Some Advice for the Road!

Great Piece of Advice from Study Hacks

Some Advice for the Road (link to this article)

I’m leaving this afternoon to attend a college graduation: my second in three weeks. As you might imagine, graduating is on my mind, and, I would guess, on many of your minds as well. To celebrate the season I thought I would turn my attention to some advice for finding your way after college.

I want to share with you the unique law I use to guide my life. It’s a twist on the standard graduation inducements, but it seems, from my limited experience, to work the best of the various strategies I’ve watched my peers try on for size in their first years out of college.

The advice goes like this:

Fix the lifestyle you want. Then work backwards from there.

That’s it. Notice, I’m not talking about “avoiding taking yourself to seriously” or “always finding ways to give back.” I didn’t mention “the importance of a sense or humor” or why you need to “follow your passion, not money.” These are all reasonable words of wisdom, but they don’t necessarily direct you to a life that you’re happy to live.

My advice does.

Defining Lifestyle

What do I mean by lifestyle? Roughly speaking: a detailed feel for what your day to day existence would be like. Some questions to consider when imagining an ideal lifestyle:

  • How much control do I have over my schedule?
  • What’s the intensity level of my job?
  • What’s the importance of what I do?
  • What’s the prestige level?
  • What type of work?
  • Where do I live?
  • What’s my social life like?
  • What’s my work life balance?
  • What’s my family like?
  • How do other people think of me?
  • What am I known for?

Using these types of questions to guide you, construct an image in your mind about the ideal future you. Notice, specific jobs don’t need to enter the equation. They can if they help you visualize, but they aren’t necessary. Add little details. Really get a sense for what this lifestyle would feel like. If the image makes you happy and gets you excited about the possibilities for your future, then you’ve hit on a good match.

Example Lifestyles

There exists an infinite variety of possible lifestyles. Here are just a few examples:

  • The Power Broker: You live in a big city in a nice apartment. You climbed the ladder fast in a difficult business. You wield power. You’re good at what you do. You’re well respected. Your job is intense but you are super-organized so it doesn’t drive you crazy. You’re surrounded by good, loyal friends, and when you have fun, you have fun hard.
  • The Serial Entrepreneur: You live in a nice San Francisco townhouse. You’ve started several businesses. Some more successful than others. You tend to alternate between an intense year or two growing a business followed by some extended time off for intense relaxation. You’ve got a network of good friends across the country and a bar down the street that you visit every Friday night to catch-up with your closest buddies. You use your off time to develop extreme hobbies and indulge in grand, hopelessly ambitious and wildly fun projects.
  • The Virtual Voyager: You live in your dream house in a cozy community-oriented town, surrounded by natural beauty. You work virtually for several technology companies; setting your own hours. Three or four light days a week is enough to take care of your expenses. You and your family spend a lot of time outdoors, barbecuing with the neighbors, and, in general, enjoying small town life. You travel a lot for the sheer adventure of it.

Working Backwards

Once you’ve developed a detailed, visceral sense for your ideal lifestyle, use this image to guide your early career decisions. It’s a rough guide, to be sure, but it can still prove surprisingly useful.

Imagine, for example, that you’re faced with two options as graduation approaches. One is an elite project manager position at Microsoft and the other is acceptance to some good computer science graduate schools. Both are interesting and challenging. What do you choose? The power broker would go for the Microsoft position. The serial entrepreneur, on the other hand, would go for grad school — a perfect place to develop her first marketable technology.

The Power of Lifestyle-Centric Career Planning

Starting with a dream lifestyle — as oppose to a dream job — opens up more creativity. When thinking only about jobs, you’ll find yourself considering the same artificially-narrow menu of options troubled over by most talented college grads (banking, consulting, law, non-profit…) A lifestyle, on the other hand, provides much more flexibility — letting you discover potential paths previously hidden from your planning process.

The main advantage, however, is that, in the end, the whole point of worrying about your career is because you want to feel good about your life. By cutting to the bottom-line — what would make me feel best? — and then working backward from this answer, you are maximizing your odds that you’ll actually get somewhere worth going.

As with any graduation season advice, take this with a grain of salt. This is what I have seen work, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only thing that will. It can’t hurt, however, to take a moment to ask yourself: what lifestyle would suit me best?

You might be surprised where the answer leads you.

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How To Know Who You Are?

I think it is very hard to figure out who you are, and I think no matter how hard you try you cant just figure out yourself properly. Knowing thyself is always a mystery I guess!!

However, I found this interesting website where they explained “How to know who you are in 20 minutes?”

