What I Know

Every Autumn I’m drawn into conversations about change and transition. What might have been “okay” a few months ago now seems stale. I hear:

  • “Work is fine, but I’m itching for something new.”
  • “I want to tackle that next challenge/promotion.”
  • “My kids are back in school; I’m ready for my turn.”
  • “Help! I don’t know what I want next, but I want something different!”

I think years of schooling also have etched this pattern of “buckle down and focus” into our psyches. Personally, I feel pulled to assess my practice and refresh the vision of my business. Even though 4th quarter is quite hectic externally, internally I am aware of deeper currents. Taking time to explore those thoughts and desires provides a soothing balance to the busyness.

What I KnowOne tool that’s proven useful, is starting and maintaining an inventory of “What I Know”. Instead of allowing snippets of ideas to spin distractedly in the periphery, make a habit of anchoring and connecting those needs by capturing them in an evolving list. Start defining and refining the whole range of “what you know” about what you want.

In the beginning, you may have a very short list that seems too vague or overly optimistic. When I was ready to transition out of my marketing career, the only things I “knew” I wanted were: flexibility, autonomy and the opportunity to have my work grow and change as I did. Then I added things like: working with people on a meaningful, sustained level and being recognized for offering a valuable service. Eventually, I had a useful benchmark for decision-making and guidance.

It sounds simple and the good news is – it is! The better news is that this technique really works by creating a meeting place for your ideas and sharpening your attention.

*Originally published in the November 2006 issue of Jump In newsletter.


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