In my previous blog 'You Gotta Ask Yourself Some Questions' I asked six questions which should have stimulated some reflective thinking. I'm going to ask some more questions here and you'll need to refer to your previous answers, so find that notebook and get going. The elephant picture will make sense, just keep reading, this is leading somewhere I promise!
1. From the list of the things that make you feel alive, how much time do you spend each week doing these things?
Beside your list literally write the number of hours on average you spend each week doing these things.
2. From the list of things that drain you of life, how much time do you spend each week doing those things?
Once again literally write down the number of hours on average you spend doing these things
The balance between those lists should be eye opening. If the bulk of your time is spent doing life draining things then it is no surprise that you are not fulfilled or feel in your element. All of us have to do some tasks that are less than thrilling, but if your list of things which bring you joy has only a few hours beside it then you need to consider making some changes.
3. From the list of what makes you angry, can you work out why these things anger you and can you identify areas where you could be part of the solution to the issues?
Usually the things that anger you have some personal trigger. Maybe you experienced an injustice in that area in the past or someone close to you did. Sometimes you can feel helpless to do anything other than have rant about it occasionally, but I believe there is always something you can do. Maybe a letter to a local politician or a discussion with another 'official' would be a place for you to get your views across. perhaps you could assist in fundraising or raising awareness concerning the issue. If your anger tends to be destructive then look at the deeper issues behind it and resolve to seek help to manage it in healthier ways.
4. From your list of what hinders you, are you able to identify ways of moving forward?
Sometimes it’s about being courageous and just taking a step to do something new. If you want to improve your fitness but are too fearful of joining that class by yourself then try asking a friend to go with you. If it's a financial obstacle then you could talk to someone who is experienced in that area and see if you can put a manageable plan in place to deal with it. Solutions often become more apparent when we talk things through with someone and the act of opening up can make the obstacle seem smaller as our perspective on it often changes.
Plenty people have raw talent but without adding skill to that talent they never progress. There are simply loads of ways you can learn these days. Sometimes it's as simple as reading a book or watching an instructive youtube video. Another really effective way of improving is to connect with others who share your passion. Not only does learning within a group context heighten your skills, it can also be a lot of fun!
6. Finally, look at your ‘dream/ambition’ list and ask yourself 'what you can I pursue right now and how can I do it?'
Obviously you need to consider your current life circumstances and responsibilities first, but I can’t state emphatically enough how important it is to make some movement in the right direction. We often look at the gap between where we are and where we aspire to be and become overwhelmed. However, as the saying goes, 'the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time'. Your brilliance is way too precious to stay locked up or dormant so even if you can't quite handle acting on all of these questions, pick just one, square up to it and take that first bite!