It was interesting for me as how come this one article can help me figure who I am in less than 20 minutes where all my family, friends or even myself can’t figure it out in all these years 🙂

Well, even though it sounds wired, may be somewhat impossible to work, but it seems pretty interesting & helpful. And I guess if it can be followed properly at least we can sketch ourselves to some extent  and find out (to some extent:P ) who we are!!(??)

Here is part of the exercise I am putting from this link.  Special  acknowledgment to Patricia for such interesting and helpful article.

This exercise requires you to be honest. If you are answering what others want to hear, you will not be seeing yourself, but a superficial image you project. Be real with yourself as you do this and you will discover the richness of your existence! It is that simple, but it is not easy. It requires the courage to be honest, and recognize you will find areas for change. Get out a paper and writing implement, and be ready to write (a computer will do, but writing by hand can trigger more creativity).

1. Beliefs: What are your beliefs? Begin writing down the first thing that you think about, and continue to write on each of these belief system components until you feel your answer is complete (or force yourself to stop at 5 minutes for this first round, and to address each part with at least a few sentences). Think about what drives your moral compass, brings you strength, what values contribute to your sense of worth and your life philosophy. Here are the three components:

beliefs about God and your spiritual life
beliefs about yourself: what messages you send mentally, physically, and emotionally
beliefs about life: how you fit into the world (your purpose), attitude, outlook, and what character traits you value

2. Personality: What traits are contained in your unique and special personality? Take 5 minutes to find and record descriptive words about yours. I have included a handy way to answer this in less than 5 minutes. God designed us all differently. Can you imagine if everyone wanted to be in charge of little details, and there were no people to see the big picture? What if everyone was a great listener, but nobody could think of anything to say? Your personality is filled with a unique combination of traits that can be used for bettering yourself and others, or for tearing yourself and others down. A person gifted in organization, for example, can choose to be domineering and manipulative, or can choose to better others with encouragement as they see the big picture and help complete projects.

Knowing your personality and giftings can help you understand areas for change, and can help you feel proud of who God made you to be. If you have never taken a personality profile test, they can be fun to try, so why not do one now? Remember, be honest. Here is a link to one I found via a google search. It is free, easy to do, and gives quick results (it took me about two minutes to answer). Give it a try! When you return, I will share my results with you too (and we will get to the most important part of this exercise!). If anyone would like to suggest another test, I am happy to review it and add it to this list (there are also excellent personality profiles tests in print). http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

Are you back? What did you find out? Do you see yourself described in the results? You may only identify with part of the description, or you may feel you are more of a combination of two descriptions. If you are puzzled by the results, did you answer the questions honestly, or did you answer as you thought you should (rather than how you really feel)? Select the words that best describe your personality and write them down.

If anyone is curious, I scored as INFJ, and I especially liked the description by Butt and Hess (linked on the results page). It is amazing when you see parts of you described! Now, while some personality-types are eager to analyze and assess their strengths and qualities, there are other personalities that see it as a waste of time, or that hate to be labeled and “put into a box”. I suspect if that is you, you skipped the test and continued to read- am I right? No problem, you have only proven my point. People have different personalities, and this diversity is what makes life interesting.

3. Actions: Take 5 minutes to list how this identity manifests itself in actions by recording your:

priorities, interests, hobbies, talents, and giftings
influence and initiative
coping skills/ how you manage adversity
accomplishments and goals
relationships

The most important finishing touch on your identity will use up the last 5 minutes: now that you have figured out who you are, create who you want to be by making changes immediately. Look at the results. Your beliefs, your personality, and your resulting actions all merge together as pieces of your puzzle. This is how you perceive yourself, which in turn, determines how you portray yourself.

Living with yourself!

The person you live with your whole life is none but you! Now if that person irriatates you, if that person deteriorate your future success…if that person actions make you feel embarrased….if that person is not happy…if that person is sad…if that person is depressed – think about the impact on your life!!!!

I know it sounds naive but there is a deep thought (or I should say philosophy) behind it! If we could think this way can we improve ourself more efficiently, can we work on our problems ..limitations more actively then we usually do?? Will we understand the importance of our acts and steps towards life?? Will we be able to relate ourselves with our success accordance to our actions?? Will it become more visible?? Will we notice things which we generally tend to ignore???

My thought is if we realize the most important person in our life who controls almost everythign in and about our life is we – ourseleves then I am sure we will emphasize more on improving ourselves. If we come out of the box we live in….the ME I’m in and try to look at our own activities as a n outsider we realize how wrong we are at certain things..how terribly we think and how terribly we act….at particular issues…

I guess we should come out and know the REAL ME and then take some actions….let that ME know that ‘here are your problems…these are the things you lack…and this is what you should do to carry on for better future’  ….I am sure that will be a great way of doing self-improvement!

The most important person you live with (yourself) must know how important is to take care of yourslef by taking some good actions !!!