Wednesday, December 29, 2021 (Day 362)
Relaxing Music for the week: Breathe: Liquid Mind (11:44) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdVTNzg6RuE
Question: Think of an upcoming event, situation, or time when you know you’ll need extra support, cheerleading, or a pep talk. Write a letter to your future self, sharing everything you’d like to share. (Note: You can also adapt this prompt and write a letter to yourself to open on the eve of the next new year, your next birthday, a significant anniversary, or any other important date or milestone.)
Answer: I’m going to modify this writing prompt for the purpose of this online blog. As I was writing and thinking about this prompt, I decided to come up with a mantra that I would say to myself when I need that extra support, cheerleading, and/or a pep talk. Is there a short statement (like a seven word life motto) that I can say to get me feeling better? I’m going to meditate on it and see if something comes to me. Back shortly…
So, after thinking about this a little bit, I started to think, “I like the idea of a letter about my future self, but is there something I can do on a daily basis to get me pumped up?” And then it hit me – it’s my seven word life motto, “Striving to be 1% better every day.” There isn’t a set of words that inspire me more than that. So, I will write a letter over the next day or two about my future self, a la Benjamin Hardy style, that will be devoted to my future self, this time next year. And that’s exciting, since I have some really interesting insights into what I’d like to happen in 2022. (P.S. Check out his video: What You Need To Become Your Best Possible Self! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4a0ClbgGJY).
As I think about my life this time next year, I was thinking about leaving my job so I can spend time building Life Design Catalyst work. But my biggest worry was health insurance – not only for myself, but for Rebecca and Bethany. How would I ever cover the cost, since I’m paying over $1,000 a month right now to cover their benefits? And then BAM! – it hit me! I’ll be 59 in a few weeks, which means I’m close to retirement. And if I retire, I’ll be able to continue covering health insurance under my current plan for them for several months (I think up to 18 months), which provides enough time to build LDC and identify others options for health insurance. It’s so weird to think that I can RETIRE from my job, in order to do the work that REALLY matters (LDC work). And to be honest, it’s just so I don’t have to do registration and scheduling of students. You would think that a boss that knows that’s something you despise would at least find ways to maximize my strengths…but not my boss. You’re going to do what I tell you to do (registration and scheduling), even though what you currently do (LDC work) is more useful and valuable to the students and the institution. And instead of tapping into my superpowers and reframe how we work with students, they would rather focus their efforts on the mundane. Interestingly, when I had my meeting with my boss last week, the first question she asked me was, “When are you making your jump?” – which was in reference to Steve Harvey’s “Jump” video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-952IaLtKM). How’s that for a first question in a meeting with your boss? So, my Jump will be exploring retirement, within the next 6-12 months. How about that for part of my future self one year from now?
As I write about my next “jump,” I thought it was interesting that my reading list this morning shared two articles that I found interesting, especially related to this post:
- 5 Things To Consider Before Launching a Second-Act Career – https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/jobs/5-things-consider-before-launching-second-act-career/
- 24 Tips To Change Your Career and Land Your Dream Job – https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/jobs/7-tips-change-career-unhappy/
As with most things that I read and share, don’t try to do ALL the things listed in the articles; just find one or two nuggets that might help you on your journey. For example, in the first article, I really liked the first bit of advice – “Be Real About What You’re Getting Into.” As I make my jump, I’m making sure that Rebecca is part of the process, as well as our financial advisor Kelly, since I want to make sure the financial piece can work. In the second article, I put together a couple of different ideas into this one suggestion: sometimes you might not be able to find your right job; sometimes you might have to create it yourself or start your own thing (side hustle or business). For example, when I was hired at UNCG in 2007, I was charged to create something that NO ONE ELSE was doing, at least when it came to advising. They did not want another advising person; they wanted someone who could create something new and different that would help the students. And that turned into the Life Design Catalyst Program. And now, it will be hard for me to apply for jobs, because the higher level jobs will have me manage staff (which I have NO interest in doing) and/or push papers and attend meetings, which doesn’t excited me. The higher up in positions I’d explore, the less I get to do Life Design Catalyst work. And lower level job might have me do the work, but most likely have me babysit/handhold students as well (not interested in either). What I need is to be involved with an innovative, creative thinker (or environment) that believes that student success is not centered around registration, scheduling, and degree planning (Transactional Advising), but around character development, purpose and meaning, self-care, and life planning. Or what I call Transformational Advising. Anyway, it’s time to invest in my desired future self over the next year! I hope you are inspired to do the same!