The information technology driven world in which we exist results in us possessing the answer to virtually any question or the background to an individual we want to know more about, right there at our fingertips.
This can lead many of us to expect similar kinds of instant results from our lives. Life rarely works this way. For sure we can find ourselves in brilliant new adventures by developing the habit of saying YES to those left-field opportunities. The building of a completely new lifestyle though takes dedication and persistence.
This is exactly why so many of the that-doesn’t-work-on-to-the-next readers of success books (those loosely labelled as self-help titles) fail to follow through on their ideas and dreams. These people are often tantalizingly close to their wildest dreams transforming their lives, but as it does take time and effort, they quit. And it might have all played out so differently.
Expectation is clearly vital to change anything at all. Dramatic new lifestyles require equally dramatic new mindsets from us.
Building a house first requires firm foundations; it is precisely the same with building a future full of outrageously new big ideals. Only once the foundations are in place, in our case this would be having established what we genuinely want from life or indeed our lifestyle, then the real construction proceeds. Then we can go right ahead to see where this journey will take us and that is when the fun begins!
If we have always consistently done things one way and then suddenly change our focus this will take a while to show-up in our life. It is just how it works. To overcome often years of poor thinking does require a concerted, long-term effort on our part and the resultant Energy shift then gradually sees the transformation start in our daily life.
Think of it like going off to university—here though, the lecture hall is your own life.
You wouldn’t expect to qualify as a doctor in three months, becoming proficient at taking control of your own life is exactly the same. Mastery comes with experience. Learning opportunities will be encountered. You are educating yourself and your ongoing life is the lecturer.
Every time we overcome some deeply entrenched mindset that might have somehow limited our ideal lifestyle from existing, we are placing ourselves so much closer to its permanence.
THE RIGHT KIND OF EDUCATION
Say you adore cooking and are already a brilliant cook, everyone loves your meals and it is an established fact beyond any possible doubt. Your dream might be quite naturally to work within your labour of love and open a restaurant.
What steps to take next? The conventionally accepted route would take you off to catering college for several years to achieve a degree, to subsequently possess a certificate showing that you can cook. Yet that is already an established fact, so would it not be rather a waste of your energy, valuable time and more than likely a considerable quantity of cash?
A far more useful course of action would be to take a shorter, comprehensive business management degree and a food hygiene course. A ridiculously high percentage of restaurants fail within their first year and this usually has practically nothing to do with the quality of their cuisine. It’s about marketing, sourcing raw ingredients at the lowest prices and the bottom line or in other words making that all important profit! You are going to be different though, as you have studied business management you will be fully equipped to ensure right from day one that your restaurant is built upon solid foundations.
Looking for investors suddenly became way easier, with your business management degree you know exactly how to pitch and get their serious attention – and investment capital.
How many of us genuinely work within exactly the qualifications we achieved, I certainly never have and although body language has proved invaluable in my life, the kind of career choices open to me as solely a body language psychologist held little appeal.
The other point to bear in mind here is a dramatically high number of those high-achievers, I mean the mega successful entrepreneurs, who either dropped out of college or never went there in the first place. Their constant drive, enthusiasm and passion for the negotiating process and seeing through their deals, brings them amazing financial rewards. Yet for many of these tycoons, mega amounts of hard currency are only the happy by-product of working every day within a process they passionately love.
Far from being in any way down on education, what I am suggesting here instead is a kind of flexible lateral thinking. Of course, if you wish to be a doctor, lawyer, scientist or any of the other professions requiring dedicated study you need to go ahead to excel within education, earn your degree with first class honours and follow that dream all the way to its brilliant conclusion of working within your chosen career.
IS THERE A JOB AT THE END OF IT?
If taking the steps to further educate ourselves, we need to be sure there is a potential career we would love to be involved with waiting at the end of our degree.
Lisa spent three years studying philosophy, and a further two years getting her masters. I met her when I took my car in for routine servicing and she was working on reception at the garage. Do be sure when making the commitment to several years’ worth of study there are career options waiting at the end. Lisa is now looking for positions as a lecturer in philosophy, having realised her choice of study, while it certainly fascinated her during the process, left her with a narrowly limited number of career avenues open for potential employment.
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
The very career you would be thrilled to be engaged in right now might be hiding in plain sight!
This story perfectly illustrates the point. Pete spent all his spare time engrossed in photography. He worked in sales, he was good as well and usually topped the monthly charts at the company he worked for. It never really crossed his mind to do anything other than sales, after all it paid for his quite rich lifestyle. He came to my attention after the company he worked for ceased to exist, having been bought out by a mega-corporation with their own established sales team, Pete found himself unexpectedly made redundant. Although he might easily apply for and get another sales job, this abrupt interruption to his well-established routine served as a clarion wake-up call; and as he was now already in his mid-thirties, inevitably he wondered where he might be career wise when he hit forty.
Whichever way he considered his future, sales was definitely not the job he wanted to be doing for the rest of his working life. We looked around at other possible options for him. Asking him his favourite way to spend his down time, he replied playing tennis and photography. And Pete then continuously enthused for well over fifteen minutes (barely pausing for breath!) about some of his photographs having already been published in several glossy magazines. These lightbulb moments really do happen sometimes! We looked at one another and Pete burst out laughing. Right there, hiding in plain sight, was his future career. He already had a great portfolio of some high-end published work, with his sales-drive all he needed to do was search through the many thousands of photographs in his archive matching them up to suitable potential magazines and go right ahead to pitch to get them in there. Did he make it a success? You bet he did and more importantly Pete tells me he is happier than at any other time in his life; and still enjoys his rich lifestyle.
Dean Fraser is an entrepreneur, broadcaster, best-selling author, poet, stress consultant and positive lifestyle coach. He has been talking to and advising local authorities, businesses and individuals for over thirty years. Dean offers stand-alone talks and seminars on positive living; he is also available on a consultancy basis to visit businesses (and occasionally to individuals). He speaks at health events, educational centres and corporately—helping us all stay positive regardless and deal with any stress related issues. www.deanfrasercentral.com