You may have noticed that my site and blog have a new tagline that encompasses the work that I do: Drive. Align. Shift. It is a bold statement showing the progression we should all take to have a successful life. I have developed new courses around this concept to help you take the necessary steps to be fulfilled in all areas of your life.
Drive with Purpose.
Some people aren't even on the road. They just blindly go through life and let it happen to them instead of taking some responsibility. The easiest option for these folks is to complain about their job, house, spouse, kids, and everything else in between. Instead of looking at everyone else and every other circumstance, they should look within for the source of their problem - thinking that a lack of action will lead to change in their lives.
Believe it or not, this used to describe me many years ago. I've made a lot of changes in my life to get to where I am today. If you're interested in making a change, you have to make a commitment to Drive with Purpose.
Make no excuses. Get on the road and do something. If you're not driving, you're not living. Remember, though that navigating does not equal complete control. There are some things that you have to leave up to the Universe, but you must be a willing partner in order to move forward.
Align Your Goals.
Once you're driving on the road, you will have some work to do. Again, there are people who think it's good enough to just be on the road and watch everyone else. They have a false sense of security where they are and convince themselves that they are happy with life as it is. Usually these are the people who avoid changing their course and don't even bother setting goals.
I remember the times when I was frustrated with goal-setting because I was failing at my goals or it was taking too long to achieve them. If you want a better goal-setting and achievement strategy, you have to focus on how to Align Your Goals in all parts of your life.
It doesn't make sense to have goals that don't connect. We all have different roles that should connect and make you who you are. Goals that you make for each of these areas should complement each other. Also, you have to keep in mind that you may not achieve all of your goals in the way that you're expecting. Sometimes you Drive with Purpose and set a goal that is on-mission, but you don't reach that goal. There are other reasons for going through that experience.
Shift Your Perspective.
After being on the road for awhile and making some changes, the scenery will start to look monotonous. You've become familiar with the typical challenges you face and know how to overcome them. You hang around similar people and just breathe in each others' fumes. This is the time to really break out of your shell and do something different with your life.
I have been comfortable with my life at different times in the past and was afraid of making a change that could bring even more success and happiness. If you're content with where you are, but feel that more fulfillment could be just around the corner, your next step is to Shift Your Perspective.
Shifting involves doing a lot of inner work. You have to continue to let go and see the lessons in life as a way to allow you to see more of the world. Your purpose becomes clear. You see your life as an example for others. It can be scary to challenge some of your long-standing beliefs, but this is the only path to true growth.
I'm sure you saw yourself in at least one part of this progression. Check out my upcoming courses in the Drive. Align. Shift. Program. I would recommend starting from the beginning to get the most benefit from the program.
While driving around town this weekend, I was observing how some folks behave on the freeway. We all tend to think the left lane is the fast lane. We don't have to deal with exits. There's only one other lane next to us where cars can merge in and out. In the midst of a traffic jam, there were folks that were insistent on staying in the left lane even though the other lanes were moving faster.
We tend to follow a similar herd mentality in the workplace. We listen to "experts" and take the usual path to achieve success in our careers. When I was in graduate school talking with my advisor about taking a leave of absence, I remember he asked me what I wanted to do instead of continuing in a scientific field. I mentioned my interest in computers and without skipping a beat, he told me how I would have difficulty in that market. He proceeded to recount a story about another graduate student that went into that field and had a lot of challenges. Hmm, interesting. I won't bother to comment further.
The herd mentality might involve following a typical path, like an executive management program in your company. Or if you're a business owner, it might look like marketing your business the same way as others in your field. Going against the grain is often discouraged.
What would happen if you tried doing one thing differently from the rest of the herd? Every breakthrough or invention happened because someone decided to try something different. This is true in the sciences and every other field.
I've found that not following the herd brings new opportunities. If I had let that graduate student advisor convince me not to follow my interests, I wouldn't be sitting here blogging today. It's been an interesting journey with some challenges, but nowhere near as complicated as he tried to lead me to believe. I changed lanes and feel better for it.
On Friday I watched the first episode of the new show Undercover Boss. For those that haven't seen it, it's about high-level executives anonymously taking on the role of the worker bee within their company. Friday's show followed the COO of Waste Management, Larry O'Donnell. One employee's story was particularly moving.
In this episode, Larry's first task was to pick up trash on a windy hillside. The employee that was helping him told him that he should be able to fill three bags in 10 minutes. Larry had difficulty filling up even one bag and realized how hard the task was.
During lunch, Larry had a chance to talk with the employee about his life. He found out that he had a medical condition that should have made it difficult for him to be as productive picking up trash. Larry asked how he was able to work so hard. He responded with (and I'm paraphrasing here):
It's my body that has that condition. I don't let my body tell me what to do. Instead, I listen to my Spirit.
What a great (and unexpected) message. We all have challenges in our personal and professional lives. It was nice to see someone doing a self-proclaimed "not-rocket-science" job that understood his current role in life. He took his job seriously and did the best that he could, in spite of his condition.
What adversity have you had to overcome in your professional life in order to succeed?
Note: I'll update this with the employee's name and other details soon. For some reason, the CBS site won't load the video.