“Next steps” is a phrase anyone working in the business world is familiar with. You present something that you’re working on, and the question at the end is always “where to next?” At work it’s easy, you look at the goal and work backwards from there to determine the steps to take.
Why then, do we feel this is so much more difficult to do with our lives? We feel we’re ready and wanting to move forward, but we’re not sure which direction to take.
Agile is another common business phrase. When used correctly, it means to try something one way and if it doesn’t work out to try again a different way. That’s it! Previously people referred to this as failing. It’s only failure if you stop.
If you review what happened, adjust your approach and have another go, it’s learning. If you do this several times it’s experience, and often success.
So how do you apply that to your life when you’re uncertain of where you want to end up? Simple, you just try something new. Anything, it doesn’t really matter so I suggest choosing something fun.
As well as acquiring a different skill, learning something new:
There is always value in learning. Even if you’re learning things you think won’t lead anywhere, they can still help to inform you of the direction you don’t want to go in.
There are countless ways to learn new things: DIY projects mean researching materials and techniques, which might help you understand why some tradies charge so much. You can learn at workshops, through books, the internet, free courses, community colleges, or your local library.
Don’t know what to start with, start with you. Work on yourself, find out how to create joy, or improve your physical and mental health. Learn ways to motivate yourself - for me, waking up five years from now without moving forward is more scary than trying and failing at anything.
If you want a change, it’s up to you to make it but you have to start. Sitting around waiting until you’re sure of your next step will bring success in one area – getting older, and you still won’t know what you want to do.
Not having time is not an excuse either. If you don’t have time today and you don’t do anything differently you’re not going to create more hours in your week, you’ll only be creating less years in your life.
Find the time, reprioritise your commitments, push yourself outside that comfort zone and find yourself a challenge. Because if you don’t the Universe will, and it will probably be based on all the scary stuff you’ve been focussing on rather than all the wonderful things you could be trying.
Life is an adventure. Don’t spend it deciding how you’re going to participate. Play, experiment, be brave, fail spectacularly. If you don’t end up where you planned you will have had a loads of fun getting there.
Don't believe me? Check out this great example where a hospitality course led to a dream job in aged care: