Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Five word responses

While I was overseas, Paul wrote to me:
You want to be careful about getting caught up in the stories and circumstances of your life when you are making big transitions. If you find yourself rewinding the [Industry Conference] experience by recalling minute details of conversations and trying to figure out "what they mean" to you, you are "in your head" That won't serve you as you move forward. Analysis has its time and place, but, for now, you want to be focusing on your "Big Agenda," the things that make you feel good and the values you want to be honoring moving forward. Honoring your values will get you to the life you want much faster than analyzing the past.

When you are thinking about your career and [Industry Conference], discipline yourself to ask questions like the ones below: Five words or less on the answers. Your answers will remind you what your big agenda is, what is really important to you. They will also help you to get clarity on big decisions. Stories and circumstances rarely help with clarity. They often lead to open loops or analysis paralysis.
  • What do I want now?
  • What am I building?
  • Who am I becoming?
  • If I were at my best and had no fear, what would I do now?
  • What is the most powerful interpretation of the week I had?
  • What am I grateful for today?
  • How do I sabotage myself?
  • Why am I taking this action?
Remember, five words or less. The truth is always short and to the point. It is always in the moment. Never in the past or the future. It never needs to be defended or backed up with evidence or stories. It's just your truth and it always sets you free.
Yesterday, I sent him some responses:
  • What do I want now?
    • A career in [Applied Research Field]
    • A happy family
    • Stability, security, comfort
  • What am I building?
    • The foundation for the next 3-5 years
  • Who am I becoming?
    • My true self again
    • Happy, contented, contributing husband & father
  • If I were at my best and had no fear, what would I do now?
    • Start a consultancy for [particular subarea of Applied Research Field]
  • What is the most powerful interpretation of the week I had?
    • Ideas are the easy part; the work lies in following through.
    • I am not to be measured by the originality of my ideas, but rather by how I put ideas into practice, whether I thought of them first or not.
  • What am I grateful for today?
    • My wonderful, wonderful family.
    • The overwhelmingly beautiful relationship I have with my wife.
  • How do I sabotage myself?
    • By holding on to my sense of injustice.
    • By thinking that my choice to get a PhD was motivated by an end goal (becoming a professor) rather than simply the process of being a doctoral student.
    • By an unwillingness to move on.
  • Why am I taking this action?
    • Because I wish to choose my life.
    • Because I have found the role of seeking a faculty position to be rather unpleasant.
    • Because I will enjoy the role of seeking a career in [Applied Research Field].
Talk soon, eh?
Articulate
I think back to the top of the year, and my post "Welcome to tomorrow". My friend, WhatNow? asked "So what would striking out on your own look like?". The picture is beginning to emerge. I think this phoenix is about to rise.

3 comments:

Lilian said...

Good, I'm glad "the picture is beginning to emerge." Ours is still very fuzzy, or, I don't think it has been developed yet... (sigh).

apparently said...

"By holding on to my sense of injustice."

This is a tough one. I still feel ripped off, like I was duped in grad school, like the [academic] world owes me the perfect job, ...
I know I'm being irrational. I know I am being ungrateful, unreasonable, and ridiculous. But the truth is that it is hard to let go of that feeling, at least for me. Best of luck.

trillwing said...

Those are fabulous questions! I need to consider those myself.

I've been lurking more than commenting lately. . . Please know that I'm still here and cheering you on.