Consider Your Game Plan!

“Your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”

The last eight years admittedly swiftly passed me by. Thankfully, I am still enjoying my current role and career path. How many of you have given any real thought to where you want to be within the next three or even five years? Furthermore, given consideration to the path necessary to get you there? As a person who has never held a single role for more than three years throughout my entire banking career, I must admit that I have been reflecting quite a bit recently on my current journey and future path.

During this slightly unsettling period, I came across this quote that really set me thinking . It read, “a satisfied life is better than a successful life as our success tends to be measured by others, while our satisfaction is measured by our heart, mind and soul.” I was so moved by the quote that I posted it to my Instagram page and was immediately challenged by a friend as to what it really meant because he was not in agreement. Interestingly, engaging with him to share my perspective really helped to clear my thoughts.

First of all, the conversation reminded me that it is vitally important that we recognise that people define success differently and that’s perfectly acceptable. What’s even more evident is that personal satisfaction is more likely when you plan for success based on our own dreams and desires.

Many professionals today have no idea what they truly want to accomplish; furthermore, fail to design a clear plan as to how to go about achieving their goals. “You must have a game plan!” Truth be told, I was really hopeful that this newly embraced concept of creating vision boards would have better encapsulated the theme ~ “don’t wait for it. create it!”

In 2010, after wrapping up what would have been my last Senior Leaders Regional Conference, one of my direct leaders asked me why I was not joining the team for dinner that night. I explained that the time spent planning the presentations for the conference unfortunately caused me to be lagging in an MBA assignment. The Director whom I have plenty respect and time for proceeded to ask me, “why are you even bothering with the program considering your current work demands? You have such a bright future ahead” he added. Mind you, I didn’t doubt for one second that I had a bright future ahead but refused to take any comfort in this endorsement or vote of confidence. I was certain that my immediate plan included garnering all the practical leadership experience I could, while pursuing my professional qualifications. Ultimately, after spending over 13 years in banking and never truly fitting into the typical “banker” profile, I always had this underlying desire to explore whether I had acquired transferable skills that would allow me to succeed in another sector (somehow thought it would have been tourism). For me, this meant I would eventually move on from the bank, even though it was not in my immediate plans and definitely did not negatively influence my commitment, performance levels nor career progress.

It’s important to have a plan!

Success is by no means an accident and therefore requires intentional effort and discipline. It is equally important to pursue your life with the understanding that the plan will come with some degree of personal sacrifice. Be willing to make those sacrifices! Embrace the fact that in pursuit of your dreams, you maybe labelled different from your peers; accept early on that this is okay and press on! We don’t always figure out our purpose immediately but we should try very hard to figure out our passion. I once read somewhere that “when we have a plan and a burning desire to bring our plan to life, the desire to succeed should be as strong as our desire to breathe” because only then do we truly shape these important qualities of:

  • consistency
  • competence
  • character
  • communication and
  • confidence.

Defining and journaling your desired professional goals is a good practice. Despite my passion for continuous improvement, I am not one for encouraging long term professional goals. As a mentor, my preference is always to help others identify short to medium term SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timebound) as the rate of growth in business requires agility and flexibility i.e. ability to change course. Having a game plan for your future helps you to avoid being boxed into the vision others have for your life. It also helps to better evaluate the opportunities presented to ensure that these are aligned to your desired goals. The practice of re-assessing your game plan from time to time with a trusted mentor can also help you to refocus, adjust and at times, even identify when it is necessary to get back on track.

So what is your game plan?

Give some thought as to whether you are presently on the right path for the vision you’ve set for your life. Or do you now need to define that vision? Either way….. it’s okay because with every new day brings new opportunity to reassess your current situation. It really doesn’t matter where you are in the journey once you remain truly committed to where you are heading. Sharing my life lessons and key insights through my new Blog is part of my future game plan, which focuses on positively impacting others and helping them to grow both personally and professionally……

Remember, if you want to control your destiny, you must have a game plan!

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