March 10th, 2012
This is a wonderfully articulated essay by William Deresiewicz about finding your own path, living a meaningful life, and everything that gets in the way. Enjoy it… you’ve probably been feeling the same way.
October 20th, 2011
I see a lot of email subject lines and marketing materials that claim to reveal a “secret.” I find this trend a bit annoying because the “secret” that is revealed is usually something that I already know. So, I was careful in making the claim to share, “The Big Secret To Finding Your Path.” In my experience this secret is a big one and it isn’t common knowledge or practice. And, most of the people that seek our guidance at A Path That Fits are also unaware of this secret and have been for a large part of their life. I was in the dark for a long time, too.
So… What’s the big secret to finding your path? The secret is that finding your path comes from within. It comes from you discovering who you already are and then translating your uniqueness into a career. It doesn’t come from thinking about what careers are out there and how to fit yourself into a career. The secret is to let your path organically unfold from discovering who you are. By discovering important parts of yourself such as your strengths, passions, values, personality, essence, and purpose, you let the career path that fits who you are naturally emerge.
Still not convinced this is a big secret? Okay. Consider this… What is the first thing that a person (possibly you) asks themselves when their career begins to stagnate and they start feeling the need to find a new career path? It’s usually some version of, “What should I do?” Or, “What am I going to do?” The thing about these questions is they lead you to look outside of yourself at the options you perceive for yourself in the world around you. Those questions take you away from yourself and focus your attention outside of you. The secret is to look inside. The real question to be asking yourself is, “Who am I?” So pause for a moment and ask yourself, “Who am I?” You might find it a confronting question and a challenging one to answer. But, I think it is the most powerful question you can be asking yourself if you want to find a path that fits.
When you have taken the time to discover who you are, finding the right career path will be less of a mystery. And, you don’t have to do it alone. Our coaching programs, retreats, and workshops guide you through a process of self-discovery that helps you answer the question, “Who Am I,” and translate your uniqueness into a career path.
If this article resonates with you and you are ready to find your path, consider joining us on our first ever “Discover Your Career Calling” Retreat in Bali. It may only happen once and we are putting a lot of heart into creating an amazing experience for everyone that participates.
April 4th, 2011
Well… not my (Adrian’s) transoceanic midlife crisis. This unique midlife crisis belongs to a courageous woman named Roz Savage. She left her career as a management consultant, her husband, and her life as she knew it to have a crazy adventure that set her free to find a new path. You can read her inspiring story here. Enjoy the adventure…
March 23rd, 2011
My friend Jenny Blake just published a wonderful book about how to navigate life after college. Aptly titled, “Life After College,” it is a perfect guide a recent graduate and a wonderful resource for anyone in their twenties.
What I like most is how Jenny distills the most important information on a particular topic and supplies coaching exercises that help the reader personalize the information and apply it to their own life. The book is one part reference manual and one part coach, and incredibly easy to read. It’s also full of quotes and excerpts from the real college graduates that make it engaging and offer multiple perspectives.
This book would make a perfect gift for a recent college graduate or a valuable resource for anyone in their twenties. I’ve already pulled it off the shelf a few times for some quick advice.
January 30th, 2011
This is a wonderful “Ted talk” about the powerful impact of vulnerability on connection and joy. It’s not always easy to be vulnerable but it’s well worth when we can open ourselves to others in the right situations. Check it out.
October 29th, 2010
I came across a great article about the values of keeping a journal written by Jack Canfield. I often recommend journaling to my clients as a part of the coaching process. It is an easy way to remain connected to yourself and tuned-in to the deeper desires that don’t always have the space to surface in our busy lives. Surfacing your deeper desires and themes are a key part of finding your path. Read more in the following article…
Use A Journal to Inspire Yourself into Action
by Jack Canfield
By keeping a personal journal, you enter a sacred space. Here, you are safe from judgment and free from daily duties and cares. Here you can dream, discover, and dare to create new ways of being in the world.
Create a laboratory for personal transformation as you put the principles of your course into action each day. Do this by including sections in your journal for inspiration, intention, action, and growth.
Writing captures guidance from your deepest self before it disappears. Inspired ideas can rise to the surface of your mind in a classic “aha!” moment. This might be a solution to a persistent problem, an idea for a breakthrough goal, a powerful image, an energizing affirmation, or another sudden spark of insight. No matter what form the inspiration takes, record it in your journal.
Write about your challenges as well. Note the moments when you are not functioning at your peak—times when you feel bored, tense, angry, afraid, or sad. These feelings are clues to areas of your life ripe for transformation. In your journal, describe the discomfort in detail and how you reacted. Look for patterns. Also brainstorm new options for responding. Sometimes a moment of inspiration lies just on the other side of a tough emotion.
Statements of intention contain blueprints for action. This kind of journal entry offers a way to stay positive and on course, directed toward the new results you want to attract into your life.
As with writing affirmations, keep intention statements focused on what you want. “I intend to effortlessly double my income” is more effective than “I intend to stop worrying about paying my bills each month.”
Also release the word try. A statement such as “I will try to save at least 10 percent of my income each month” conveys something less than wholehearted commitment. People who continue to overspend can rationalize the result by saying, “Well, I am trying.”
A more effective option comes from Yoda, the gnomish guru in the Star Wars film trilogy: “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
While you can fill up a journal with statements of inspiration and intention, consider adding inducements to action as well. Even the most jaw-dropping insight or motivating statement of intention can fall flat when this element is missing.
