Setting Yourself up for Success: From defining the destination to what you’ll do (and not do) every day

Embarking on a new adventure of any kind can be daunting. Commencing an educational journey, a new project or a new job can ignite feelings of excitement and anxiety simultaneously. An eagerness to acquire and apply new knowledge and insights are met with feelings of discomfort about the many known unknowns and a few unknown unknowns.

Before embarking on the journey, I encourage you to invest a few minutes to assess, what is required to Set yourself up for success?

As a digitalised talent management scholar, I frequently note that effectively appropriating technology reminds me of a GPS (global positioning system). Effective navigation with a GPS requires two data points – where we are starting from and where are heading.

With this analogy in mind, find a notebook and draw in pen, a picture which represents where you are today and captures where you are heading.

The journey to this destination is not necessarily linear; many paths may be crossed. I share here J.R.R Tolkien’s sentiments which my PhD supervisor – Dr Kristine Dery – shared with me during my PhD journey; ‘Not all those who wander are lost’.

If you need some inspiration about a destination, then you may like to read and reflect on the broader notion of productivity expressed in Heinrich Böll’s fisherman and tourist tale. Lessons embedded in this tale is the salience of personal strategies as well as the value in appreciating differing perspectives of what success ‘looks like’ for you, and what success ‘looks like’ to me.

For some, success is about the goal or destination and thus will ‘happen one day’. For others, success is about the every day.

A guiding principle (in addition to – set yourself you for success) is to ‘Focus on the every day, rather than the some day’. Focusing on the every day rather than some day encourages talk about the moments in each day.

Now back to the notion of success. Start today.

You can devise two lists: the first focusing on what you will do every day.

The second is what you will not do every day.

The key-take-away: Setting yourself up for success – whether for some future day or as you see it today – is influenced by what you do (or don’t do) every day.

Regardless of your notion of success or your (changeable) destination, enjoy the milestones and acknowledge your achievements – with a celebration.

Link to Fisherman’s Tale

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