“Why am I not happy?” “Why is life a struggle?” “Why doesn’t work, work?” We probe our soul with questions like these, but we will never hear the answers if we don’t take time off in our hectic days to listen. Unless we slow down and take a deep breath, we cannot hear the subtle responses that come from within.
As we get older, the questions about the nature and quality of life come up. By then, though, we are so mired in the car payments and the mortgage and the daily routine, and we are so used to looking for answers outside ourselves, that we fail to recognize the simple truth: We need to find enough quiet space so that we can listen to the answers locked deep inside. We need to stop and let them surface.
Once we take that time, we can reflect on all we have done and all we hope to do, and decide if we are living the life we want or if, instead, it was programmed for us by others. Only then can we listen to our own voice, our own intuition, our own inner wisdom. Only than can we tap into our inherent skills, talents and inner creativity, which form the work for which we were individually designed. Then we will truly reap the rewards of joy and fulfillment as well as a paycheck.
Afterward, when we go back to our busy life, we find that we are whole beings again, not walking machines. If we have chosen to take a break from our careers, the work we choose when we return will be right and satisfying.
Regardless of how we use it, time goes by and then it’s gone. The combined power of every ruler in the world could not change that by decree. So, in the end, the only thing that counts is how we used the time. Is what we’re doing meaningful enough that if we were still doing it 10 or 15 years from now, we would be satisfied with that?
If you just keep going the way you are, ask yourself what you will miss and how it will affect you and the ones you love. If you are losing some of your spirit every year, what kind of husband, wife, father, mother or friend will you end up as after half a lifetime goes by? If you need to take time off to stop the downward momentum, isn’t it worth it?
It takes time and perseverance to find the work and life of your dreams. Here are some characteristics to cultivate that will support you:
Vision — great clarity about what you want. Describe your vision in detail and visualize yourself in your new condition. The more you do this, the more possible, even probable, it seems that you will get there.
Strong intention — determination to get what you want. Pursue your goals when you are thinking, writing, talking, exploring, reading and being, as well as in your actions. Be resolute that you will achieve your objectives. Stay focused and don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.
Unwavering belief — a belief so strong that it stands up against challenges. Other people, sometimes believing they are being helpful, try to persuade us to be realistic, meaning that we shouldn’t aim too high. Successful people keep their goals high and their expectations inline. People may tell us we are being a dreamer. Successful people are practical dreamers. They have dreams, and they figure out how to make them come true.
Action approach — know what you need to do and do it. If a person wants to drive a car, he gets behind the wheel. To dance, he moves his feet to the rhythm. To find a new job, career or better skills, he researches his options, decides on a plan and implements it. Everything requires movement. Moves toward your goals.
Focus — stay on course. Don’t stop on the way or get sidetracked by fear or the myriad other things that hold one back. Even the best get waylaid now and then, but those who are sure of the path they are on don’t let themselves procrastinate for long. They just put themselves on fast forward and fly.
Faith — truly believe you will get it. Know it is just a matter of time. If things don’t move as fast as you would like, if something goes wrong, if you get unavoidably sidetracked, it doesn’t have a permanent effect. When you fall off the horse, simply get right back on.
Gloria Dunn, President, Wiser Ways to Work, Speaker, corporate trainer,
retreat facilitator, organizational behavior specialist, consultant.
Develops winning corporate cultures by teaching leaders to lead, managers to
manage, and work teams to play. Author of “From Making a Living to Having a
Life.” You can reach Gloria at gloria@w… or