What’s the dream?
Janelle was an excellent solicitor, nobody knew her area of law as well as she did and she prided herself on her extensive knowledge. She knew that she was held in very high esteem in her firm and the consistent promotions indicated that she was well regarded. For the most part she enjoyed the job; she particularly enjoyed mentoring colleagues and watching them flourish. But she was beginning to feel a little empty especially as she saw the next role for her might take her more into a thought leadership role and away from mentoring others. On reflection, she realised that she didn’t really know what she wanted or what she was truly interested in.
It can be helpful to have something to dream about, to look forward to and to be passionate about.
Here are a few coaching questions I’ve asked recently that have had people dig deep and really consider their purpose and their ‘why’. These were mostly accidental asks – just questions that popped up and seemed to have a good impact in the moment. Those are often ‘keepers’, so I’ve reused them with others with a pretty strong impact.
- Why do you work?
- What’s the dream you are following? Whose dream is it?
- How much do you really care about what you are doing now?
Positive anticipation can give us dopamine which creates the motivation to move forward.
You might be good at something and quite effective in your job. That can certainly feel satisfying and maybe that’s enough (maybe that is perfectly right for you).
But maybe sometimes you wonder, why am I doing this? What’s it’s all about? And that might tell you that you are missing a dream or purpose.
Maybe your dream would be about a big problem to solve. Or a way to contribute positively to the world we live in, which seems to get more complicated by the day.
Sometimes one of these questions can be helpful to ask yourself – or others:
- If you had all the money you ever needed, what would you do?
- What would you change in the world if you could?
- If you could wave a magic wand and change something, what would that be?
Then follow that with, What part of that could you address yourself?
We don’t have to have a purpose or dream. But it is helpful if we want to care about the job and truly engage with it.
Here are some other, related blog posts that may also be interesting:The dire impact of toxic communicationMaking meetings matter