Friday, 11 February 2011

Don't kettlebell your career

Swing….exhale….swing…avoid sever injury…swing...exhale… remember to inhale....swing...

Such have been my mornings this past week, swinging a kettle bell to try and supplement my post-January health kick. Tim Ferriss and the Four Hour Body are the inspiration for the choice of exercise, though I am not sure whether it is the wanting to have an efficient exercise or the fear of having some delicate parts of my anatomy crushed which mean that I am keeping a close eye on my form. Either way take care with your exercise, it can hurt otherwise.

With the 'bell moving in the air it can be a real delicate balance of getting the right action so you do get the benefit of it, whilst at the same time not losing control of circumstances. In some ways it is a near metaphor for a lot of us who are wondering about how best we can refocus our efforts on our career whilst at the same time not losing track of friends, family, sanity, etc.

Worried about not having the right balance with your own professional/personal kettle bell? Here are some ideas to get your grip in gear:

1. Wheel of Life
Ok it is in every book going and most of you will have heard of it before but I always think it is worthy of mention. I remember the first time a mentor presented it to me it blew my mind - not only about the possibilities that lay ahead for development in a variety of areas but also realising that I did not have to get everything right at once but that I was succeeding in other areas. I like this Mind Tools version which has a guide and one you can complete online.

2. Call on council
Napoleon Hill talked about creating his ‘Master Mind’ group or council, an imaginary group of real life luminaries in different fields who he would draw upon to get ideas when he was in a quandary.

Have a blast at imagining your own (it can be quite fun) but feel fortunate that we live in an age where it is easier than it has ever been to try and create your own council to draw from. Use your own networks to get second opinions and strategies of how to cope better. No one in your immediate or peers networks able to advice about the path you want to walk? Then fall at the altar of social media and scream hallelujah! With sites like Twitter and LinkedIn it is now easier than ever to find peoples contact information and find out how they got in to the position where they are today.

Furthermore it gives you a chance to add a personal touch when you first get in contact (“I notice from your information that prior to school teaching you were once a member of Bros – I loved you guys!”).

3. Purpose, Learning, Enjoyment
Still a little lost? Get back to basics. I often find if you are able to get two out of the three above correct then the third has a habit of presenting itself.

Enjoyment – examine what it is you are doing day to day. On first sight it might not be clear but upon further examination you might find there is a lot of what you do that you enjoy. Now you just need to see how it is that you can maximise this in your time and what you do. You owe it to yourself to try and do right by you, no?

Learning – if you feel you are on a path of development this will help a great deal with any feelings of anxiety about progression, as well as that guilt we all get sometimes when we look at peers and think “why am I not where they are at?” Furthermore, when you enter in to a programme of training/education you often find that…

Purpose - …. reveals itself, as you have been shown a means of progression, perhaps not in the field you first thought but a path that is worthy of further exploration nevertheless.

The alternative? Well perhaps you just drift and then one day realise that you have self sabotaged yourself. And then I imagine you would feel like this.

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