Take the intention statement mentioned above: “I intend to double my income while working with joy and ease.” That’s a solid place to start. Now, pave the way for action by packing your intention full of details. Include specific goals such as “I will call fifty new customers this week” and “I will include ten new products in my next catalog.”
Use a journal to make your own growth visible to yourself. Record the results that you experience by using The Success Principles and the Law of Attraction. Whenever a new outcome shows up in your life—whether subtle or significant—capture it in your journal.
Be specific. As your income increases, note dollar amounts. As your network of clients and job contacts grows, include names. As you resolve conflict with key people in your life, describe the words and actions that produced these breakthroughs.
Writing offers a way to lift your eyes above the steady march of daily events. When immersed in the details of work and family responsibilities, you can easily overlook change that is already manifesting in your life. Use a journal to regain perspective and literally rewrite your life.
Seeing the evidence of your personal growth recorded on the page, before your own eyes, can instantly raise your emotional vibration. And that opens a path for the cycle of inspiration, intention, action, and growth to begin all over again.
October 21st, 2010
Idealist.org is putting on a Graduate Degree Fair for anyone that is interested in exploring educational opportunities that will lead to career paths that have a positive social impact. I wanted to share this resource with my clients and blog readers as a great opportunity for you to explore what’s out there in the “make a difference” career field.
Idealist.org describes their Graduate Degree Fair for the Public Good as an “Opportunity to meet graduate admissions representatives from local, national, and international programs to discuss professional development through graduate education. You will also have a chance to attend a free information session offering advice on graduate degree options, the application process, financial aid, and deciding when to attend graduate school after spending time in the working world.” Read more and register for free on their website:
This event is on November 1, 2010, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m in San Francisco.
May 6th, 2010
Strengths are a fundamental part of a career path that fits. Whether you are in the process of making a career change or committed to your current career path, aligning your work with your strengths will lead to greater fulfillment and success.
Martin Seligman, one of the pioneers of positive psychology states, “I do not believe that you should devote overly much effort to correcting your weaknesses. Rather, I believe that the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your signature strengths.”
When your career is aligned with your strengths, it feels natural, even effortless. Your work flows out of a deeper part of yourself, beyond just learned abilities and skills. You still have to work hard but it feels authentic.
Animals are a great example of authentic strengths alignment. Every animal that I can think of exists (and is “successful”) because its way of life is aligned with its core strengths. A hawk and an egret serve as good examples. A hawk’s strengths are its vision, powerful talons, and agility. Accordingly, it hunts (goes to work) by hovering high above grasslands and open spaces. It uses its amazing vision to sight rodents and its swift flight and strong talons to make the kill. An egret’s strengths are its long sharp beak, long neck, and long legs. It hunts by standing still on its long legs in shallow water, waiting for a fish to swim by so that it can thrust its long neck forward and spear the fish with its long beak. Can you imagine what would happen if an egret went to work in the open grasslands, trying to swoop down and catch mice with its webbed feet or long beak? I think its safe to say that it wouldn’t be very successful. The same goes for a hawk trying to stalk it’s prey in a marsh.
But… animals have it easy in this respect. They don’t have the same challenge of discovering their strengths and choosing the right career. They are born into their life’s work. We, as humans, have more of a challenge. We have to discover our strengths and choose a career that fits. It’s not as easy as looking at our physical features to identify our strengths. We need a way of seeing ourselves, particularly our strengths, that goes beneath the surface. The big question is: How do you discover your strengths? Here are two strengths discovery methods that have worked especially well in my new career coaching group and with individual clients.
1st Secret to Discovering Your Strengths: Past Successes & Accomplishments
1. Think of three or more experiences in which you accomplished something that you considered to be a success or did something that you were proud of yourself for doing. These experiences don’t have to be successes to anyone but you. They could be singular accomplishments like completing a project or recurring themes that show up throughout your life. For example, I consider the many times that I helped my friends find their way through personal challenges to be successes that made good use of my strengths. These weren’t stand out accomplishments but rather recurring themes that held a lot of meaning.
2. After you have identified three successes, accomplishments, or experiences that you are proud of, pinpoint the strengths that you used to make each one of those experience a success. Write a separate list of strengths for each experience so that
you can start to see which strengths show up more than once.
2nd Secret To Discovering Your Strengths Activity: Ask “Your People”
Ask the people that know you well in professional and personal situations (friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, etc.) to answer the following questions about the strengths that they see in you. I recommend asking a total of five people so that you get a complete picture of what strengths other people see in you.
- What do you see as my strengths?
- How do you imagine me applying and utilizing these strengths in a career?
There are numerous other ways to discover your strengths that we use in our career coaching groups and individual sessions. If these methods don’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have strengths. Everyone has strengths. Everyone has an innate gift. Give us a call to learn more about other methods for discovering your strengths.
“You already possess everything necessary to become great” – Crow Native American Indian Saying
After discovering your strengths, the next step to moving forward on a career path that fits is to identify careers that are aligned with your strengths, or redesign your existing career to make better use of your strengths. Knowing your strengths isn’t going to do anything for you or anyone else unless you apply them in a meaningful way. Give us a call to explore how to find the right career that is aligned with your strengths or how to evolve your current job into a career path that capitalizes on your strengths. We offer a free thirty minute phone consultation – sign up on our website.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” - Martha Graham
Leave a comment to let us know what you discover.
April 28th, 2010
A client sent me this inspiring TED talk about the importance of following your passions to find a path that fits. Steven Tomlinson, the presenter, also talks about what gets in the way of people following their passions and offers some new perspectives on how to think about those obstacles. Check it out…