In fact, the first thing we should be doing is asking ourselves, "Are you even playing the right game?"
I see many executives who hit midlife having achieved their goals and yet admit they feel like they are living someone else’s life. Anyone feeling like this is often not living their values.
Becoming conscious of your values gives a strong sense of identity for you, your life and your career. If you have chosen a career that is a vehicle for generating money, but does not provide you with personal satisfaction, maybe it’s time to reconsider. Values provide focus and direction and give your desires more meaning.
So, how do you uncover your values?
Consider for a moment what lights you up. Get out a pen and paper and ask:
• What gets you out of bed in the morning?
• What do you love doing with your spare time?
• Where do you like to travel to and why?
• What films or books move you deeply?
• What makes you light up?
As you reflect you will begin to arrive at what is essentially important to you. For instance, you may rediscover your passion for activism and the environment, and decide to move to a more socially responsible organisation as a result.
Your core values are your internal, essential compass for satisfaction, fulfilment, meaning and purpose. When you act from your core values, you are operating at your highest level.
When you reconnect with your values, you may well be working harder but it won’t feel like it because you’ll be feeling more energised and focused on a goal that truly means something to you.
Connecting to your purpose
Ask yourself what do you really, really want? People with purpose are more driven, excited and energised about their life. There’s no easy check list for connecting to your sense of purpose, but what does help is giving yourself the physical and mental space to be still and just listen to your higher self, whether you call that your heart, your gut, your heart and soul or your spirit. Creating regular rituals where you decompress and tune into your inner wisdom will result in you eventually feeling that you can tap into your highest self’s voice whenever you need to. Many people who meditate get answers to very big questions in this space.
What’s holding you back?
Consider for a moment what makes you feel tired and lethargic. Get out a pen and paper and ask:
• What keeps you feeling stuck?
• How do you know that you are stuck?
• How often do you feel frustrated when you… ?
• What are your recurring self-limiting beliefs? (be honest)
• What has to happen to make a shift and detox these habits?
Sometimes merely admitting something is holding us back is enough to allow us to deal with it, whilst other times it may need more work.
Recognising that these are possible saboteurs and staying vigilant is a vital step in raising your game.
Help Yourself to Help Yourself
Finally, the most purposeful people I know all seem to have clear disciplines and rituals. If they are fit, they tend to have a regular gym routine, run or some other regular physical activity. They set aside time for studying, catching up on industry news and legislative changes so that it all becomes effortless and part of their daily life.
Anything you have achieved in life has come about through a regular commitment. It’s no surprise that regular routines and rituals can keep us in the game and playing at championship level.
Andro Donovan is the author of Motivate Yourself: Get the Life You Want, Find Purpose and Achieve Fulfilment