September 4, 2014
I went through an exercise recently with a colleague and friend. We have worked together and been friends for years. We were talking about a bunch of things; life, work, family, goals, dreams, strengths, what we want to do with the rest of our lives. It was a great conversation.
Then he asked; “Are you clear what you want?” I thought he was asking a career question but it was deeper than that. He has two small children and his priorities have shifted. He no longer wants to spend the wee hours of the night behind his desk. He wants to spend time with his kids while his desire to do meaningful work is stronger than ever. But meaningful doesn't mean grinding in the trenches to climb a factious ladder.
False evidence appearing real
Last week, I had a similar conversation with someone I’ve known for years and we ended up talking about the same thing but in the context of our own lives and those around us. He said people are scared. They are scared to make mistakes, take chances, be bold, and truly be innovative.
We admire those who seem crystal clear on their calling, their goals, and their passions. Most of us perhaps just think we are clear. But it can be tough when mortgages and car payments and our myriad responsibilities can crush our day. Corporations often compensate people for being agreeable and not making a fuss.
Does it have to be that way?
To get clear, I think we need to stop thinking the answer is one crisp well crafted sentence. We can get clear by deciding what we don't want to do, who we may want to avoid, who could be a good fit, and how we want to spend the rest of our lives.
So reach out to two people tomorrow who will help you and tell you the truth and have that open conversation. Share that big idea you have, get some feedback, and ask them for one idea that may push it forward. Saying no is easy, finding out how is where the work resides.
Let’s get clear. Let’s ask for help. Let’s be open for answers.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit