I have an amazing mentor that I am privileged to work with. I haven’t gotten much traction with this gig and we were talking about it and I rattled through the same list I always do—it never changes—and the truth is it’s a daunting list. Also true is that there are things on that list that can NOT be stopped. Things I can’t walk away from. But a truth I hadn’t considered is ways to shift it for the future. She planted a seed with one question, “Do you see yourself running reports in the background in three years?” That was a game changer. It opened up to the question, “What DO I see myself doing?” It made me look at some of the things I’m doing and how I can reshape them toward a future I do want.
The answer to the question about running reports is no, I do not see myself doing that in three years. I’ve been trudging along day by day making ends meet and surviving. And surviving is a lot of work. The work I do on a daily basis is rewarding (in the capacity that I can do it) but it isn’t me. It also doesn’t get me toward what I actually want. And that is where clarity comes in. Again, we’ve talked about that a million times. It’s like the piece I wrote the other day about reconsidering things: sometimes you hear something a million times but it takes hearing it one certain way at the right time for it to click. This clicked for me.
If we get really honest, we see how much of our day we waste with activity. When we break it down, we could all be doing something much more productive than what we do. Yes, I’m even counting when we are at work. I can’t tell you how many hours a week I spend in meetings that could be resolved with a five minute phone call or arguing for the same thing over and over again with departments that don’t understand. The truth is I don’t see myself doing that in three years either. And now, I am ok with that. I think finding the right question is what mattered. The last several months I’ve seen communication degrade at work and it is getting harder and harder to get a point across. People intentionally misunderstanding and wasting time because, at the end of the day, they don’t want to be doing anything either. So now we have to ask what’s stopping us from doing what we really want to be doing? How do we get productive over active?
We all have fear and do things that hold us back. My fear is that I won’t succeed, or that I wasn’t allowed to do the things I really want to do. How do you make a living doing that? What right do I have to create something like that and who the hell would want it? What do I have to offer that is different? The reality is, the message may be the same as a million other people but it doesn’t matter because there is someone who needs to hear it from you. YOU can be that click for someone. Sometimes it isn’t the message itself that needs to be shared, it’s the way the message is shared that matters. And that’s where our creativity comes in. We can all figure out a fun way to connect with people. It isn’t about being on trend—it’s about sharing what we know authentically. We’ve talked about figuring out what we want and determining how to close the gap from where we are many times. Sometimes we have to take our own advice. Get clear and get going.