I was listening to a young teenage girl talking about ‘growing up’ the other day. She had such amazing life plans and ambitious goals and I really hope she fulfils them.So often though events tend to knock us off course and we need to take a bit of time to revisit our early ambition and put ourselves back on track.
Can you remember what your dreams and plans were before you left school? At one point in my early teenage years (and I hardly know how to confess this to you) I thought the pinnacle of being a successful woman was to support a good man! I can remember thinking “I must learn how to make proper coffee so I can be a good hostess”. Good grief!
Well, one ambition achieved, I can make bloomin’ good coffee! And I do support a good man, but crucially he also supports me in my life choices.
Later on, with maturity, my ambitions changed, and although I didn’t ever contemplate running my own business at a young age, I knew I wanted to have a degree of independence, and I knew I wanted to be in a role that was useful. Actually, I wanted to change the entire world but that’s another story…
What were your ambitions for your life? Did you set yourself goals in your early life? Did you have a clear picture of how you wanted your life to look? I was asked by a journalist recently what was the point of setting goals in life? Now, there is a whole raft of material there and goals can be small, big and in between, but basically my answer was – if you have an idea of where you want to be, it helps with all your decision making and helps you make the right choices for you.
Sometimes the right choice for you will be not to have a clear direction, but to take more risks and live more in the moment. The point is that it helps if we regularly review where we are and check out if we’re heading where we want to be, or if we’re drifting too far from our ultimate destination. Only you can know.
If you’re feeling vaguely dissatisfied with life don’t push the thoughts aside; take some time to consider why. Life is not about being happy all the time, but neither should it be about unhappiness. Take some control. Ask yourself:
- Is my unease/unhappiness caused by my personal relationship?
- Is it colleagues at work?
- Is it my role that is too demanding/undemanding?
- Am I bored too much of the time, in need of more stimulation?
- Do I see a clear picture of where I’ll be in a year? Three years? Five years?
- What can I do right now to take back some control of my life?
Despite what it may feel like from time to time, there are always things you can do. Take a look at some of the material on this site for a start, and also look at the inspirational women section on the site. There are some really good stories there from women who have truly grabbed back control. Or if work is not floating your boat at the moment, take a look at my book. You can simply talk to friends, ask their opinions and advice; remember you don’t have to take it but they may something that gives you a good insight, or sparks a train of thought for you.
Life is not always perfect, and a lot of things will happen that are not in our control. But a strong woman knows that how you react to life’s events is always in your gift. Don’t let yourself drift, grab a paddle and start steering your own direction!
Photo Credit: Vince Petaccio
Posted on April 30th, 2011 by Jane