How to Set Transformative Career Goals/Life Goals
Around this time of the year we tend to consider our life goals/career goals, and how to make sure they are meaningful.
First, let me ask you a question. Do you have this constant feeling that there is more to life? That something is missing? Something big is missing. If yes, then this article is for you. If not, then you are likely already on the right path and can benefit more from other articles/content on our platforms.
But If you do feel like something is missing, this is actually a common feeling. If you look around at everyone you know, you will notice that people lead 3 types of lives. You can call them many names. For the sake of this article lets call them miserable, mundane and meaningful.
Some people lead miserable lives of quiet or not so quiet desperation. They are dreading most of their days. Unfortunately, I’ve been there more than once in my life. And I am VERY sorry if you are leading this type of life now. I still remember with every fiber of my being how painful it was.
Other people lead mundane but somewhat content lives, where they are fine with their life but they don’t really enjoy it most of the time and they have a constant feeling that something is missing and/or they are on the wrong path. I’ve been there too. This place is much less painful but still not a place you want to be in.
And yet other people lead meaningful, joyful and exciting lives where they feel they are in the right place at the right time heading in the right direction doing the right work with the right people.
So ask yourself this: how does your life stack up?
Why people adjust their life goals/career goals?
I have thought a lot about why people adjust their life goals/career goals and dramatically change their life to move away from a miserable or mundane life towards a meaningful life. And the sad truth that I came to realize is that life usually hits people in the head with a brick and they get really close to losing it all, which forces them to make dramatic changes. I have never, NEVER, seen or even heard of anybody who just suddenly decided to transform their life without something external influencing them to make a major change.
Have you ever met someone who just woke up one day, redesigned their life goals/career goals, took consistent significant action towards achieving those goals and eventually transformed their life in a major way?
I have not.
And if this is true, if people will only change if life hits them in the head with a brick, we have a big problem.
First, when life hits us in the head with a brick, we may or may not get a true second chance. It may be too late to change or the path is unclear.
Second, many people never get life hitting them in the head with a brick strong enough so that they pay attention but not so strong that they can’t recover from it. They just continue to lead a miserable or mundane existence into the sunset of their lives. I see members of my family following this path. Clients as well.
And third, even if life hits someone in the head with a brick, there is no guarantee they will make changes. I have seen this too many times too. I am sure you did too.
So the danger I see for you is that if you are on the wrong path, if you do feel miserable or unhappy or barely content, you may end up following this path until it is too late. Life may never hit you in the head strong enough for you to notice or it may hit you in the head when it is too late to change.
And the opportunity I see for you is to be one of those rare people who will reexamine the life goals/career goals and take action. Take meaningful action. You can be someone who changes without external circumstances pushing you, without running the risk of losing it all or missing out on the life and career you could have, your family could have, because you never had an event to force your hand to make significant changes. And because you felt your life is long enough that you could make those changes SOME DAY.
Why you should take action NOW
If you don’t know my story, I shared it in detail in my bio.
I had two-second chances in my life. Both were health related. One occurred when I was 16 and one a few years ago, at the age of 32.
Both times I knew change was necessary before I became incredibly ill. Although, the first time around I was too young and silly to recognize all the lessons and make necessary adjustments that led to a quiet unhappy few years after the event.
The second time, maybe because I was older, I realized that it was life hitting me in the head, with a brick, saying, “hey, excuse me, what the hell are you doing? You have important things to do. Stop wasting time.”
The second time around I seemed to be more aware that I was on the wrong path even before the event happened. I knew I was not pursuing my life’s mission. At the time I accepted this way of living as a temporary problem. I thought I could stretch it for a few more years to save more money, to gain more skills and to become more financially stable. From a financial perspective, my career was going great. I was making way more money than most of my peers, yet I knew that was not my life’s work. And I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was wasting valuable time.
And even though I made an adjustment to be closer to my life’s work, I took on a new role just a few months before I got sick which was much more meaningful work (for me), life still made it very clear to me that the change I made was too little, too slow.
I was lucky to get a second chance in life, twice. And I am grateful life forced my hand to make the change that I knew was necessary but could not do fast enough by myself.
So if you think you are leading a miserable or mundane life, you should make a change without waiting for that life-changing event to force you into this.
Adjusting your life goals/career goals
Now let’s talk about adjusting your life goals/career goals.
The first thing I want to say, as you examine your life goals, as you think about who you want to be and how you want to live your life, don’t be realistic.
How many times in your life will you take significant action to change your life? Very few, if at all. It is a huge effort.
If you will set yourself on the wrong, or mediocre, path now, you may never again summon enough time, desire, strength, and commitment to change your life.
You may only get one real shot. You may not have the energy, desire, to do it again.
So my first advice is don’t be realistic. You deserve to give the best fighting chance to transform your career and life, in a meaningful way.
And, for you to have enough fuel to push towards change as hard as it takes, for as long as it takes, the change you are working towards must be something you really, REALLY want. It must be something that will keep you going when things will get tough.
Because they will get tough.
You need powerful fire burning inside you, something deep and meaningful. As you are designing your life goals/career goals, your vision for your life, settle for nothing less than going after your REAL dream. The thing you will regret on your death bed not doing. Do something that counts. Counts for YOU. Even if it seems silly to other people. Don’t settle on a vision that is uninspiring. You will just waste your time if you do. And you will likely give up midway.
You need to set your vision so that it demands all the best in you. You will have to work really hard, for a long time, to reach it. Your life goals must be so shiny, so exciting that you will look forward to the morning to work on it and make it happen. Something that will be so important that you will work on it on weekends and over holidays. It must be something that you would do for free.
In fact, it must be something you would pay someone so you could do it.
Questions to ask yourself when figuring out your life goals/career goals
Next, I think it will be helpful to share with you some questions you can ask yourself as you are setting your goals. I found these questions very helpful.
The first one is, what is your greatest dream? Be bold here. What is that thing you will regret on your death bed you did not do. Only you know it. Noone can tell you what it is.
Do you want to write?
Do you want to act?
Do you want to start your own business? If so, what kind of business, and why?
Do you want to write songs and perform them to millions of people?
Do you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company?
If you don’t know the answer, answer as if you knew what to say. Your best guess. Don’t go forward until you get to the answer.
Then ask yourself why. Ask yourself why 5 times to get to the core reason why you want to do something.
What is that one thing that will demand the absolute best of you? What is that one thing you would do if you had more money than you ever will need? What is one thing you would pay someone so THAT you could do it?
As you are well aware, we don’t know how long we have on this planet. It can all end tomorrow morning or in an hour, or in 40 years. What are you afraid of?
Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid. View it as a game. Steve Job’s quote comes to mind.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
You don’t know if you have 10 years left, 20 years left, a year or a day. What is there to be afraid of? Our days are numbered. We are not here forever. So let’s leave a mark. Let’s be brave.
Final thoughts on setting career goals/life goals
In fact, we developed our training programs to help you realize your potential and take action to design and build a life and career you can be proud of without waiting for life to smack you on the head. Our intention is not only to equip you with the necessary skills, insights, and strategies to succeed in your career / business and life, but to be a wake up call, a pivot point in your life to nudge you to the right path. The kind I wish I had before I almost lost everything. Our intention is to guide you to make a change that you deep down already know is necessary.
Because after all, if not now – when? And if not us – who?
I will wrap this up here. Please take a hard look at your life goals/career goals. Take a hard look at your life. Do you feel joy as you go through your days? If you don’t, take action now, while you still have time on this earth.
You owe it to yourself.
You owe it to your family.
You owe it to the world.
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