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Episode 108 – Finding Your Purpose
[-27:11] What I figured we would talk about something really important: If your goals don’t align with what you’re doing, then you’ll be in a lot of trouble.
I look at a lot of what I do day to day. But when I look back at the end of the week, I realize that a lot of the things I wanted to get done did not get done because I’ve gotten caught up in busy work — and not gotten closer to what I wanted to achieve.
Some Day Goals
It’s critical to think about Some Day Goals, the goals you would want to achieve 5 years from now. A lot of us are too scared to say that out loud:
– We’re afraid to say it out loud;
– We’re afraid of being judged;
– We aren’t sure these goals are even possible.
We all have our inner critic. If that’s the case, it will get in the way of achieving things like owning your own studio, making your own game, being a millionaire, etc. A lot of us rule these things out without giving them a try. Having a Some Day Goal takes the pressure off.
You’ve heard me talk about being 14 in the 90s. It seemed unachievable to become a VFX Supervisor for Hollywood features. To me, that seemed like a Some Day Goal: It was more of a life journey. If anything, it gives you your direction. It’s your True North, the ultimate way you’re heading.
[-22:19] Having a Some Day Goal gives you a moral compass. In other words, by having this ultimate goal, it allows you to have that gut feeling if things are working for you. Let’s say you’re working in a different industry and doing well in your career. You may feel you’re successful but you want to direct your first feature, for example. By having your Some Day Goal, you’ll start to think about whether your accomplishments are getting you any closer to your bigger goals. It should be easy to make that decision.
One of my friends was one of the first 30 employees at Facebook. He wrote a book about that experience and what he’d learned. He talked about Mark Zuckerberg always talking about “that ONE goal”. For Facebook, it was growth. By having that one goal, it meant that any suggestion that got made would get measured against that one goal. By having that laser focus, everything has to align with everything closer and closer. You’re not spreading yourself thin.
[-18:55] With all the infinite options, it’s so easy to get distracted. I’ve done a Podcast on my big Year of No (www.allanmckay.com/100/). During that year, it came down to having a gut feeling about new jobs aligning with what I wanted to do. When I had all these big opportunities, it surprised me how quickly I would realize that I had to turn them down. Never in my life had I had such clarity. There was a week when I turned out work at Scanline and Digital Domain and a few other places, all in the span on one week. Out of nowhere, I say yes to a car commercial. The very next day, a friend called with a great opportunity that I couldn’t take on. By saying my guard down, I ended up saying yes to something that wasn’t right for me at all.
By now, I am more focused. As long as you’ve got that path, you have a sense of certainty. And because there is no urgency to accomplish something in 6 years, you know you’re inching your way closer to the big goal. On the horizon, there is land. You just have to keep paddling.
TODAY is the Day!
[-15:15] By having a Some Day Goal, you can then set a 5-Year Plan. For example:
– Work in the industry;
– Make a short film;
– Establish relationships with other people;
– Have an agent to get meetings with the right people.
Then, you can set a 3-Year Plan an 1-Year Plan. Then you can take a look at TODAY’s Plan. If there is not a single thing you’re doing that’s getting you closer — then you can have a realization about where you need to make a change. As of today, you need to start changing your direction. It’s easy to take a look where you want to be and backtrace to 3 years, 1 year — and then start making those changes.
[-13:05] It’s one of the hardest things to start out to do. I don’t think it’s an easy thing to say these things out loud — but it starts with that. You have to be able to speak about your Some Day Goal out loud and you need to start that TODAY! It doesn’t mean that you start making rash decisions like quitting your job and risk your career.
– You can take your time transitioning.
– You can work some overtime. (I talk about the 3-6-3 Mindset: www.allanmckay.com/16/: Into 6 months you condense a year-worth of work and have a life in between.)
– When you take a vacation, you can work on your future goals and create opportunities for yourself.
Again, you don’t have to make drastic changes right away. One year from now, you may want to be in a different career.
– What are the steps you need to take today to make that happen?
– Who are the people you need to get to know?
– What are the skills you need to learn?
– What are the experiences you need to get on your resume?
[-09:01] Think about what you’re doing. Think about the plans you have already — and whether those align with your goals now. You need to start aligning yourself and re-orienting yourself. The next Episode will be about condensing your plans.
[-08:01] This is the most crucial and the hardest part: Your decision about what you want to ultimately achieve. Think about what excites and interests you. If you could do that for the rest of your life, would it feel like work? Better yet, if you didn’t have to work, what would you be doing every day?
Just Do It!
Put in the time what that is for you, right now. But it needs to answer that main question:
– Are you heading in the right direction?
– What are the key steps do you have to take?
Most people to this day still don’t know what should define them. If you’re not doing what really drives you, cut the talking about it out — and start doing it!
Other subjects coming up:
– How to network.
– How to build more confidence.
– How to build your website, reel — and how to make yourself more searchable online.
– How to work from home.
– How to reinvent yourself so you can take on work as a vendor or freelancer.
– How to take care of your finances.
I hope you found his Episode valuable. Let me know what you think. I definitely want to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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