Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good question: What's the first step to creating a "vision" of what youwant?

Now that the real presidential election is over, pretend you are running. The office is "President of [your name here]'s Life".  Successful candidates paint a vision of what life will be like after they're in office. You need to create a compelling reason for you to win, an ideal vision for [your name here]'s life.

That's a problem. Visioning doesn't come naturally to grownups. We're rewarded if we think logically and realistically. Our self-censorship skills are overdeveloped. I was lucky to work with Chic Thompson, a recognized creativity expert, on a consulting project. Chic talked about studies that showed that creativity peaks when we're six years old, and then declines until we retire, at which point it starts to rise again. You're impaired when it comes to your ability to imagine your "ideal" life. So, naturally, you could use some guidance, right?

Why don't you start by being clear about what WON'T happen if you win? The easiest first step towards creating your vision is to spend quality time looking at what you've learned about what you DON'T like!

What do you complain about or avoid? What disappoints or frustrates you? What makes you crazy? Be as specific as possible. For example, "I hate working all the time" might mean, "I hate missing my kid's soccer games", "working past 6 every night stinks" or "I can't stand that I never get to have a relaxing dinner with my spouse".

Write it down. Articulating what you DO want can be kickstarted by the exercise of identifying what you don't. Block time on your calendar and make a good list. Bring it with you the next time we talk vision. To get exceptional results, you must be able to envision what they are!

Resource you might like: Laura Berman Fortgang is master coach who wrote a book called "Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction", available on Amazon.  I became certified in Laura's coaching program, based on the book, because I often meet lawyers who are thinking about career changes of some sort. This "what you don't like" exercise is in the book. It's not my purpose to teach the book in this forum, but I do draw from it and want to point you to more information.