Let me tell your fortune – I'll tell you your life's purpose!

How to fold a paper fortune teller 12 steps
How to fold a paper fortune teller in 12 steps

When going through personal transition, you can spend lots of time thinking about what you are going to do next and where you are going in life. A classic question in these circumstances is,  “Where would you like to be in five years time?”

In order to answer that question we often end up thinking; “Well what is it it all about any way?”

This is usually closely followed by; “What am I here for?”

I found a website that promised a method for answering this question in 20 minutes – and no I’m not going to give you a link to it for reasons which I’ll explain later.

But basically this is what that website advised you to do:

  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type.
  2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
  3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

That’s it.

Simple isn’t it!

It went on to say it will take “15-20 minutes to clear your head of all the clutter and the social conditioning about what you think your purpose in life is. The false answers will come from your mind and your memories. But when the true answer finally arrives, it will feel like it’s coming to you from a different source entirely.”

Oh how I wish it could be that easy and oh dear how dangerous I think that particular piece of advice could be!

Suppose you spent your twenty minutes and then came up with a view that would mean a huge life change and you acted upon it with no further consideration.  Wouldn’t that be a bit risky?

But that advice is by no means as potentially damaging to the vulnerable as that below

I was told about this recently.

A friend of mine follows astrology columns, largely for fun – she enjoys the positive and tries head to ignore the negative.  But recently she took up an offer from an astrology service to tell her, her life purpose.  What she got back would have been devastating for some.

It claimed that the unhappiness she was suffering in this life was all the result of some terrible deed she had done in a past life.  It claimed her actions had resulted in the death of many and that she needed to spend the rest of this life in penance and good deeds.

Luckily she is a healthy well-balanced and positive person who could laugh off this kind of advice and determine not to try it again.  But I know others for whom it would have been disastrous!

Anyway, I’m not convinced we have an individual life purpose!

I believe life is largely what you make it, but you do have to make the right choices if you are going to feel fulfilled.  There is much to be said for going through some of the steps recommended above but with a few changes.

  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type.
  2. Write at the top, “What do I want do with my life – where could I go from here?”
  3. Write all the answers that come into you head in say 20 minutes. They don’t have to be complete sentences. A short phrase is fine.
  4. Now spend the next day thinking about your answers and in 24 hours go through your list again to delete, amend, add to and prioritize.

So now you have a list – what does it mean for you?

If it makes sense, act on it! But only if it makes real sense for you in your life and in you circumstances.  I’m all for being open minded about possibilities though!

And don’t leave it at that, in a week’s time review it again.

Then each month from now on take up your list and see if it still makes sense.

I suspect over time your wishes and your priorities will change as your life evolves and so it should! Life, like the world itself, is in a constant state of change and sadly one answer is unlikely to be good for all time.

The lesson in all this is to be very careful about the advice you follow.

There is so much out there now that you need to make very careful choices about what you take seriously.

And I’m not sure that I would take too seriously any website that offers to send you the answers to life’s deepest mysteries in return for £20 and your credit card details.

I’ve sounded very cynical above about doing work on your life purpose.  But you may have experienced something that worked really well for you and made a huge difference to your life.  If so I would love to hear from you.

Wendy Mason works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her atwendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439


TIME ONCE AGAIN FOR YOUR DECEMBER LIFE STOCKTAKE?

Last year I suggested we should take regular stock of our lives, just as we go to see the dentist for a regular check up! We all know we should do it!  But many of us don’t!   Most of us would gain from a simple check up once a year!  December is a superb time to take stock both on a professional and a personal level.  We can then begin to  think through our plans for next year and how we are going to make it brilliant! So come with me –  get your pad and pen and follow this link to my guidance on making a start.

 

On dressing, distressing and the dangers of group think!

I watched the Weakest Link last night.  Anne Robinson was clearly in good form!  I missed most of the opening round but I did see the first departure and that made me wonder.  Dave was voted off mainly, apparently,  for his rather flamboyant shirt and the distraction it caused for others.  He hadn’t got any of the questions wrong.  For me his response to going was confusing!   He had a fairly fixed smile on his face as he commented that no one would be surprised as he was expected to have ago at things and fail.

For me this raises a number of challenging issues:

  • Dressing for the programme/part/job really does make a difference! For this group, certainly how you dressed mattered.  When faced with making a choice, even when all other things were equal, the shirt was the deciding factor.
  • Believing you are going to fail usually means you do! If you don’t see yourself as a success, and don’t have the confidence that flows from that vision, then you begin to behave as if failure has already happened.  The energy level drops  and, guess what, down you fall from your tightrope!
  • Standing out from the crowd is risky!  Choosing to stand out from the crowd is always brave but to some degree it is usually required for real success.  It is risky! You put yourself apart from the group and that can mean they turn on you!  If you are already reconciled to failure this can be very risky indeed!  It is very easy to slip into the role of victim and that can lead to bullying – see the point below!
  • Group think can be damage. I doubt these nice middle class contestants would have commented so publicly on someone’s dress, in a group with different values.  In a group it is very easy for us to take on group values and sometimes even slip into the habit of criticising to the point of bullying and destroying someone else’s confidence.   Do the groups you belong to reflect your own values? As a manager – what steps do you take to monitor the values of the groups you lead and how do you intervene to protect potential victims?

I would be very interested in your views on the issues raised here.  Have you been in a group that regarded you as ‘different’?  What happened and how did you handle it?  Have you found yourself managing a group that developed values different from those you would of chosen? What did you do?

