I’m not a massive fan of Christmas. For me the supposed ‘upside’ of family, community and connection is often drowned out by the pressure-cooker of stress and impossible expectation. For some reason I really enjoyed the 2018 celebration. We had a very calm, chilled and fun day.
As usual, we exchanged gifts and cards. The card from my wife, Nicki, contained a little message that really resonated. With almost 25 years on the marriage clock, we’ve enjoyed the highs and lows of doing life, work and family across three decades and 14 homes. Like most, we’ve good and bad years. I know that a lot of people found 2018 to be a tough one. For us however it was a belter. Our kids are going well, my business had its best ever year and Nicki’s decision to start on a new counselling career 5 years ago was rewarded when she was appointed as the Manager of the local Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation centre. Part of her message was:
‘We’ve done well this year - we’ve been lucky and we’ve made our own luck.’
Are you making your own luck?
The phrase ‘we’ve made our own luck’ really landed with me. Outside of the oscillations and the ‘slings and arrows’ that can derail the best us, we have taken decisions, actions and risks to create the life that we want.
Please don’t mis-hear me. We certainly don’t have a perfect life. We haven’t got it all sorted. Our future happiness and success is not assured. BUT, we have stuck our necks out and our hands up.
Is this you?
A lot of the people I work with come to me because they are stuck in a world they no longer love. This is usually in a professional context - such as a frustrated mid-career exec or a coach/consultant in a rut, doing low-value unrewarding work and struggling to earn what they are worth. This professional frustration typically tips over into their personal lives - they feel frustrated, unfulfilled, unheard. Often this, in turn, affects their confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing (mental and physical health).
What needs to change?
If this resonates, don’t worry. You can absolutely change the paradigm (I should know, I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years). BUT - and it’s a big one - it starts with YOU!
As I love to say, “Hope is a beautiful quality…… but a terrible strategy”. Too many people wallow in their unhappiness and frustration. I’m not advocating reckless ‘cut up your suit’ or ‘tell the boss where to shove it’ heroics. But I AM recommending that you take action to change the dynamics in your world.
The sad truth is that no one is coming to pluck you out of your obscurity. Most of us are too busy wrapped up in our own life dramas to have the time or bandwidth to do that work.
That’s not to say there are not a host of wonderful, gifted and caring people out there who will support your growth. I know heaps of them. But they’ll know that your success depends more on your can-do, curiosity, resilience and character than your talent. In other words, they will only help those ready to help themselves.
Make your own luck - a few ideas to getting started
DECISIONS - Acknowledge where you are ‘at’
The first stage of getting out of a bad place is to admit to yourself you are in one! Self-reflect. Had enough? Great. Time to do something about it. We can work with that.
It’s time to do something. Get busy. Change your paradigm by getting new information, ideas, resources and people into your professional ecosystem.
Go to meet-ups and conferences. Follow industry leaders in your chosen area. There are excellent entry-level resources, books and programmes that will give you the basics. Be prepared to invest time and money in quality.
It’s time to have a crack. There will be nay-sayers and pragmatists talking you back from the brink. “Stick to your knitting”. Your own ‘not good enough’ voice will be chiming in too. Push through this noise (it never goes away completely:).
There are no guarantees. You will fail. But you will also learn that mini failures are part of the growth journey. What I WILL GUARANTEE is if you go on this journey of personal growth and discovery - and you stick at it - you will find amazing people who, over time, will change your world. They are the guides in your personal Hero’s Journey.
Need a hand?
If you are interested in finding out more, drop me a line. I’d love to help - with a free webinar on building your influence, a copy of my book, TIME TO SHINE - Adapting who you are and what you know to succeed in the ideas economy or perhaps start a conversation about personal mentoring.
Whichever way you go, I hope that you can write an enthusiastic Christmas note about your 2019 in 11 months time.