Professional Career Coach
In 1992 when I was fired by one of my best friends, I was 39 years old and going through a serious midlife crisis. I knew I had the potential to be successful. I worked hard; I had a good education and was raised in a loving family. I grew up in a wonderful town and had many close friends. So how is it that with all the gifts that had been bestowed upon me, I was a satellite in the wrong orbit at age 39? The answer, I discovered, was that I wasn't taught how to identify the kind of job and career that would inspire me or my life. Once I learned how, my life changed instantly and forever!
Identify Your Signature LIFE Values
Values come from the heart and are immutable at the moment. Values are things that make you happy like freedom, financial security, your children, a loving relationship, good friends, health and so on. Yes, they may change tomorrow, a month from now or a year from now. But at this moment, your signature values are something you feel so strongly about, they can't be changed or compromised. In fact, they determine how happy you are at any moment in your life. And the word signature means that you have a hierarchy (a prioritized list) of values that are yours and yours alone. The only way you can find joy in life and in your career is to know what your signature values are; then, to work hard living harmoniously with them. For instance if you value health and are not healthy physically or emotionally, you can't be happy. If you value financial independence and are broke, you can't be happy. If you value a loving relationship and you are in a toxic and unhealthy one, you can't be happy. If you value peace of mind but experience constant stress, you can't be happy.
The challenge for most people is they simply aren't aware of their signature values. Believe it or not, most people don't know what makes them happy. When you drive a car and are holding the steering wheel, doesn't the steering wheel move back and forth continuously while the car is in motion even when you are going straight? The reason the steering wheel is always moving is because the car is always trying to go off course. If you don't continually move the steering wheel, you'll crash! The same is true for your life and your career. If you don't continually control your values which determine your happiness, you'll crash and burn emotionally! Every emotion you feel, every decision you make and every action you take is guided by your values. And here's what's exciting about your values. Though you may have 20, 30 or more values, there are only about six to eight that make up 90% of your happiness. This means that when you identify your top six to eight values and place them in a hierarchy of importance, you will then know precisely what makes you happy. You can then begin the process of living your life and selecting a career / job that is in harmony with your signature values. And when you live life and work at a job that is properly aligned with your values, you can't believe the joy you'll get out of every day! Life becomes an exciting adventure. On the other hand, when you live life in conflict with your values, you'll be constantly stressed out and unhappy. Life becomes a daily struggle.
If you wish to begin the magical process of being happy, answer the following question: What's most important to me in my LIFE that really makes me happy and that will significantly enhance the quality of my life? Plan to invest at least 2-3 hours on this. Ideally, you should be in a tranquil and relaxed environment. Let yourself feel all those aspects of life that would make you happy, provide meaning and bring joy. Then write them down. Recall times when you were the happiest. What made you happy? Think of times when you weren't so happy. What would have made you happy during those times? Think about all this and just write them down without analyzing or judging them. Then select the top six to eight that make the most difference. If you have been honest with your values, you'll then know what you need to work on and soon you'll begin to attract happiness because you have defined it.
Jay Block is an industry pioneer and one of the nation's leading career and empowerment authorities. He is the author of 15 career and motivational books. Visti Jay at: www.jayblock.com .
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