I have suffered from the guilt and frustration of not being able to achieve my life goals. There have been times when my professional and personal development goals seemed absolutely impossible. As I evaluated myself more, I realized that none of these goals were out of my reach. It was my personal habits that prevented me from achieving them. Slowly, I started to correct myself. I must admit that it wasn’t easy.
Some habits get engrained in our minds. Overcoming such old habits took time and some serious effort. Now, I have conquered the habits that once prevented me from growing as an individual. Following are some habits that you too should inculcate to achieve success:
1. Learn to Face Your Fears
Many times, we choose our career goals based upon what is an acceptable norm in the society. For instance, your friends and family might urge you to stick to your job and get a promotion. It is likely that you accept this as one of your career goals. This is understandable since having a steady job and the promise of good salary is regarded important. However, you might desire something else. You might want to study different cultures as a part of Anthropology at a university. It is very easy to give into your fears. The pressure of parents and peers can be crushing. You have to learn to speak up for yourself.
I have personally gone through this phase where, despite having a good job, I took the plunge. I re-evaluated my career choices and returned to exploring what interested me. This meant going back to the university for two years when all my friends were comfortably established in their jobs. The comparison didn’t deter me. For having a happy professional life, it is critical to choose a career path that genuinely interests you.
2. Learn to Choose Passion over Routine
Remember the time you used to dream about growing up? Each of us has gone through this phase where our imagination was bold and without fear or judgment. However, as time passed, we made compromises. We chose to settle for something else, giving up on our dreams. But are we really happy?
Sometimes, we blame fate rather than taking ownership of our decisions. I did something very similar for a long time. As time passed, I realized that despite having a secure job and a lovely family, I was not happy. It seemed that I was working for others and my happiness mattered little. Slowly, this bitterness took over. I used to be frustrated and angry without a reason.
Eventually, I confided this to an old friend. He had recently started taking piloting lessons despite being a busy banker. He said that he liked his job but working from morning to late evening had become a boring routine. He confronted himself and realized that his un-pursued passion of flying airplanes had left a gaping hole in his heart. There was a decision to be made. He could continue being a banker and be unhappy for the rest of his life or search for a way to pursue his passion. He opted for the latter. The weekend flying lessons worked wonders for him. His migraines slowly vanished and he isn’t a serial smoker anymore.
Moral of this story? We need to reconnect with what makes us really happy. If one of your personal development goals is to dance like a pro, then go for it. Don’t grumble about your age or odd timings at the dancing school. You have to develop the habit of chasing what brings you happiness. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you!
3. Learn to Get Inspired, Unashamedly
In the example above, I was inspired by my friend. If he could change his perspective, why couldn’t I do it? I would often call him and take tips about how to manage time. He was rather generous in guiding me about how to salvage some private time. To me, this was coming from an expert. He could find time despite a crazy work schedule and being father of four girls!
I announced him as my inspiration, although my family wasn’t too enthusiastic about this development. To them, it seemed like I was being guided away from spending family-time. As I rediscovered my lost love for gardening, my permanent frown slowly disappeared. This change was welcomed most by my family. They understood my need to get down and dirty in the neighborhood organic farm to refresh myself.
If you are also struggling to achieve your life or career goals, don’t be hesitant about seeking help. Don’t wait to get inspired—you might have to search for an inspiration. There is no shame in being desperate. Let go of your ego and accept that you need guidance.