Creating Your Big-Picture Vision
While talking about whole-life vision might seem counterintuitive for a program that deals with career reinvention; it is, in fact, essential. One of the biggest causes of unhappiness that I see when people come to me is that there’s a conflict between the life that they want to live and the life that their job delivers.
(If that’s you, we need to get it fixed ASAP. If that’s not you, we don’t want you falling into that trap!)
Here’s the first big question to ask yourself: Why do I want to reinvent myself?
The key to this question is to keep drilling down and asking yourself: Why? You may say, “I need a new job because I’m bored.” Well, why are you bored? You say, “I’m not feeling challenged.” Why aren’t you challenged? Because “I want to learn a new skill set.” And so on.
Keep delving deeper and keep your focus on the positive. If you find yourself shifting over to what you don’t want, STOP! Use what you don’t want as a beacon to point the way toward what you desire. For example, “I don’t want to work 70+ hours/week anymore” leads to “I want to work 40 hours a week”.
This shift is a subtle but critical tweak. Creating a vision from a string of negatives is impossible. You’ll end up with a blank canvas instead of a brilliantly colored future.
Next, you’ll need to consider three categories of life, through the lens of three questions:
- Career/work: What do I want to do? Here’s where you think about finding a job or starting your own business. You’ll also explore the interests and passions you’d like to pursue as well as the skills you want to use.
- Personal/lifestyle: How do I want to live? This is the personal side of reinvention and covers your lifestyle. Here you’ll outline your financial requirements along with your family and relationship obligations. In addition, you’ll examine your environmental needs both personally (warmer climate? smaller house?) and professionally (work from home? go to office downtown?).
- Spirit/inner growth: Who do I need to BE? The vision you want to create is not just tactics; it requires you to grow to make it real. You must become the person who can live the life you want.
These are the three legs of reinvention. It’s like a stool; you have to find the level at which all three work. If you sacrifice one or two legs, the whole seat is out of balance.
Setting your reinvention goals based on all three areas allows you to sidestep the pitfalls of focusing solely on the job you think you want. Once you’ve got a holistic vision, you can then brainstorm the work opportunities that will support it.
Coaching Action Steps
Why Do I Want to Reinvent Myself?
Answering this question will help you understand your purpose in changing your
Describe Your Ideal Day
The best way to start creating a life vision is by imagining a picture of your ideal day. You wake up in the morning—where are you? What does the room look like? Who’s with you? Visualize every detail and make them real. You get up and get started with your day—what do you do? Do you have a leisurely breakfast with your family on a sunny patio, or go for a long run, or roll down to your home office to check out the latest headlines online? It’s your day start it the way that makes you happiest. Now you begin your work.
Don’t panic here! You don’t have to know exactly what work it is you’re doing! Just describe the qualities of the work life you desire: Do you leave for an office filled with people, or head off to a quiet writing studio in your backyard, or greet your small team in a sunny loft? Is the environment intense and invigorating, relaxed and laid-back, or creative and a bit crazy? For lunch, do yougo to a new restaurant with your co-workers, read a book in the park, take a quick bike ride? Continue visualizing the details of your day right up until bedtime, and write them down.