why are you afraid to act and communicate in the way you believe would allow you to be successful?

 

Acknowledge the fear and THEN practice acting and speaking the way you want to.

 

Only THEN will you become WHO you want to be!

 

Do you want to learn how to skillfully and generously honor

your own self, work and others?

 

To explore how business skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence – and skill

please contact me

  [email protected]

818-415-8115

 

A Mid-Year Check-In

 

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucious

 

It’s July and so we’re halfway through 2019. Soon Hallmark Card stores will be premiering their line of Christmas ornaments!

 

I thought of offering in this posting a review of the ten most important lessons I learned in 2018 with an eye on evaluating how they might help me navigate the rest of 2019.

 

However, as I reviewed my list, I realized there is really only one great lesson that I (and you) need to keep in mind through the remainder of this year.

 

And that tip?

 

“NO” doesn’t have to be the final answer.

 

Rejection doesn’t equate to the decimation of ideas, plans or dreams.

 

Throughout this year, I’ve been privy to the struggles of folks who have steadily plodded on until they reached their goals – even if, when reached, those goals looked differently from what they’d originally imagined.

 

Pat (name changed) is a comedy writer who came to LA from NYC with a TV writing gig. Within just months, the show folded and he was out of work and luck.

It was an unnerving time for him and his family. Do they return or not return to NYC?  Does he stick with comedy or play it safe? Pat had to face the reality that maybe he wouldn’t earn a living from writing funny words.

 

Pat decided to live his life “as if” he was employed as a comedy writer.

 

He set-up a schedule and committed to writing a certain number of jokes per day. He went on the rubber chicken circuit and submitted unsolicited jokes to late night shows.  He brought schmoozing to a whole new level. And he did all this in the face of bone-crushing doubt.

 

Today, you may very well be laughing at his late night jokes as he’s on staff with one of the late-night shows.

 

Five years ago my friend Melissa signed a contract with a major book publisher. Her first book was released April 2015. And it’s been re-launched in Canada with a new marketing push.

 

Hers was been a journey of more than twelve years. Twelve years of self-doubt, rejections and being faithful to the writing task.

 

Nancy contacted me several months ago. Among other things, she wanted to hire me for her company’s annual retreat; however, I was booked that weekend.

Last week she called again, wondering if by chance my weekend had opened up. Turns out, it had freed up as previous clients canceled their event.

 

Each of these people encountered “no’s” that had the ring of finality to them.

 

Yet, each person decided that “No” would not be the ultimate arbiter of reality.

 

Have you come up against any “No’s” in 2019?

Have plans and goals for 2019 been met with a NO?  

What can you do to gain traction on your goal beyond the NO?

 

 

Do you want to learn how to confidently live your life without letting other people’s NO derail your goals?

To explore how life-skills coaching can help you pursue and present you

with enhanced confidence – and joy

please contact me

  [email protected]

818-415-8115