When I last left you we were working on a little self discovery. A big part of starting anew is finding out what you are really suited to do; not just what you want to do or are good at, but something that will be rewarding and meaningful.
That isn’t to say that you can’t go out and be whatever you want to be, but we live in the real world and not everyone is independently wealthy or capable of living on dirt, rocks, and rainwater. As you depart the service you have a whole new life to live, and the best way to live it is to have an idea of where you really want to go.
In the previous post I left you with four sheets of paper in front of you. It has been a few days, so you should have one sheet filled out with a list of things that you are good at and another with a list of things you are bad at. Go ahead an put those two sheets aside for now, but don’t lose them. We are going to need them in a few days.
Now take out the two blank pieces of paper. Our previous lists evaluated our skills, and today we are going to look into ourselves and evaluate what our desires are. These are not the same things as skills!
Here is why.
Everybody has had a job that they hated. Maybe it was delivering newspapers in the snow and rain, and maybe it was working in an office. You were probably very good at whatever that detested job was, but just because you were good at it doesn’t mean that you want to do it for the rest of your life.
So, as you probably have guessed, you are going to pull the first sheet of paper out and write this at the top in big, bold, capital letters:
THINGS THAT I LIKE TO DO
List out those things that you really enjoy. Not just work or professional items, but everything that you truly take pleasure in doing. Maybe it is fishing. Perhaps you love writing. Maybe you love the outdoors…or the indoors…or watching football. Your list is yours. Take some time and write things down that make you happy.
As you have probably also guessed, the next sheet of paper should have this written at the top:
THINGS THAT I HATE TO DO
Go ahead. Vent. It is good for the soul to actually put on paper those things that you absolutely despise. It doesn’t only have to be things that you abhor, so go ahead and include the things that you just don’t like. After all, you are in the driver’s seat of the car that will take you through the rest of your life, so why not make it a sweet ride free from the stuff you don’t enjoy? Think beyond the context of work – do you hate crowded places? Cigarette smoke? Broccoli? Whatever it is, write it down.
Take a few days to compose your lists. Have them handy and jot down things as they pop into your head. Sleep on it. You’ve got a few days until we take the next step, so go ahead and take your time. Write as much as you can! The more you vent the better you will feel, and also the more you write the more effective this exercise will be for your future.
Great idea for anyone looking to make a change or rework a five- or ten-year plan. Thanks, Mike! 🙂