I was very ambitious as I was setting out to do 2018. I had just taken on a new role at a university full-time, and had the intention of going into my office to consult clients during the weekends. At the same time, I am also growing an online counseling platform, which at the moment has become a rather promising prospect for the coming few years. I also had the goal of learning more about making good investments (stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies – I know, the latter being a point of contention) and grow a healthy investment portfolio. To make this a reality, I wanted to make sure that I save as much as possible. I also wanted to have time for a good amount of daily exercise, walks with my dogs, dinners with family… Oh, and a reasonable social life.
Spread too thin
As you may have figured from that rather exhaustive list, I ended up not handling that so well. I was in the period of adjusting to my new role, and despite the rather big difference in lifestyle I had to change to, thought that I could also muster up the drive to acquire an entirely new skill, save as much as possible, have a “life”, while still maintaining 3 responsibilities that I have for my career.
By the end of the day, I am usually too tired to even get started on studying up on the wealth of new resources. As a reaction to this stress, I spent much more money than I would usually do over the weekends. Essentially, I was doing the opposite of what I had set out to do. It felt like I was taking one step forward, and two steps back. That didn’t turn out too well for my emotional well-being, as I started questioning my competence and future direction. It did not feel good.
Part of the training for the new role involved writing a core value/ personal mission statement. This is a statement that embodies a person’s values and what he/ she intends to make out of his/her life. Although I’m not quite finished, it gave me a peek into my passion, values, and skills. Essentially, it is a statement of who I am as a person. It slowly began to dawn on me that I started out the year spreading myself too thin, with no focused direction to efficiently utilize my limited psychological resources. Doing this exercise, it was also very clear to me that my core value statement will revolve around the area of personal development, and the strong desire to reach out to as many people as possible.
Just the other day, I was having dinner with a couple of friends when the conversation started centering around financial management. One of them brought up a statement from a Tony Robbins book about investing too much (negative) energy and attention on what little money that can be saved. Instead, directing that energy towards activities and thoughts that could instead generate more money (in other words, putting that energy to positive action) would be a much more desirable alternative. Although I wasn’t much of a Tony Robbins fan, that really did hit home for me.
One inch wide, one mile deep
I was casually browsing through my old folders a few days later, when I stumbled upon the book that I was writing some time in the beginning of last year. At the back of my mind, I knew that I’ve always wanted to complete that book, but had been putting it off because I felt that it wasn’t too good. I was completely surprised by the sheer volume of how much I have already written. The articles also had the genuineness, intention, and thoughtfulness of what I think makes good writing. It was full of useful information that was well-written. I had underestimated my past self!
These chain of events made me realize that I was not centered in my purpose for 2018. The things that I need to get done and pursue relentlessly has been staring right at my face. Instead, I chose to pursue unrelated skills and activities that would deviate me from more fruitful goals. This insight felt like warm rays of light massaging my skin, as the dark clouds began to disperse.
I felt like I have found myself, and what I needed to do has become very clear. These are goals that are in line with my values and passion, which would then lead to productive outcomes. At the end of February 2018, I’ve found what I need to accomplish for the year, and they are:
1) To complete a personal development book catered to young adults.
2) To successfully receive VC funding for the online counseling app.
3) To consult a minimum of 3 clients every weekend at my practice.
4) To further develop facilitating skills with an audience at my new role in university, which would be a means of personal development in the area of public speaking/ training.
5) To save income generated from consulting private clients, and invest most of it to build a healthy financial portfolio.
2018, here I come!