After awakening to the fact that I needed more clarity, I spent a bit of time thinking about what clarity meant to me, and how to create this clarity. On the job front, I knew what it meant. I think I had known subconsciously for a while, but hadn’t allowed myself to bring it to the surface. Now it was time to bring it to the surface. I had to identify exactly what I liked about working in my last job. Once I had that in mind, I had to find and/or recognize opportunities where I could perform the fun parts of the job. I’m sparing the details because they get pretty technical and hard to explain, but suffice it to say it’s a specific niche in the realm of computers and information technology.
Soon after I got clarity on this, I interviewed for a job with Lockheed Martin. During the interview, I could see this job is exactly what I wanted. Having had the clarity ahead of time helped me to recognize the things about this job that I would really like. A couple weeks later I received a phone call and an offer letter. The story doesn’t end there however. I had to make a decision of whether or not to seek a matching offer from my current employer. I’m fairly sure they would have worked with me. I had to again gain clarity on what I wanted. I put aside issues of money, drive time, vacation, and benefits. I focused on the job itself. Once I did this, it became clear that the new job is exactly what I wanted, and I was able to put in my notice without needing to consider any counter offers. So, I accepted the offer, and will be starting in January.
Clarity on the job front was one thing, but I knew that I also needed clarity on the personal side of my life also. For a long time, I have believed in setting personal goals. Every once in a while, I will sit down and jot some goals down on a piece of paper. Many of my goals have revolved around “stuff.” Things I wanted to have. While some goals were things I wanted to accomplish, but most were just about accumulating stuff. Things like new TVs, new cars or trucks, accessories for my Jeep. For a time, these goals were helpful as they were motivators to greater income or better financial management. Funny thing is, it’s only now, as I write this, that I look back and wonder if my goals could have been better.
As I was thinking about clarity and my goals, I recalled a great blog post by John at HiLife2B.com about setting goals. He wrote an article titled “When Stating Intentions, Be Specific.” Sure, that sounds like common sense, but he threw in a unique twist that I had never heard before. Take each of your goals and write a short story around that goal.
By writing a short story, you encase your goal in an environment, you give it life. You surround your goal with details and with dreams. It let’s you see how passionate you are about the goals, and if you share it with others, they can also share in the passion. This would work especially well when setting goals that may affect the entire family. The goal stories became a great way for me to gain clarity on specific goals.
Let me give a couple of examples of the goal stories as they relate to a couple of my own personal goals.
First, one of my “materialistic goals.”
I would like to have a Nintendo Wii
The goal story
I will save up some of my hard earned money to purchase a Wii, Wii Sports (with extra controller,) an extra nun chuck. I’ll bring it home and get it all hooked up right away. I will play some of those fun games with my wife and my daughter. We’ll wear ourselves out playing for the first couple of days. We’ll laugh and have a grand time.
And, one of my new “life enriching goals.”
To make a living by writing.
The goal story
After six months of blogging, I learn the secrets of the trade, and the tips to succeed. I launch my second blog about a topic I am passionate about (sorry, the topic is top secret for now.) This blog is more financially rewarding, and I begin to make an income from blogging. A few months into that, I start my third blog (also top secret for now,) and begin to see more financial rewards. Along the way, I piece together parts of Eden Journal into a best selling book. The book puts me over the edge of being able to support myself by writing. I am able to quit my day job and focus full time on writing.
Finally able to make a living by writing, which can be done anywhere in the world, I am no longer tied down (by my job) to any one place. I am free to travel. I purchase a nice, used RV, load the Jeep on a trailer, pack the family in the RV, and head off on a trip around the United States. My new freedom allows me to stay in any one place for as long or as little as I’d like. If I find an interesting town, I may stay for a while. I write from the road, free to explore. I, my wife, or my daughter is free to pick the next destination. We travel around in this manner, taking in all the sites and wonders that the US has to offer.
It’s easy to see how much better the goal is when surrounded by a story. As I wrote it, it makes me want it even more.
It’s also easy to see how much more useful and beneficial the life enriching goals are when compared to a materialistic goal. I am finding it a good way to evaluate my goals, and to see the big picture. I find it’s often easy to get caught up in the little picture, and the “story method” makes it easier to see the big picture surrounding your goals.
My challenge to you is to gain some clarity, identify some goals, and write a story around some goals. Let me know what you think of this approach.
Picture from rvfreak2.wordpress.com