Tell me your dreams

‘What do you want to do?’

I’ve sat across several managers and HR folks in my career who asked me this question. It took me until recently to begin to design my ideal career,  in fact my ideal LIFE. Because when you’re passionate about what you do, it is your life.

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Photo by Pai Shih http://www.facebook.com/SomewhereInLife (‘Crystal Ball’)

Part of making your dreams come true is to design what your life will look like in the new state. You cannot isolate it. You need to decide what days you’ll work,  how much vacation you’d like and whether you want to have time to volunteer at a charity for instance.

 

If you are thinking about your dream career, allow me challenge you. What does your dream life look like?  Draw it.  Tabulate it.  Scribble it on a napkin.

 

On a personal note, 2015 has been a surprise. I wrote my first business book,  which is out in the new year, something that a year ago,  I hadn’t expected  to achieve just yet. I’ve received incredible support,  I am completely overwhelmed.

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My book cover – out in print and kindle in Jan 2016

There have been many other wins,  big and small.  I planned my ideal life and it finally looks possible. Through great coaching by the amazing Clare McNamara at Move Ahead Global,  I understand the things that stand in my way. I also know that it’s all in my head. Like thinking that I need to have all the right answers to be an expert. I realise now that what I’m great at is asking the right questions.

Here are some considerations
for anyone hoping to make changes in 2016,  be it a dream to break away from a loveless career or to turn your passion into a venture.

You have something in you that when identified and nurtured,  will make you unstoppable. Unbeatable. Everyone has this. Sometimes it’s obvious. An incredible singing voice. An ability to draw or paint like Van Gogh. Other times, it’s less obvious. An eye for beautiful design. An ability to mediate in high conflict situations. What is in you?

You can do anything you set your mind to. The issue isn’t that you can’t make your dreams come true. It’s that you think you need to do it in a particular way. There’s no prescribed way to become an entrepreneur or a writer or an artist. Do it your way. Aside from working, what’s your ideal life:  School runs, coffee with friends, mid-week football, the local community hall meeting? Why not? It’s YOUR schedule! What do you need to be able to do to achieve your dreams?

Now it’s your turn to change things in 2016:

‘What do you want to do?’

 

Let the journey end here

When I started this blog, my purpose was to discover who I really was. I knew I was somehow stuck in second gear, occasionally revving my engine and inadvertently annoying other road users. I had hopes and dreams but I couldn’t see a way to frame them so that they made sense in relation to where I found myself at that time.

Don’t get me wrong. My life was good. I had a promising career, kids, a solid marriage and my health. But I was looking to fulfil higher needs, as Maslow would have put it.

This blog started with my MBA journey in 2010, going from engineering to business and picking up other interests along the way … like photography.

I’m pleased to say I think I’m figuring it out. I’ve decided to step out of a corporate career for now. I got an offer to do a part time doctorate and I have taken it. I’m relieved and nervous at the same time. I know teaching and learning have been passions of mine since…well, as long as I can remember. I’m excited about the possibility of an academic career and about having more time to influence my kids. Like I said, I relieved. It’s been a long and confusing journey but I finally feel like I’m on a platform that feels right. Indeed, it’s the first time that I’m not thinking with my head.

I’m not sure what more I’ll have to say on this blog. It appears to have served its purpose although I know I’m at the beginning of a different journey. I’m thinking, “different journey, different blog?” It would be comforting to write about my nervousness with the change I’ll no doubt undergo. It won’t be easy, and it won’t always feel epic. Without taking this leap, I’ll never know.

This is not goodbye blogging. It’s goodbye to the journey that brought me here. It’s hello to a new world, a new journey where I’ll feel more like me…

Novel Writing: NaNo, No NaNo

I clearly had no ideaParticipant-2014-Web-Banner what I was doing when I signed up to NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you that don’t know NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and runs from 1-30 November. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in one month.

In 2010 when I first participated, I wrote everyday. I remember it being really stressful but I had a novel on my head and I was stubborn. I got to 50,000 words by 28 Nov and that was that – I won!

This year I’m struggling. It’s my second attempt. I put it off each year since 2010 and now I’ve jumped in. The problem is I’m meant to be at 18,000+ words by today and I’m only at 8,000+. At this rate, I won’t reach 50,000 words till the first week of Jan 2015! It’s a mess – and totally unlike me. I don’t write everyday, which is a major cause of the lack of progress. When I do write, I feel like I’m writing pages and pages but when I look at the word count, it says I’ve done only 123 words. What??!

Anyway, I was hoping for some help. I have put to paragraphs here in the hopes that you will suggest how the story could go for a paragraph or two.

Excerpt  1:

“Why do you tolerate it, Mama? Why?” Gina felt her heart pounding and her hands shaking. She continued before her mother had a chance to respond, “He treats you so badly, Mama! I don’t understand…” Tears ran down Gina’s face. She had had enough. This was why she left home. “Gi, you will understand with time. Where we come from, women don’t just leave their husbands…” Her mother’s voice was gentle. “We women stay and fight.” She concluded. That was the day Gina swore never to marry anybody. She would rather die than live a life sentence.

Excerpt 2:

Bea and Beth sit in silence for a little while before Beth says, “if it makes you feel any better, I haven’t had sex in months!” Bea smiles and then starts to laugh. “Yeah it does make me feel better…” Bea reached for Beth’s shoulder squeezes it and says, “Thanks for being there for me. I have no one to talk to and with Gavin out of town…,” Bea cleared her throat, “I got a little overwhelmed with everything.”

“Any time, Bea…you know I’m here any time,” Beth says as an unpleasant memory flashes through her mind. She reaches for her cup and finally sips her lukewarm latte. Everything is almost OK in the world.

Can anyone help? What could happen next in either of the paragraphs? There may be prizes 😉

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