This post is part of a 5-part series that I lovingly called my “Getting my Sh*t Together Series” where I dive into the 5 areas of my life that have helped me establish the foundation of my life outside of work so that I can focus on going above and beyond in my day job and passion projects. Check out the intro here, and sign up for emails to know when the next deep-dive posts are live.
As a student, I used to get more excited about Awards Day than most major holidays and even my birthday. It was a magical day.
I am forever an advocate of self-knowledge; you should take every personality assessment available to you to get the language you need to define who you are, how you work, and what you need. My love of Awards Day can be understood through the lenses of my Enneagram 3 type “Achiever” and my words of affirmation & gifts love language combo. Is it any wonder that a physical token of appreciation (the award itself), often paired with someone saying nice things about the award winner, most likely in front of an audience, is like heaven to me?
The world of corporate America (and let’s face it, adulthood) does not have the black & white rules of school; there are no A+ grades given out each semester and there is often no quantifiable measure of success. Promotions and raises are good indicators, but it’s just not quite the same. I struggled with this transition quite a bit.
Since Awards Day doesn’t happen in adult world (although I’ll start a petition to make that a thing — y’all just let me know!) I had to realign what my big dream would be.
A friend once said to me, “I used to think you weren’t good at planning, but then I realized: you aren’t planning for tomorrow, you’re planning for 10 years from now. It’s not this time about next week, it’s about this time next decade.“
And she’s right. For me to stay motivated and fired up, I need big goals on the horizon that feel almost out of reach. Those goals are my fuel, the nudge that I need to keep doing the almost-impossible.
When brainstorming my next big goal, I took an inventory of my values and where I wanted to be in 10 years and this is some of what I came up with:
- I want to be financially stable, generating active and passive income
- I want to have freedom of time to take breaks when I want them and to work on my own schedule
- I want to regularly host gatherings of family and friends
This led me to set my sights on owning a condo at the beach as a vacation spot, family gathering location, and rental income. And specifically, celebrating a particular birthday in there (although I’m not quite gutsy enough to proclaim it on this public platform — yet!) is the fire I need to push me through on the days when I don’t want to do the things I know I need to do to keep me sustainably growing, and thus keeping my shit together.
And it feels good to close my eyes and dream of waking up to the sound and view of the ocean, in the condo I own.
I know that I need big dreams that resonate with me to keep my fire alive, because I’ve done so much work to understand myself and to embrace the quirks that make me different than others.
Does this resonate with you? Do you have a different sort of fire-lighter? Let me know in the comments!