Each morning brings with it a multitude of choices – big ones and small ones. The choices you make add up to who you are today and who you will be #GoOutAndBe.
The best part? You don’t have to be who you have been till now – you can choose to bring about a change and work towards becoming what you want to be. After all, the way you live your life today will determine the quality of your life tomorrow.
Swedish singer Darin in his song, Be What You Wanna Be, says it all: “Doctor, actor, lawyer or a singer; Why not president, be a dreamer; You can be just the one you wanna be…”
So how do you “be what you wanna be” and not what others want to see?
#1 Begin by working backward
Our growing-up years teach us the importance of linear progression. However, inverting the process often offers unexpected results. In an article in Forbes, Christine Weber, a clinical neuropsychologist in Seaford, N.Y., says reversing the order of one’s approach “forces the brain to think in a different way — it’s a rewiring and changes the focus”.
Try: Decide what success means to you and figure how much you really need to be happy – money, work hours, vacation time, relationships etc. – and work towards that.
#2 Don’t go with your gut
The traditional advice you get is to “go with your gut”. But in an article titled Don’t Trust Your Gut in Harvard Business Review, Eric Bonabeau writes that scholars of human cognition “have shown that our thinking is subject to all sorts of biases and flaws, most of which operate at a subconscious level—at the level, in other words, of intuition”. So while your gut works well in certain situations such as when you are in danger, it is poor when it comes to working out things like how you need to pace your career or how fast a business will grow.
Try: Instead of relying on our gut, go investigate the options that seem interesting and the right fit for you. Doing is learning.
#3 Narrow down the options
Exploring is well and good, but it’s not really possible to try every single option. Whittle down your long-term options to a shortlist by working in a systematic manner. Pro-and-con lists may work really well in the movies, but in real life they usually only rationalize what you may have decided on.
Try: Make a list of options and score them on relevant criteria like personal fit, job satisfaction, long-term outlook and other factors that matter to you.
#4 Test your options
For those considering something new, there’s a better way than taking a headlong dive into the pool. Test your new idea without letting it affect your career – spend a day with a friend who’s doing your dream job, meet up with people in the field, take a relevant online course or consider a part-time engagement.
Try: Taking on a freelance project will help you learn more about whether the new field is the right fit before you switch lanes completely.
#5 Play to your strengths
Too many of us spend lives trying to work on our weaknesses when we could be mastering our strengths. Every person is born with a set of inherent skills and passions, and relying on them to get ahead is a better idea than focusing on what you are not so good at. Marcus Buckingham, author of Now, Discover Your Strengths: The One Thing You Need to Know, and Go Put Your Strengths to Work, writes the “earlier in life that you begin playing to your strengths, the more opportunity you’ll have to develop and enjoy your unique abilities”.
Try: Know your strengths, and work on a plan to build on them. Over time, this will add greatly to your core competence.
#6 Build flexible career capital
Across the world, CEOs and CIOs believe that the most successful employees are the ones who are able to adapt to change. Work on your career capital by stepping outside your comfort zone and learning skills such as the ability to multi-task, speak a new language, work with different teams, and be hands-on with most computer applications. Being flexible will ensure that you can work your way through the toughest of times.
Try: Network to increase your career capital – look outside your functional role, the organization and the industry for new connections and links.
#7 Eat, sleep & breathe success
Renowned author and speaker Eric Thomas, in his now viral Secrets to Success speech, told Michigan State University students: “I’m here to tell you, No. 1, that most of you say you want to be successful, but you don’t want it bad, you just kinda want it. You don’t want it badder than you wanna party; you don’t want it as much as you want to be cool. Most of you don’t want success, as much as you want to sleep!” Eating, sleeping and breathing success is the easiest way to becoming what you want to be.
Try: Success is an internal mindset as much as an outward experience. Work on becoming the best possible version of yourself by setting yourself doable short-term and long-term goals.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they train themselves to make the best of everything.
The time to be what you want to be is now! #GoOutAndBe. Millions of Jobs. Find Yours. Upload resume now.