Life is good; you have a good job, decent pay, and you do your work well. But there’s a rattle inside that will not leave you alone. You know there is more out there for you. You just don’t feel satisfied with your work — maybe you never have. And, you believe you have more to offer. You know you have a unique gift to deliver to the world, but you don’t have a clue what that is. Does this sound like you? This could all boil down to the way you’re thinking.
There are two ways of thinking: condition-based and vision-based. Condition-based thinking is focused on what you can do or have, based on your history, track record, and current circumstances. You are thinking from conditions if, when you consider or desire something that is a radical departure from what you have done or had in the past, you find yourself with thoughts like, “I am too old.” “I don’t have the experience or education.” “It is too late.” “I will do it when…” “I can’t because…” “It’s not a good time.” “It’s the economy. ” “This is what I have always done.”
Unfortunately, that often lands us right back to where we were — unsatisfied, burned out, and unable to express our true gifts. Vision-based thinking, however, leads to living the life you dream of: a life that you love.
Most of us have been trained to think in a condition-based way. Yet, if you have been leaving your soul at the door when you go to work; if you hate your job; if you feel a longing to express your true self through your work; or if it’s just time for a radical change in your work environment; then vision-based thinking is the only thing that will get you where you want to be. It starts with determining what you would love to be doing.
In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, Steve Jobs reminded us of this important message: “… And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Mr. Jobs was speaking to college graduates who were just starting their careers, yet this is essential advice for anyone seeking a job transition or career change. Vision-based thinkers follow this advice, and follow their passions. Here’s how to be a vision-based thinker:
Create a Vision of the Job or Career That You Would Love
You may know exactly what you want to do next with your career, or you may simply know that you want something different. That’s OK. Either way, use the following questions to create a vision of the career/job you would love. Try not to think about your current or past experiences when doing this exercise, but instead, think about your ideal situation.
- Environment: Are you working from home, in a small company, or at a large corporation?
- Solo or group: Do you work independently or with a team?
- Follower or leader: Are you in management or are you in a support role?
- Interaction: Do you interact via computer, phone, or in person?
- Travel: Does the position involve travel, and if so, how often, to where, and what do you do when you travel?
- In the limelight or the background: Does your position put you in the center of attention, or are you behind the scenes?
- Time investment: How many hours do you work and at what times of the day?
- Suits or jeans: What attire do you wear?
- Personalities: What do you love and admire about those your work with?
- Feelings: How does it feel to be in this position, doing the work you love, serving humanity, and delivering your unique gift?
Press the “Pause” Button
When you find yourself or your advisors basing your future job and career options on past experiences, press the “pause” button on the thought or idea. These are limiting beliefs that the only thing we can do is what we have done. The world of possibility and opportunity will not reveal itself if we are focused on what has been. If someone, anyone, has done what you would love to do, then why not you? It’s time to stop the thoughts that say you can’t.
Spend time each day reviewing your vision and imagine yourself in that position. It may seem like a fantasy at first. Press the “pause” button if condition-based, limiting thoughts come up. Allow yourself to play in the vision. Imagining and feeling yourself in the role you desire helps you embody the role and take ownership of it.
Follow Einstein’s wise advice: “Everything is energy. Match the frequency of the reality you desire and you cannot help but to get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.” We “match the frequency” by creating the vision and imagining ourselves in that position. It is not for us to figure out how it can possibly happen. It is our role to figure out what we would love doing. When we do that, show interest in it, pay attention to our vision, and stay open to the possibilities it provides, ideas and opportunities reveal themselves. The “how” becomes available.
As you go through these exercises, take action on them. Move in the direction of your vision, even if you are taking baby steps. Do what you can, from where you are, with what you have. As you do, more ideas and opportunities will show up. By thinking in a vision-based way about what you would love to be, do, and have, you can think outside of the box, instead of limiting yourself to what has already been done. By looking forward, you can discover, and then deliver, your unique gifts to the world through a life you love living.
If you would like some guidance with creating a vision of what you would love, I would be delighted to assist you with that in a complimentary one-hour Strategy Session. Click here to schedule your Strategy Session.
Tracy Williams is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.