Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How Did I Get Here? Where am I Going?

How did I get here? As I sit here brainstorming I find myself thinking about this question. What choices led me to where I am presently? How do we find the time to balance our activities? How do we prioritize?

We make decisions everyday. Of course, some are easier to make than others and require no time at all to decide upon (Run or walk? Shirt or sweater? Walk or drive?). But, what about those decisions that need the extra attention? The decisions that will have a profound impact on our life and the lives of others around you – how do we go about answering those? When you break it down and really look back at it – all of our major decisions consist of several little decisions.

For example, one of the biggest decisions we will make in life is choosing the career we are looking for in life.

It begins in grade nine with a decision between academic or applied courses. Are you University or College bound? There is nothing wrong with either, but the choice will have a profound impact on your future. Then, when you reach the end of high school, you will make another choice: which University or College should I attend – if any at all? And, What program should I sign up for? This decision alone is the foundation to your future career – your life.

After another four years (a few more for you Doctors and Lawyers) and you find yourself with a degree in hand and another big question mark glooming over your head, “What now?” Just when you think you have broken free from tough decisions – another one presents itself.

I currently find myself looking for a career. But, what is a career? Isn’t it just a job? Or, is there a difference between the two?

When I think career, I think about working for a long period of time. A career is a commitment. A job reminds me of something I did back in high school. I kept random jobs here and there to get by (at that time in my life I made the decision to hang out with friends instead of working a number of jobs), but they didn’t hold places dear to my heart. I wasn’t worried about keeping those jobs.

Do careers even exist anymore? These days the average person works with one company for an average of two and a half years. The job market is always changing and researchers say that the jobs students are training for today won’t exist by the time they enter the work force. Just when you think you have made all the right choices you wake up to find that your chosen career path is obsolete.

The only foreseeable solution is to find something that will be in demand forever. People will always grow hair, people will always get sick, people will always need clothes, people will always need food, people will always need! You need to make decisions that will put you where the people are.

Life is filled with a series of decisions. While I can’t give you a definite way to answer them – what I can do, is suggest that you follow where the action is and do what works best for you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Envisioning You!

Tom Cruise and I share a birthday. I am not trying to brag or anything. I always thought it was special to think that Tommy and I are born on the same day – while he celebrates, I celebrate.

Tom is an icon to a generation. Tom has spent dancing around in his underwear in Risky Business, he captivated audiences with his jet fighter prowess in Top Gun, and continues to awe us today as the center of numerous entertainment rumour mills. Tom is what we would call a Mega Star.

I am by no means a star. I am but a grain of sand in Tom’s world. Beyond sharing the same day of birth we have nothing else in common. I may have watched a few of his movies here and there, but he was never able to witness my performance in Footloose: The Musical and, at the same time, I never watched Cocktail. Tom exists in my world, but only as five grains of sand.

In my mind – I am the star. Is this confidence? Cockiness? Does this mean I have an attitude? I don’t think so. I think it’s perfectly healthy to hold yourself in high regard.

Growing up playing sports, I was always told to envision success. Before a game, I was to sit and think about all the positive things I was going to do on the field. As I grew older, this advice was reinforced, when I read a sports therapy book that talked about envisioning what you do at fast speeds. Their reasoning was that if you envisioned yourself doing things at a fast pace you would be able replicate those fast motions when you began playing. The constant envisioning created a belief in myself. The more I thought about success the more successful I became.

This “envisionment” (I will call it) has stuck with me my whole life. It has branched out from simple sports therapy and flowed into other aspects of my day-to-day. Oddly enough, my envisionment is often conjured by music. I’ll be listening to something and before I know it I am the singer, I am an actor, or I am the world’s best athlete. Am I living in a fantasy world?

I decided to do a little research and ask some close friends and family if they also “envisioned” themselves in the same light. I initially thought that most people were probably like me, but I quickly found out this wasn’t the case. Some people told me “no” outright, others said they only envisioned about one specific aspect of their life, while others said they were only able to envision themselves as the best if they were actually the best at it. When I asked if envisioning made them feel good they all replied with various answers – all ending in a “yes.”

Whether it’s self-taught or self-practiced “envisionment” feels good. I mean, I may not be a rock star, but what I do know is, when I open my eyes I feel pretty good and how we feel inside is reflected on the outside – it’s how the world sees you.