Reinvention Can Be a Trip into Unknown Territory –
Best to Make Your Own Map
This is my third foundational epiphany on the subject of personal reinvention. I shared my first a ha here, the realization that this human journey we’re on is about working to really live (fully), not just living to work – even if called to a career important to you. My second a ha (detailed here) came when I recognized that time flies whether you’re living fully, or mostly working – and that it seems to go faster every year. I shared how I discovered it can, in fact, happen so fast that it becomes too late to fit in everything you want to get to. Convinced not to let that happen for me, I got this third little a ha: that it’s best to have clarity about the destination, what to include on the journey, and to create a plan to get to that life filled with everything important to you.
Because without a clear map of the territory ahead, what you really want to include, and a plan to fit it all in, you may just wander around (wasting more time and money) and end up disappointed. While that can happen, so can the opposite.
With the right approach and tools, you can survey an as yet undefined expanse ahead, measured against where you’ve been and what you’ve done already (that you may well not want to revisit…). With that blueprint, you’d be well served to consider the assistance of a guide to pave the new trail ahead – and even a Sherpa to help carry the load. Because building the “road less traveled” that makes all the difference is more than just having a good idea. It takes some effort.
Making the effort is well worth it
Blazing that trail myself (and guiding my clients to do it) I’ve had a few additional important realizations. Not the least of them is this: as a trained professional, business builder or committed executive who has been engaged in some form of service, a focus on vocation – not just vacation – will continue to be an important, significant part of life.
But how to work, to remain relevant, wield influence, be constructive, feel productive and involved, or make an important impact while also enjoying a more well-rounded life, filled with what most important to you… ah, that’s the 64 million dollar question. Fortunately, it’s a question that takes a lot less of an investment to answer.
Identifying the path ahead clearly, and how to pull it altogether when changing directions, was easier earlier in life, when less focused on and entrenched in a career. After you’ve been at it awhile, that groove you’ve created for doing your work can deepen into a rut that feels like a challenge to climb out of… which brings me to:
Ah ha #3: best to have a plan before heading off into unknown territory (better yet, make a map)…
What’s ahead: far more options with far fewer guideposts
If you’ve reached the point of mid-career or later, your professional path probably looks a little bit like mine:
- There was the trajectory from academics to the professional world – after college, I was first employed as a critical care registered nurse, literally helping put people back together
- Then there was possibly a trip back to advanced professional training – in my case law school
- Followed by building a professional practice and your own “book of business” – I helped put individuals and facility-based health care businesses with legal troubles get back on track, first as an employee of a large firm, then in my own business
- Maybe you build a family, and they grow and prepare to fly the coup, leaving you with an empty nest
- Along the way, you earn more, learn to manage clients and staff, invest and build financial security, and follow identified milestones for it all – hopefully with the help of the right advisors and mentors
Then you reach that pivot point – when you aspire to more, long for something different, seek greater significance and want more personal satisfaction in addition to (or instead of) continued professional involvement. You want to finally “Have It All” – your particular version of it.
That’s when I sold my law firm and moved out of active law practice to design work that interested me more and create the exceptional life I promised (myself and my mom – see a ha #2) that I would live. That’s when I discovered there were far more options and far fewer guideposts for how to put it together.
It was definitely “unknown territory” – how to create meaningful work serving clients with my best skills, how to take the lead in areas I care about, how to engage in legacy-level activities – to give back and add value in ways that make the world a better place. How to do it all on my own terms. And, of course, how to live in a way that inspires gratitude every day.
Much to my own surprise, I did it. That’s how I’d describe my life today. But my own by-the-seat-of-my-pants, figuring-it-out-along-the-way discovery was slower than I preferred. Especially at a point in life when time seems to be flying by.
Along the way, clients sought my help to do the same, and I learned more about how to do that better and faster. That was my “gift from the universe” for deciding to take my own road less traveled. The struggle and challenge to solve that problem allowed me to ‘crack the code’ on what it takes, what to include and how to navigate that unknown territory faster and easier.
Put together a truly heart-felt map
My discovery allowed me to create a model to address everything important to having that uniquely defined “all” – in the most significant areas of life – and a system to apply it… a step by step process to make it happen. That serves as the focal point for the work I do now: it’s called: MASTERFUL LIFE Redesign.
If you are on a similar road, you may:
~~ Long for “something else” inside and outside of work, but aren’t sure what
~~ Want to leverage your experience and expertise, so you can focus more on what really interests you
~~ Aspire to make a bigger difference on issues you care about, but wonder how
~~ Want to more fully live the life you’ve worked so hard to create
And if any of that sounds like you, then I know there is so much more ahead for you.
It is my intention to help you explore this all too often unknown territory – and help you find clarity about what’s next for you – whether it looks like a redefined second act, mid-career reinvention, completely new direction, stepping into entrepreneurship, sitting on a board or running for office, moving toward greater fulfillment inside or outside your career, creating a plan to retire to something if that’s financially available, or even using your wealth to make a bigger, more satisfying difference in the world!
So, it you’re thinking about it, if you’ve read this far, I have a special invitation for you. Join me for a New Directions Discovery Session – a complimentary consultation ($400 value) available by a simple application process.
Click on the link to go to the Invitation page and complete a very short application checklist there. And we’ll talk – no obligation… It may be one short conversation that makes a big difference for you. That would be my goal!