Friday, March 18, 2011

Becoming the CEO of Your Own Life

In today's rough economy, I meet so many people that feel out of control of most everything. I frequently hear comments like "I'm spinning in so many directions, I'm not sure where to turn" or "I feel like I have so much to accomplish I don't know where to start". I think all of us have had these sentiments at one time or another. Juggling the demands of family, career, personal obligations, perhaps starting a second job or business, it is no wonder we feel overwhelmed. One fact remains through it all: we have choices. We have control over both large and small decisions ever day that ultimately are the fabric of what our life looks like.

If we could look at how we run our lives like a CEO runs a company, what would we find? A CEO must successfully direct every single day these things:
Human Resources
Furthermore, a CEO has to juggle most of this simultaneously...just like we do: career, family, relationships, financial management, household and community responsibilities, health, and recreation.

It seems like a good place to start to feel more in control may be shifting our perspective from "I'm just a passenger in the car that is my life" to "I'm in the driver's seat, and I'll determine where it is I'll go".

So what does it take? First, getting really clear on what we value is key. If we can succinctly define what we value most, it is the building block that everything else must rest upon. Our decisions must reflect our values. Secondly, we have to prioritize those values-based decisions. What are your top priorities?
Career advancement
Increased income/profits
Reducing Stress
Getting Healthy
Finding meaning and fulfillment
Whatever we value, we have to choose the activities that put our top priorities on top. For instance, if I say my top priority is increasing my bottom line profits, but I spend the majority of my time doing $10 hour admin work, my priorities are not straight. It's the question that must be asked every day: Is what I am doing right now, advancing my top priority? This leads to the last important point: the ability to be brutally honest with ourselves. If we state one priority but find ourselves consistently spending time that will not produce a result...can we be both willing to tell the truth about that, AND be willing to change?

Willingness to change will be a topic for another day....