We’re a twelfth of the way into 2015 already. I’ve written before about how fast time seems to be moving now I’m older, but maybe it’s me who needs to slow down.
Today, I’ve mentally reviewed my list of things to do for this year and assessed my progress – marked out the steps I’ve taken to achieve each item in turn and everything. And I’ve looked back over the last two years at everything I’ve wanted to achieve, and dug deep to try and uncover the reasons why they haven’t all happened.
Having just finished reading my second book of 2015, a nonfiction work by Napoleon Hill called Think and Grow Rich, I may have realised some things about myself.
I’m not normally one for self-help publications, and I generally prefer to read fiction. But this particular book was recommended to me and I thought it was time to read something grown up that might help me focus my ideas in terms of work. I’ve always dreaded the interview or appraisal question ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ and I’ve rationalised that dread by telling myself it’s because I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
But therein, I’m afraid, lies the problem. Not generally billed as a ‘self-help’ title, Think and Grow Rich ends with a brutal series of questions designed to help you conduct some self-analysis. And unfortunately I answered ‘yes’ to a load of the questions I should definitely have answered ‘no’ to.
Without a clear ultimate goal, it’s difficult to be heading anywhere really. Though having made a list of things to do in a year definitely helps. And it’s encouraging for me to see that one of this year’s items is work-related.
Reading back over a few of my posts, I seem to be able to talk the talk enough about positivity. However I’ve noticed that when it comes to some things I’m becoming increasingly negative, and that’s no good. So I need to be more aware of that and start checking and correcting myself. Challenging constructively is great, and can be a strong skill at work, but just being plain mardy is not pleasant for anyone.
Apparently, sarcasm is out too. Not sure where I’m supposed to go with that one really, but I know I’ll need to work hard to break the habit.
But being passionate about what you do is good. So is standing up for what you believe is important. And learning to take criticism, as well as graciously accepting a compliment, is critical to success too. And these are all part of becoming more confident, and are all things I’ve learnt about myself this week. All things that help to focus the mind, especially when it comes to your career.
Yes I have some things to work on, and I know I need to do it quickly. But I’ve realised that I do love what I do. Enough to want to do it long-term, and get better at it. I want to work harder, aim higher and be great at it. And that’s a massive step for me.
What’s made you really stop and think? And do you have an ultimate goal career-wise? I’d love to know what you think, and if you’ve always known what you wanted to do. Also, I’d love to get your nonfiction recommendations too!