Words, Ideas, Stuff
Some ideas and thoughts, captured with the view to help you.
While writing a blog for Holdmine, this image really resonated and thought it would be relevant for Careering too.
Each dot reflects one month of life, and is mapped for a long 90 year lifespan. That means three rows on this is nine years.
Nine years seems so little when viewed on a chart like this. Yet when you think of all the change that can happen in nine years, it’s incredible. It’s October 2021 now, can you remember where you were in October 2012?
Facebook and Apple photo memories can help jog us to recall, but unless there was a milestone event then, most of us will struggle to recall the exact details of life in October 2012.
Can you pinpoint what you were excited about? Who made you smile? What worries you had bouncing around? What you hoped to achieve? What you dreamed of? Maybe, but also maybe not.
There’s a few things that stand out when pondering all of this …
The first is very topical with it being Mental Health Awareness week – our worries seem so significant in the moment. They can be all consuming, thanks to our brains being certainty seeking, negatively biased machines. We try to predict ‘what’s next’, see the warnings and stay safe in the moment. That’s the key isn’t it? To be in the moment. There’s some amazing resources on how to manage worry, anxiety and how to stay present, an area we are not qualified to comment on other than to direct you to a good Google search and a tonne of encouragement to value yourself and your wellbeing, and put the effort in.
In addition, the point here is that it’s unlikely any of us in 2012 expected that in 2021 we’d be experience life here in Aotearoa where lockdown levels, bubbles and borders were part of the vocab. It has created a massive shift in our sense of ‘what’s possible’ and also, naturally increased our level of fear and uncertainty. Many things that lifted us up are not available right now. Right now is one dot within one of the dots on this image. It’s one moment, in one hour, in one day, within one of those dots. So much can change.
Time heals. It really does. Whether the hurt is from a scathing performance review last year, a loss of a loved one, moving out of home and missing your beloved pet, or a breakup, the only thing that ‘heals’ is time. Not ‘heal’ return to how it was as if it never happened, it’s normal that hurts heal and take a new form, you’re not the same, you’ll live with what hurts and do things differently, hopefully for the better next time. Learn the lessons, take the photos, say the goodbyes, make the apologies, go home next weekend for doggo cuddles – whatever you need to do to embrace the version of you that now exists as a result of that situation, and trust you’re stronger each day.
It’s okay to change your goals and direction. Imagine if you started off part way through the sixth row, say age 16, and announced you’re going to be an accountant, that leads to a gap year and a couple of years at Uni. And then when you’re 23, you realise you’re insanely talented and passionate about environmentally friendly waste water treatment and kick off a training plan to pioneer new technology in that space. Look how many dots still lay ahead for you. If you stay on the accounting path, those dots will be filled with different experiences than if you back yourself to go hard for something you love. Whether you chose to do both, neither or just one of these isn’t the point – the point is there a lot of dots to follow, a lot of moments where you get to decide how you fill them. Decisions about career seem permanent but they not. It’s okay to do a couple of years in one field and move to another, and another, or stay in one and love it. Just know, you can change your mind, change your direction and succeed if you choose to.
It’s super important to reflect and celebrate how far you’ve come and what you have achieved. When we’re ticking off the goals and colouring in these dots, it’s natural to wonder what’s ahead. As Kiwi’s, we’re shockers at truly celebrating the wins. Not just the big first place, goal completed ones, but the almosts, the ‘learned a lot’, the ‘man I am happy’ moments. Taking stock and being grateful for all the good stuff helps you feel good now, and into the future. Those genuine moments of gratitude, and self appreciation add a lot of value to your life. Also, you gotta show up as your biggest cheerleader, only you know how you’ve had to grind to get where you are so high five yourself whenever you can! A Harvard health article says “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
We’ve looked back, we’ve been in the moment and celebrated, now we’re crystal ball gazing. If you’re to tick off three more rows, that’s nine more years. Imagine it’s nine years from now – October 2030. How are you investing your time? How does your day start? What leaves you fulfilled when you head to bed? What kind of person are you? Who are you investing your time and energy into? What is making you smile? Now … what are you doing about these things? Setting an intention is awesome, but taking positive action – that’s where the magic is. Get on with creating the character, the love, the life you want! It’ll be 2030 before we know it.
As Bill Gates says “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”