Dreams come true. We enjoy them. And then it’s time for a new dream (rinse, repeat).
This cycle goes on throughout life, but seems to really come up for many between 40 and 50. It doesn’t mean the old dream isn’t still wonderful, just that it is completed (you got the t-shirt).
That’s what it felt like for me back in 2008, when I decided to take an early retirement package. I was leaving a great corporate job that for me that had truly been a dream come true when I began 16 years prior. Yes, I still liked working there, doing interesting work, with great people.
But, gradually, I realized I wasn’t really learning anything new, and admitted to myself that didn’t really want to climb the corporate ladder any longer. The days had a “same-ness” to them and the dream job wasn’t as fulfilling as before. It was a still a great job; it just didn’t feel like it was my job any more.
They know a change is in order, but are frustrated by not knowing what is wanted instead. They need a new dream. While there is discomfort in that place of mild discontent, it can be a great pivot point toward something new.
William Bridges writes in Transition, his classic book on change process, that every beginning starts with an ending.
For me, the discontent with the “dream job” was the start of an ending, which awakened my curiosity to dream anew. It was time to dream again!
I wanted help, so I hired a coach, and came up with a new vision for what’s next in life. Over time, I decided to reconfigure, retool, and redeploy myself to begin my “encore career” of being a professional coach, consultant, and educator.
Since dreams don’t always instantly appear, what can you do if you don’t know what it is you want?
In her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain offers up three things to think about to help find your deep personal “core projects.”
- First, remember what you loved to do as a child – how did you answer “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
- Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate toward.
- And third, pay attention to what it is you envy. I recommend you spend some time pondering and journaling on these three provocative steps, and notice what shows up.
If any of this rings true for you, consider joining me April 26 when my colleague Jude Olsen and I host “Refocus. Reinvent. Rebuild. A seminar for the next chapter of your life.” This one-day workshop in Arlington, TX, is designed for individuals and couples over 40. For more information, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7282326635/eivtefrnd