If today were the last day of your life, would you want to be doing what you're doing?
According to Steve Jobs in his famous Stanford commencement speech, "Whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
How does your work life stack up when you ask yourself the question? Here are 5 ways to help put yourself in the YES column.
1. If you were starting again today, would you choose the same path again?
Executive coach and author Wendy Capland
asks, "Did you choose your career or did it choose you?" Go over in your mind the sequence of events that led you to the place you are right now. Get specific. Maybe even commit it to paper or a journal to trace the steps.
2. What are you scared of that keeps you where you are?
If you aren't happy with the path you've landed on, what are the reasons you don't leave it? Identify them. Write them down. Like nightmares that lose their potency when you tell them to others, listing out your fears of change can help you begin to move past them.
3. When you find yourself daydreaming, what life do you see?
That space between dream and waking is often where we see things most clearly. Where do your thoughts go when you imagine the life you want? Is it totally different from the life you have now? In what way?
4. What are the stepping stones you'd have to travel to get there from where you are now?
Do you need to go back to school? Get in shape? Do you have a relationship that is past its expiry date and you're just going through the motions in life?
5. What are you waiting for?
Steve Jobs had everything and even his life was abbreviated by an illness beyond his control. We are obliged, by virtue of the fact that we get to wake up every day, to find courage to live the days we're given.
The majority of this article has been follow-up questions to Steve Jobs' one question. But they're the steps that must follow a "No" answer. Start with your answers and gather momentum. Don't be afraid of the difficult steps. In fact, tackle those first.
Remember: What doesn't challenge you doesn't change you.
What are you waiting for?