The Spark

It can be different things. A boss. A person close to you. A YouTube or TED Talk that you watch. There’s an active ingredient when we look long enough, pause long enough to look around for it, that we all can tap into that adds fuel to the work ahead. They typically are long term and sustainable. Find them. Put them into action today, and you will be the best version of yourself. You will achieve as well as receive everything you could possibly want.

Focusing on next when you haven’t even achieved the now, is just fretting and worrying. Let go of this false lead. Stop worrying about next and dig into now. Your rise to the top is not based on you as much as you like to believe it is. It is dependent on many different factors. Hard goals are unpredictable so stop trying to create the illusion that it is not. Instead, focus on your current skill sets, ask for professional assignments or career experiences. Expand what you can offer the group, the promotion will take care of itself.

The work you’re doing right now is development. We don’t see it that way. But, everything that you are actively doing as you move towards a goal is a unlimited well spring of learning. Failure is learning. Reaching a milestone is learning. There was a time in my careers where completing my daily tasks without giving them any thought at all was how I worked. I missed a lot of opportunities to learn. Experience, any experience, is a cornucopia of learns. Tapping into them is practice for the next big thing. What are you learning from each segment of your time working? Actively taking a time out to self-assess your performance makes you incredibly mindful of your short falls or opportunities and how you can fix them.

Other experiences are great too. I ask constantly for things I can do for those around me. Any kind of learning cycles you an get yourself into be proactively involved in them from beginning to end. Taking on the responsibility of failures or successes is rich with development. Its easy to find them too. Just ask or listen to what your community or bosses are talking the most about. Put your name forward in those moments.

You can create your own opportunities too. I found that looking into my own work there was plenty of opportunities to innovate or improve old modes of doing the work. I focused on innovating intentionally not just for the sake of innovation. Track the performance from beginning to end again, creating my own learning path along the way.

Whose the best in the business or community? Find them and fight to be a part of their work. Pretty much everything along your journey someone has learned before you. The best people that have figured it out are the best people with whom you need to build deep trusting relationships with. It’s vital.

Do you have a hobby? Get one. Not just something that is easy either. Find a hobby that’s going to make you grow. Mine is this very blog and a podcast I try to keep up with regularly. Keeps me constantly picking up new things to read and consume, so I can post great learns or shares for others to take advantage of. This is the exact kind of hobby you need. IBtP has encouraged me to really focus on myself. One of the biggest secrets about this hobby I didn’t even know would teach me, how to clear my head.

You want to impact your community or leave you mark at work that stands out? Learn to think strategically about your learning opportunities around you everyday. Hone your skills in work you’re already doing. Be recognized as a world class problem solver. Focus on that personal development in and out of the organization you’re locked into. This will be the fuel for the afterburner you’re going to kick into. Break the sound barrier in finding the best version of yourself.

✌ Shawn

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