Ernie Zelinski said, “To get what you want out of life, you’d better be clear about what you want.”
I’d go one step further and say you’d better be equally, if not more, clear about what you don’t want.
I believe in the power of intention (don’t worry, this isn’t a woo woo post, so stay with me). In 2015, while I was job hunting, I confidently asked the Universe each day, “Please bring me my perfect job.”
I was clear about what I thought I wanted: a 100% remote position that paid a reasonable salary and provided independence (meaning I wouldn’t be micromanaged). However, it never occurred to me to consider what I didn’t want: no support, no adequate training, a “throw-you-to-the-wolves,” sink or swim attitude shared by my managers and so-called mentors.
And within just a few months, the perfect job arrived–and I hated every minute of the five months I stayed in that job. Why? Because that job checked every box not only on my do-want list but also on my don’t-want list–although I didn’t even know those boxes existed until I took the job.
One of my favorite book titles (not to mention favorite books when it comes to job hunting) is I Don’t Know What I Want But I Know It’s Not This by Julie Jansen. One thing she said really resonated with me: “It takes much more psychic energy to do something you hate than something you love.”
Another box checked. It’s much easier to show up and do whatever needs to be done when you know that what is most important to you AND what you’re simply not willing to do is being addressed.
But where to begin?
Identifying what’s in your best and highest interest, regardless of your present circumstances, starts with taking stock—identifying your needs and wants, values, natural abilities, passions, interests, and skills—in order to align your present circumstances with what matters most to you.
Why is taking stock so important?
Because your ability to make informed choices about anything you must do, you would like to do, or you are even willing to do depends on who you are as an individual.
Only you can know what will work best for you. Only you can know what you truly need and want your life to include and what you’re willing to do to meet your needs and wants.
When you can confidently state what you want, why you want it, and what you’re willing to do or even try to do, you free yourself to at least consider alternatives. Ideas that might not have occurred to you in the past now might occur.
So why did that 5-month job turn out to be so perfect? Because I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. The next time I confidently ask the Universe for what I think I need, I’ll be equally confident about stating what I don’t need.
Interested in doing a deep dive into your needs, your wants, and what is most important to you right now? Check out my book, Will Work to Feed Dogs. The focus is on helping you recognize or reaffirm what you already know about yourself, whether consciously or unconsciously, and will provide you with a framework within which to make more meaningful choices and take consistent action. Available in ebook and print from Amazon and Smashwords.