SO THE PROJECT AND THE CONTRACT HAS COME TO AN END! 10 WAYS TO FIND A NEW ROLE

All good programmes and projects come to an end! And so, of course, do the bad ones,  but with less happy results.    Good or bad, in due course, you will want to look for a new role!  It is imperative to pick yourself up and dust yourself off  and start all over again – or at least start looking for a new project.   Here are some tips to help you deal with the situation and to help you find an amazing new assignment.

1. Assess the Situation –  How did the project run and how did it end?  What can you learn and take with you into the future. Take a look at the big picture. Look for the good things and new possibilities that this experience might bring you and what new contacts have you made? Keep a positive attitude.   Whatever happened remember the old adage…….. it’s time to turn lemons into lemonade.

2. Consider your Finances –  Start with the practical – take stock of your finances !   This will help you to evaluate just how selective you can be in searching for a new project and help you to plan a budget for these leaner financial times.  If you see that your saving habits have not been what they should be, consider stepping up your savings once you move on to the next assignment – it is unlikely the financial climate will suddenly have improved.

3. Update Your Resume or CV – Most of us do not stay on top of keeping our resumes current, so now is the time to add new skills and experience information from your most recent work. You are likely be surprised at all of the skills and knowledge you will have acquired!  Have you worked in a new sector or run things in a new way?   If necessary,  hire a professional resume writer to help  you sell yourself more effectively  – there are plenty of people out there willing to help and it could give you the edge you need!

4. Now is the time to invest in training –  If time and funding permits, take advantage of your downtime between roles to update your skills – techniques are constantly changing in the world of change management,  project and programme management.  Awareness of new techniques and confidence in discussing them could give you the edge with a potential client, as well as helping you to deliver better!

5. Let The World Know You Are Available!  – network , network, network, with all your professional acquaintances and agencies as well as  friends and  family who just may know of the perfect position for you.  Now is the time to make use of your professional memberships – go to events and involve yourself.  Remember, often companies have project and programme roles that may not be heavily advertised and all it takes is a word from the inside to be considered. Make sure you talk to everyone you know and let them know that you are actively seeking a new role.  If you have had a recent success then talk about it!

6. Treat Assignment Hunting As A Job – Sitting around waiting for your dream programme to fall into your lap doesn’t work!  Spend what is your usual working day doing something that will help you in your new assignment!  Whether you are training, reading sector magazines and books in your field ,  searching the Internet for possible roles or managing your contacts, keep your hours filled with productive and focussed tasks.

7. Gather Positive References – If you left your role with a positive success then asking for a reference is easy – but please do it!  If things were less than perfect or at least good, you may not want to use your former client when looking for new assignment. Compile a list of people who can vouch for you as a project or programme manager and let them know that they may be called upon as a reference.  .

8. Make Your Move – If you have been considering a move to a new location, this might be the perfect opportunity to relocate. As you will be searching for a new role anyway, you won’t have the same strings attached that you would if you were in a role. Changing cities or even countries can open up a whole new world of opportunities to you. But be sure it still leaves you with good options in terms of the ability to use your contacts

9. Don’t Give Up – No matter how hard the search might seem right now, keep looking and don’t be discouraged. There is certainly a project out there for you but it may take a bit of hunting down!  This opportunity will be what you make it, so be positive and productive

10. Good Luck – make your own – follow 1 to 9 above!  And I would love to hear how you get on!

5 Essential Zen Habits for Balanced Living | Zen Habits

Today the world constantly tries to throw you out of balance and sometimes no matter what you do you still feel like your life is going in the wrong direction (I know I feel this way sometimes.) Balanced living might seem like one of those theoretical terms that nobody can put into practice but in fact there is nothing simpler than living a balanced life.  Read more at  zenhabits.net

Bank Holidays and New Starts

It is the May Bank Holiday in the UK!  One day when everyone is supposed to be in holiday mood!  Well life isn't quite like that is it?  Particularly not when we all face a very uncertain future!  But days like this are great for taking stock – what do you want from life in the immediate and longer term future!  What changes can you make at work and home to make life better for you and yours. 

It sounds trite to say the first day of the rest of your life is tomorrow but it is true.  You can start afresh and make things different.  For example. your partner or your boss might be just as anxious as you about your relationship!  You can resolve to talk about it and start the healing process - communication really is key to so much in life.  If you resolve do no more than talk more – you are making a truly positive step.  Make an effort to listen as well as speaking yourself and try to see the other person's point of view! 

Make a real step change in your life – learn to communicate better!

Wendy's Wisewolf Tips – are you feeling down about your present job?

On your next three working days, each day,  write down three positive things about you present role. Write down what it is, why it is and who else contributes to the positive feeling. On Day Four, review you notes! Do you still agree – make any additions or amendments.  On Day Five decide on you options and the advantage and disadvantage of each

Options

1. Staying put and making no changes

2. Staying put and making changes – what changes would they be?

3. Moving on – now, in the immediate future or in the more distant future – think realistically about the present work climate!

Action

Having decided take action

  1. If you are staying put and making no changes – remind yourself every day of your positives
  2. If you are making changes - make a plan and use your thoughts on the positive in discussion with your boss etc
  3. If you are moving on make your plan for finding a new role but use your positive thoughts to help you make the most of your remaining time where you are now and get a super reference!

Bet by the end of Day Five you feel a whole lot better!