Some people seem to slip into a groove; others fall or get pushed into one. But sooner or later, most of us end up doing something with our lives. Sometimes be- cause of ourselves, sometimes in spite of ourselves. A persistent, recurrent thought that surfaces at different times in our lives, knowing whether we are doing what we want and deciding what to do instead, can seem ominous-- something worthy of avoiding. It happens after high school, college or graduate school; and after years of working at a particular job.
Deciding upon a career and organizing oneself to pursue it presupposes the ability to formulate a clear goal, as well as the determination to take the necessary actions to attain that goal. However, clear goals are often based upon creative brainstorms, passions, dreams.
Most of us are told from childhood not to take dreams seriously-- that they are unrealistic. In contrast, that's why there are toasters! And computers. One hundred years ago, the thought of man flying would have been ridiculed as absurd. And who would have thought that the mold found on stale bread could be used to combat disease? Imagine that one among you will someday organize your dreams to pursue a goal and make a startling discovery. Or create a useful commodity. Knowing what you want and pursuing it becomes possible when you make dreams practical. To accomplish this, it is important to tap into your "creative strategy." A creative strategy-- like any strategy-- is comprised of a sequence of behaviors that are by and large unconscious. To tap into your unconscious, and get the juices flowing, ask yourself, "What is something I don't yet have or know of?" And, "How is it possible to NOT HAVE it yet?" Then try these exercises: 1- Create your ideal world. Use your senses to identify the elements of a day in your life that would be highly desirable. Write your thoughts in the present tense-- as For example, think about where you would like to live, the colors, shapes, textures, scents, sounds. Who would be there with you? what would you do? How would you do it? In this narrative, identify those elements that make you feel satisfied, happy, fulfilled, and so forth.
Second- Design your ideal job. How can you make a difference? What would you like to do? Where would you like to do that and with whom? Describe in detail your responsibilities, duties, the environment, your colleagues, working hours and income. It is important when generating creative thoughts to let your imagination plenty of slack. Do not limit yourself to familiar jobs. Sometimes people become stuck when considering their ideal job. "I can't think of any ideal job. I don't have time-- I'm too busy doing what I'm doing (that I hate!)." They are so frustrated and unhappy with their present situations that thinking beyond ten minutes from now seems out of the question. At times a creative solution to the problem, "stuck" lies with learning to consider a liability to be an asset! To say you "can't" think of an ideal job literally means you cannot do it-- it's actually an achievement. Just as thinking of one is. Why not do both? Write every aspect of any job you have disliked. Create the worst ingredients for a job description. For every negative feature, write it's positive opposite beside it. What results is likely your ideal job. Have fun with it-- do it with friends as a way of releasing frustration.
Third- Deal with your hidden agendas. You know, that "little voice" inside that says this is not realistic because in order to get what you want you would have to quit your job, and then you would starve. This conflict stems from a faulty belief people sometimes have about "realistic" verses "idealistic" or creative pur- suits: Following your dream means abandoning all your responsibilities in service of chasing rainbows. But recall how it is useful to consider a liability an asset. Consider your present situation a vehicle that will take you where you want by paying your way as you create. Learn to use the company pen to write your own script!