How to get unstuck when you lose focus and direction.

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SUMMARY: 

No matter how much excited you are about what you do, it is inevitable that there will be times when you get stuck, when you don’t know what the right thing is to do next. When doubt creeps in and you don’t know what this is all good for and why you’re doing this in the first place.

If you are going through a phase of doubt, a period where you feel you don’t make much progress, then there are two things you can do:

  1. Either get a coach, i.e. someone who can inspire you and motivate you. Somebody who can hold you accountable and who can ask the right questions to unleash your potential.
  2. Or explain what you do to someone. And if there’s nobody around you to help, then explain it to yourself. Just imagine that somebody would ask you, “What do you do?”

Imagine you explain this to somebody who is genuinely interested in what you do, somebody who would love to follow your footsteps.

What advice would you give those people? How would you explain what you do is all about? What makes someone successful in what you do?

This will force you to think about the big picture. It will reveal the bigger areas, those things that are relevant and which you should be focusing on.

It will drag you out of the routine that you got yourself into.

 

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT AND QUOTES:

 

Hi everybody, it’s Tasso.

Today, I’m going to teach you a very simple technique on how to get unstuck when you lose your passion and focus at what you do.

Let’s face it. No matter how much excited you are about what you do, it is inevitable that there will be times when you get stuck, when you don’t know what the right thing is to do next. When you don’t know what this is all good for and why you’re doing this in the first place.

There’s nothing wrong with it. Everybody goes through this. The only difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that the successful people manage to get out of this much, much faster.

The best way to do this is to hire a coach. Somebody who can inspire you and motivate you. Somebody who can hold you accountable and who can ask the right questions to unleash your potential.

Coaches believe that people are resourceful and whole, which means that you have the solution in you and all it takes, sometimes, is a gentle (or maybe sometimes, not so gentle) push to unleash your potential.

 

resourceful-and-whole

 

If for some reason, you cannot do this or you don’t want to hire a coach, to some extent, you can do it yourself. Here’s what you got to do. The process is very simple.

Explain it to someone!

Explain what you do to someone. And if there’s nobody around whom you can bother with it, explain it to yourself. Just imagine that somebody would ask you, “What do you do?”

A few videos back, I made a post about the detrimental effects of saying, “I’m busy.” If somebody asks you, “What you do?” don’t say, “I’m busy.” because this shuts you off. Remember? That was what I said then.

Instead, I recommended that you say, “I am working on….” Why did I do that? When you start the conversation with, “I’m working on…” it forces you to think about and to explain what you do. Does it make sense?

When you start to explain what you do, don’t list the things that you do on a day-to-day basis. Because those are the things that actually got you stuck. This is the routine that you got yourself into.

Instead, imagine you explain this to your kids. Imagine you explain this to a youngster from college, or explain it to somebody who is genuinely interested in what you do, somebody who would love to follow your footsteps.

What advice would you give those people? How would you explain what you do is all about? What makes someone successful in what you do?

 

what-would-you-say-footsteps

what-is-your-work-all-about

 

This is important because it reveals your ‘why’. It makes you think about the bigger areas, about those things that are relevant.

I’m going to give you an example. If somebody would come and ask me, as an example “What are you doing in project management?”. One thing that you could say for instance is, “Well, project management is about bringing people together from different disciplines to work together towards a common goal.”

Explaining it this way makes you think, “Okay, do I have actually a clear goal? Do I have a clear goal set out and articulated?” “It’s about bringing people together from different disciplines. How’s my stakeholder management?” Which means, “am I involving the right people? Am I talking to the right people? Is everybody who should know involved?”

Then, maybe you would continue and say, “In project management, it’s all about keeping those people engaged and communicating the progress.”

Again, this opens up the question you had to say, “Do I have a communications plan? Do I have a roadmap which is a simple mapped out series of events of communication possibilities?”

If you explain to someone with fire in their eyes, somebody who is dedicated to do something, who is willing to put the effort and to improve their capabilities. If you imagine yourself talking to somebody like this, you would not say things like, “I’m doing stupid reports and chasing people to get stuff done.”

Because that’s not what you do. It might be what you think you do, in which case you should revisit your attitude towards your job and the bigger picture.

Explaining to someone what you do is not only helping with such negativity. Even if you find yourself doing things you like, the risk is very often that you keep doing those things that you like and stay in your comfort zone.

Imagining that you explain what you do to somebody, drags you out of your comfort zone and makes you think about the bigger picture and the relevant areas in your work you need to think about.

I guarantee you, that if you aim to inspire someone, if you explain what you do in a way that shows the possibility and potential, you might just manage to inspire yourself.

Focus not on what is, focus on what should be!

 

you-might-inspire-yourself

focus-on-what-should-be

 

To close this post, I would like to tell you very nice story that I read in a book. The book is called, The Art of Possibility from Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, and I have it right here. This is what the book looks like. It’s a yellow book so you can’t miss it in the bookshelf.

In this book, Ben -a music professor, a conductor- iis about to have a leadership talk at NASA. He asked his students to write letters to the NASA folks about what they think the similarities are between the NASA program and the lives of the students with music.

He was blown away by the letters that the kids wrote. I wanted to read two of them to you, so that you can see what they wrote about.

Ashley, 14 years old, writes, “The world counts on you to open up new possibilities and discover what humans can do. Thank you for keeping the possibilities alive.”

Dave, age 16, writes, “You are the diplomats, you are the representatives of the world over here. You are going to nowhere to search, to be intrigued at the smallest inkling of discovery. You are representing us to discover, explore, and find the possibility to escape the box known as Earth, and go as far as possible. You have the responsibility to push thinking and ideas beyond limits, into the ethers, through the nothing into the something.”

You see here that these letters do not show what people are doing on a day-to-day basis. The same thing that happened to Ben when he read the letters happens to the other people at NASA. I wanted to share with you one particular thing that a NASA person said, “You are here to cross the swamp. You’re not here to fight all the alligators.”

With this I would like to close. Thank you very much for watching this. I hope it was insightful and it served you. I hope inspired you. If you like this, please subscribe for more. Until the next post, all the best.

 

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