The journey into doing what you love is not all airy-fairy. The beginning can be downright tough. It takes strength, discipline and an unwavering commitment. Imagine a large boulder sitting right in front of you and you need to move it to get started with your business and on your path.
In the beginning you need to clearly set your vision and become focused intensely on self-awareness: taking stock of your strengths, your interests, what you are good at and what you are not. You commit to being authentic with yourself, knowing yourself so completely that you become immune to self-deception. In the first stage, the formulation stage, you define your vision and become self-aware saying, ‘This is who I am, this is where I am going and this is what I’m about.’ You begin the creation process.
In the second stage, the concentration stage, you need to give a concentrated amount of energy to make it happen. It is a time to prove to the Universe that you are committed and that you mean what you say. This stage is about discipline. If you say you are going to make ten calls today, you make ten calls. When you don’t feel like it, you make the call anyway. You show confidence—you tell the world ‘watch out, I’m coming, don’t mess with me. I am absolutely the right person to make this happen.’
The concentration stage is no fun. During this stage, you’re pushing the boulder, but there is inertia—total resistance—at first. The boulder hasn’t moved for a long time, but you need to push it, drive it and not give up. You may feel like you are fighting the Universe because you put a lot more energy out than you get back. You’re working hard, yet there are not a lot of results. It takes grit, determination, strength of will and persistence. You don’t see much progress in the beginning, but you keep your shoulder to the boulder and keep pushing. You refuse to become a victim and insist ‘I will make this happen. I’ve got the power. I can do it.’ Eventually the boulder will budge and begin to move. Slowly at first. But keep pushing, concentrate on pushing.
In the third stage, the momentum stage, the boulder gradually begins to move. It generates momentum and begins to take on a life of its own. Things start happening and you begin seeing the fruits of your labor. At this point the boulder moves without much effort. The forward movement is exciting and motivating. You experience the beginnings of success. The secret to continued success, however, is to keep pushing—calling, networking and managing so that the boulder doesn’t slow down and force you to overcome inertia again.”
Moving a boulder takes equal amounts of vision and discipline. Your vision must be strong enough to inspire you when the going gets tough. And you must have discipline to overcome the obstacles on your path. The moral of this story is that when you feel like there’s a massive boulder in your way – the only way to gain momentum is to power through.
Excerpted from Professional Destiny: Discover The Career You Were Born For, by Valerie Hausladen, now available at amazon.com. She works with individuals and companies as a professional coach and consultant. Formerly, Valerie was Managing Director of the Austin office of WPP’s global advertising agency, Enfatico, President of Tocquigny Advertising and a former executive at Dell. She frequently blogs about her favorite subject of helping people discover the career they were born for, and shares inspiring stories of those who joyously reinvented themselves at her site: www.professionaldestiny.com.