Now that our oldest kids are getting close to high school level, it has become more and more important to me to get them starting to think about what they might want to do when they finish school (university aside).
I am sure they would roll their eyes if they heard me mention the phrase dream big again!! It is something they have heard me utter off and on for the entirety of their young lives. As much as I often blather on about this topic, something else that I have spoken to them at nauseum about is the act of setting goals.
In the time that I have been travelling around the world doing training courses and consulting with different software groups, I am constantly astounded at the number of people who have never really taken the time to identify some things that they want to accomplish with their life personally and professionally.
Some of the first questions that I often ask new students are the following:
- How long have you been a computer programmer
- What is a big take away you would like to walk away with this week.
- What is a 5 year personal goal that you would like to acheive
- What is a 5 year professional goal that you would like to acheive
The last 2 questions often have people stumped for an answer. Most of the time this is because they have not really taken the time to sit down and determine what is is they are doing! It does not mean they are not happy with their current situation, it just means that the path they took to get there and where they are going from there is really a process that I call “sleepwalking”.
One of the things I have realized as I continue along this amazing path of life is that as life changes, so often do some of the goals that you set for yourself. What seemed important at one time can suddenly without notice become something that drops off your radar withouy you giving it much of a second thought. Goals are just that, they are waypoint markers that guide us softly toward a destination, there is no guarantee that we may not choose to change our direction mid voyage.
Maybe you are reading this right now and you realize that were you asked the 2 questions:
- What is a 5 year personal goal that you would like to acheive?
- What is a 5 year professional goal that you would like to acheive?
You might be hard pressed to actually come up with a response!!
Let me challenge you with something today. I want you to sit down and write down a list consisting of some things that you would like to accomplish both personally and professionally in the next 5 years. As you are thinking of your list of things, I want you to not let you mind be clouded by the current situation you are in. I want you to imagine that the things you wanted to accomplish are right there in front of you just waiting for you to take possession.
It might feel like a silly exercise at first, but speaking from personal experience, it can be a very powerful exercise that allows you to really solidify for yourself the things that are really important for you to see manifest. Once you have the list in place, you can start dreaming about ways that you could see those scenarios playing out.
For myself and my wife, we did something very similar to this when we were both 19 (I’ll share the details of this in another story!!). Let me just say that the process and the results of going through that exercise became pivotal for us both. This is why I have such a passion for challenging people on this concept of just sleepwalking as I feel that you are not really living up to your full potential when you just let life happen accidentally.
Having talked and shared with countless people about their own experiences of dreaming big and setting goals, I am absolutely convinced that it is an activity that everyone should take the time to participate in.
This is not about “Where you want to go today” it’s about:
Where you want to head tomorrow!!!