"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the cat."
"I don’t much care where ... " said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the cat.
A great deal of wisdom hides within children's literature. If mastering your career is high on your priorities, then below are insights that will help you in your journey.
1. Determine your life’s purpose. What is your mission while you’re alive? What motivates you to action? What are your special needs? Why are the mission, motivators and needs important to you?
2. Regularly set and work toward achieving goals. Put them in writing. Review them daily. Get creative about diverting or overcoming obstacles. Set deadlines and stick to them. Tasks have a way of taking up the time allotted to them. Some day is not a day of the week.
3. Stay focused on the long-run, not the short-term. Develop a capacity to delay gratification. Plant lots of seeds knowing that some will definitely grow if given sufficient water, care and nourishment.
4. Focus on your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Be acutely aware of where you’re ignorance and incompetence. Work on developing knowledge and skill in those areas. Utilize your strengths to their fullest potential. If you’re not aware of your strengths or weaknesses, ask friends and colleagues for their input.
5. Stay committed and be persistent. Accept that life has its ups and downs. Learn how to keep yourself motivated. Most failures result from giving up, not from a lack of skill. How many times have you failed when you refused to give up?
6. Accept change as a natural and normal part of living. Remember what Charles Darwin said, "It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the most responsive to change." Know that change offers new opportunities to express talents and skills previously unknown, untapped or unexpressed.
7. Make learning a continual process. Be committed to discovering new information and keeping abreast of changes. The only old dogs that can’t learn new tricks are those who are no longer interested. As Peter Senge wrote in, "The Fifth Discipline," real learning gets to the heart of being human. Through learning we re-create ourselves. Through learning we become able to do something we were never able to do. Through learning we perceive the world and our relationship to it...Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life."
8. Enjoy the process. Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the rewards that come with the process. Remember, you never truly arrive since there’s always another goal to reach, another hurdle to overcome, another person to meet.
9. Be accountable; take responsibility for your life. Know that you always have choices. Life is like a game of cards. You don’t have control over which cards you’re dealt, but how you play them often makes all the difference.
10. Develop and grow strong connections with other people. Being connected with others increases your connection to life itself. Realize that you’re part of a larger creative process.
Judy Kaplan Baron is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Master Career Counselor, Nationally Certified Career Counselor, Professional Speech Coach, and Corporate Trainer.