onsdag 14 oktober 2009

Goals, and the importance of having them

I've spent many years of my life wandering about and "just doing stuff", without real thought on what I was doing and even more importantly WHY I was doing it. Or even engaging one grey cell to figure out where I wanted to go with all things. I guess you can say I more or less happened to become a physiotherapist. I didn't even think of what my goals were with my work life. Interested in movement and bodies, let's go physiotherapy. Well, that really doesn't float my boat, if you say so.

I also achieved another degree without a good idea of what to do with it. My "Bachelor's" degree (not exactly the same criteria, we call it "kandidat") in work and organizational psychology was also something I more or less did for fun. I LOVE studying. And I added a little human-technique-interaction, product development, leadership sociology, and hell, I even have studied German at the University for a semester. But now what? What shall become of me?

To this date I've spent 5 years working for a company that states that their employees are their biggest asset, and that we all should see clear correlations between paycheck and achievment, plus that we all will have chances to develop, individually and professionally. Two or three years ago I printed this out and made handouts to my collegues. I spread it around the workplace singing "It is a fairytale, to good to be true...". My boss flipped, but I asked her why, because it obviously IS a fairytale. It still is.

After 5 years with zero development, zero encouragement, a paycheck that makes me want to cry the 25th every month and a climate where new skills are considered "more work and problems to inspire me further" instead of assets I realized I had started feeling stupid, uninspired, tired, desillusioned, listless... Really unable to believe I had anything to give. Because if what I did and could do had been valuable, if my skills had been worth anything at all, they surely would have taken me on for more interesting work tasks, right? Because I didn't know what I wanted nor what I needed, it was also hard to say why I wasn't feeling happy or satisfied. Goals will also help doing that part.

Now I know I've been wrong. I'm neither stupid nor worthless. The misuse of my skills within this company is not due to my unworthiness, but their inability to use what's served for benefit. What I've lacked is a set of goals with my actions. WHY do I work? What do I need to get out of it to feel good about myself? That monthly paycheck blurred my vision and became a fictitious "security", that I've realized now spells "prison". And I'm so totally moving out of here. Sooner or later, hopefully sooner, I will be free to go for my own set of goals!

So, I've decided I need goals to set my life straight. Straight, as in "leading to my own happiness". That deciscion was the easy part. Realizing what exactly those goals were took longer. Much longer. What do I want to do with my life? Now I do know what I'm good at, and what my passions are. And I'm going to pursuit my happiness and development by doing the things I love and feel good about, even if it's financially less secure (especially these days). I want to wake up in the morning thinking "YESSSSS, another day!!!", and not "Please shoot me so I don't have to go to work again.".

Finally, I've come up with some goals for myself, and those totally helped me set the direction for my actions. Everything I decide upon will be filtered through these goals, and whether they move me towards or away from them. This for me new way of thinking really has made a huge difference. Without goals it's hard to know where you're going. Now I know where I'm going and why. Do you know where you're heading?

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