On the last day of crappy weather this weekend I was nursing some sort of stomach ailment and talking with my best friend about all the things including Spring/Summer projects, dogs and the dream of moving to California in a few years.
We always have wish lists for Spring and Summer; but they never seem to get done. We usually come back to eventually we want to move so the overwhelming lists seems much easier to dismiss when we view it from the “I won’t be here forever” perspective.
And then my best friend said something in all her infinite wisdom. “So what if we lived like we want to then, now.”
So that beautiful vegetable and herb garden we envision we plant this year, of course minus the avocado trees. The peaceful flower garden surrounding the deck, surrounds it this year. That piece of peace that serves as inspiration for future goals become current reality.
It started to sink in. Then she asked a question that drove it home: “Why are we waiting – don’t we deserve it now?”
Well, double damn.
I drew out plans for the garden and herb garden. I made a completely new wish list and I didn’t skimp. I listed all the things I want done to create my own little world just the way I see it a few years from now. Some repair work in the house, painting, some building and lot of cultivating outside.
Of course my zeal was heightened because just last week my 21 year old son told me to make him a list. He wants to do any work his dad and me can come up with in appreciation of us helping him with school and housing costs. He doesn’t like taking money for free, he wants to feel like he is earning it.
Heck, yeah. First, I am proud that he has gone from a kid that growing up couldn’t grasp the concept of a trash can to a young man that wants to earn his own way. Second, he is a strong kid and honestly, I can absolutely use the help!
The conversation has stayed with me. As I began my “work week” I realized how this lesson wasn’t just for me. Too often I hear people talk about transitioning into new positions or industries to get start living a new reality.
The one thing that keeps dreams and goals from coming true is staring us right back in the mirror. We do it to ourselves by pushing those ideals out to the future. We see then as a complete package – we have to have the whole thing, in one big fell swoop, and that only happens in the future.
It happens now by changing our attitude and taking many small steps to get to that whole transformation.
That garden isn’t going to go into full bloom overnight. I see it in my mind a wondrous place that I can go pick tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and herbs to make fresh salads and bruschetta.
But first I have to till up the old soil, get rid of the top layer, build a fence to keep my tomato-stealing puppies out, build boxes for the herbs, fill in the right kind of soil, plant all the plants, weed, water, strain, get dirty and sweat a lot. Then, after time, it will evolve to my wondrous garden.
The first thing is knowing what that garden looks like. What is that place look like for you? Is it a new environment, more money, different responsibilities? What about that future place is going to make a difference?
What if you don’t know what that new place looks like? That’s ok. Think about what comes to mind when you think of a better future. Is it a certain feeling, like a feeling of accomplishment?
Either way, get an idea of what that new place looks or feels like and start implementing it now. Start looking at your current position in life and ask yourself, “What can I change here, now, to make it more in line with that next place.”
Wanting to learn new skills; look around where you currently are and ask to be a part of a new project. Partner with co-workers asking them to teach you something you don’t know. Come into work with a new perspective – as though you are new. Where can you make a difference, what can you improve?
I need to build a fence and gate to close off the garden. I have been researching, figuring out what materials I need, what tools I will need and how to put it together. I am not a carpenter, but I have the ability to research, learn and put it in practice.
Start living in that feeling of accomplishment now. Even if you cannot make a change today, look back at your day and allow yourself to see your accomplishments. How did you make a difference? How did you help someone, a co-worker or client, how did you make their life just a little easier? That is an accomplishment.
Start living that future now. See yourself in that role. If you were offered that position tomorrow how would you prepare for it today? Would you need any additional education? Sign up. Would you need more leadership experience? Start stepping up where you are asking for more and pay attention to how you treat people. Is that how a leader treats people?
Jim Croce sang about working at the car wash blues, he was an undiscovered Howard Hughes that sould be sitting in an air conditioned office in a swivel chair instead of rubbing bumpers with a rag and walking home in soggy shoes.
You may be walking in soggy shoes now, but start walking with the presence of where you want to be and pretty soon you will start seeing how what steps you need to take action on to transition from car bumpers to swivel chairs.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Brand Strategist & Career Coach
Certified Professional Resume Writer