Do you often wake up in the middle of the night and wonder whether your life makes sense or where you’re headed?
If you feel as if you’re just wandering along on your life’s path with no real sense of direction, it can be difficult to know what course correction(s) you need to make to make sure you don’t find yourself at the end of the road only to realize that you’re nowhere near where you thought you would be.
If you want more clarity, imagine yourself on the winding path shown above. Now, without thinking about it too much, ask yourself where you’re headed. Are you moving toward something GREAT? Is your direction purposeful and well-thought through? Is it something you really want? Does it feel great? Are you enjoying the journey? You’ve worked hard along the way….you’ve gone through a few pair of shoes and navigated some broken sections. You’ve met some cool people who’ve cheered you along your path.
Or, when you think about that winding path, do you realize that you’re actually running as fast as you can AWAY FROM something?
It’s the pain or pleasure syndrome. Too often, we spend most of our limited time and energy moving away from things that cause us stress or anxiety. You keep a low profile at work hoping the boss won’t notice that you’ve lost interest in your work or resent the fact that the promotion went to someone else. You ignore your finances even though it’s limiting your ability to start a business or relocate to another part of the country. You avoid taking a stand for what you believe in.
We stay more connected to our smart phone than we do about our plans for the future. Our fear of failure or looking stupid has us scurrying away from new opportunities and new connections. Rather than putting ourselves out there and stretching a bit, we keep moving in the wrong direction.
And time flies and the years pass you by. And you think about where along your life’s path you should have changed direction and started moving toward something bigger, bolder, or more positive and inspiring.
Before you make a mid-career transition, it’s a good idea to take the time to pull out your life map and figure out whether you need to plug in some new coordinates. No, you may not yet know where you want to go. Yet staying stuck takes up lots of psychic energy. At the very least, start each day by telling yourself that you may not know what’s next or right for you but you’re OPEN to possibility. That you’re open to at least kicking the door open a tiny bit and letting in some fresh perspective.
One way to reorient your sense of direction is to describe your IDEAL day. Sketch it out in great detail. Work on it for a few days or a week. What time do you get up in the morning? Where do you live? How do you spend your time? How do you feel? Are you working? If so, what are you doing? What are you earning? How do you spend your free time? Have fun with it. Focus on WHAT you want and not HOW you’re going to get it.
THIS WEEK’S CALL TO ACTION:
Answer the following question from Danielle LaPorte’s book–The Fire Starter Sessions: When do you feel powerful, passionate, free, incredibly useful, excited, inspired?