“I have a dream”​ – defining your own direction

”You mean like, I have a dream?”, asked my colleague from our boss in our board meeting and we all started laughing. The team I’m working with has an excellent work environment that is built from brutal Finnish honesty, openness, speaking up and above all, trust.

Like so many other companies we are going through a significant change in our everyday routines and ways of working.
Leading that change making it worth doing is something that we discuss very often.

What is the direction of our business? Who will lead the effort and create the plan? How do we communicate the vision? How do we keep decision making transparent and agile throughout the transformation phase? How to make sure we have proper funding? Prioritizations, what to do and when to do it?

I have a team of my own filled with brilliant people, and the beginning of the year is the time for development discussions. I realized I used much the same pattern to make a plan with them for 2018. Not only the business needs to plan, understand, and execute those steps, but everyone who wants to grow and develop oneself needs to make an effort to do similar things. I needed to make an effort to clarify those things to myself.

About that dream… 

In Nordic countries, such as Finland, it is common to have a week-long winter break around mid-February. I needed my portion of the sun, so heading to South-East Asia felt like a perfect idea.

Plato had stated that the first and best victory is to conquer yourself. How many of us take the easiest route just because we think we can’t do it or believe we don’t have the strength to do it, maybe not now or ever?

Whatever you are working with, change is, and will be part of your daily medication. For some people, it’s a game which you wouldn’t want to play and for others – well they just wonder where they would place their chips. Either way, as I see it, it’s part of mastering your fears. Bryan Tracy said it well “Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s control of fear, mastery of fear.”

“Courage is not absence of fear, it’s control of fear, mastery of fear.”

In a book called Aki Hintsa – Voittamisen anatomia, Mr. Hintsa describes that the route to wellness comes through the core. The core is a result of answers to questions:

  • Do you know who you are? Do you know your identity? Not your degree, not your title, not achievements, not money but yourself.
  • Do you know what you want? What is the purpose of your life?
  • Are you in control of your life? What are the possible obstacles on your way to the life you want?

If you don’t have a strong core, you can’t build anything sustainable on top of it. It won’t hold. 

I have been fortunate enough to have wise mentors around. The discussions and ideas which have been transformed to a more mature level have been priceless. 

A few weeks ago, I had once again a long discussion with my mentor and afterwards, she had me trying a new way of planning things I wanted to do.

She called it Onnistujan päiväkirja, freely translated Diary for success. She asked me to invest the next 21 days to this method and then tell her what happened. So, on the same evening, I went to bed, I took my notepad and started writing down:

  • 5 things I did today
  • 5 things I will do tomorrow
  • Other notable things tomorrow
  • What I’m grateful for today?
  • What kind of opportunities opened today?

By the time I had done it for a week, I noticed that every day those things got a deeper meaning. It wasn’t anymore a list of tasks I was writing down; it was a plan towards my goals that I was cutting into smaller pieces.

It wasn’t any more a list of tasks I was writing down; it was a plan towards my goals that I was cutting in to smaller pieces.

And If you’re thinking about having a mentor, do it! Find the one who you can connect with, who you feel comfortable talking with and invest in it. You can’t lose. 

I’m not sure if it was the sudden increase of sunlight or the soothing sound of waves that powered my brain, but suddenly I realized that self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. And knowing who I am, what I want, and what might be on my way for my success gives me tools to get there. 

Too many times we think we are too busy to start thinking and planning when that would be the only thing we should so. 

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