Wake Me Up”
Lyrics:  AVICII


So wake me up when it’s all over; When I’m wiser and I’m older; All this time I was finding myself;  And I didn’t know I was lost

Haven’t we all at one time or another felt like this? We thought we were in exactly the right place, where we belong. Doing what seemed like all the right things.  Then time passes and we come to realize that somehow, somewhere we fell off our original path.  At some point along the way we switched directions.  Instead of pursuing our hopes and dreams, we made a choice that changed everything.  Maybe it was a career choice, the state we chose to live in, college we picked or change in stance on an issue we felt passionate about.

We wake up.  Something inside of us awakens and triggers our memory.  We begin to remember those deeply embedded dreams and aspirations we had as kids.  The inventions we made, the cook book of special recipes, home-made cosmetics, perfume mixes, and the poems we wrote to make us famous.  These memories are there – neatly tucked away in the back of our mind.  They resurface time and again.  Sometimes they nag at us a bit – giving us that “feeling” that we should be spending our life’s time doing something else. We do a reality check, make a quick comparison of where we are and where we wanted to be.  Then land exactly where Avicii did in his song – lost. 

Now what?

Do we let time and life continue to pass? Stay there in regret and ask to be woken when we are passed the point of opportunity to switch directions yet again? Hoping to wake up when we’re older and wiser to deal with the choices we made?

No way. Not us.  We know that nothing is ever final so long as we can breathe.  We can re-think, re-set and re-load our dreams into the fabric of our daily life.  Will it be easy to take two steps backward to go forward? Definitely not, but not nearly as hard as thinking about the what-ifs and the “if only I had changed direction when i had the chance” thoughts.

Here are some simple things you can do to make sure you don’t let what makes you happy get lost along life’s journey:

  • Keep your own personal “priority” vision for your life front and center – take time to check in – and confirm that you are really doing what you love and what makes you happy.
  • Set small goals to chart your success – if you always wanted to be an artist – take a class – pick up a book on the subject – find people who do the things that you would like to do – and study how they got there
  • Pick motivational themes that will inspire and help you get there  – I love Winston Churchill’s Never Give In, Never Give In, Never Never Give In.
  • Reflect – take quiet time to think – don’t get swept up in all the busyness of life
  • Track your progress and note your achievements, then quickly move on what’s next
  • Don’t Settle – take small steps to get back on the track to your personal happiness goals – develop a punch list of the things you need to do first – keep a journal and never feel like its too late to right the ship.

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Why a Type 1 Personality Wins Over a Type X

brainHave you ever taken a test to describe your personality type? I have taken several along my career path and have always found the results interesting. How do my responses determine how my brain is wired?  The most recent personality assessment put me in the “objective thinker” and conscientious categories.  Though I would have loved to come up as “results oriented” I feel pretty good about being known as someone who can make clear decisions independent of peer bias (totally me!) and follows through on promises made.

Dan Pink’s book “Drive…The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us” is chock full of information on what inspires people to be at their best. It is a great read and now I am following him on Twitter and FB.  In Drive, Dan describes two personality types – TYPE 1 and TYPE X – and after completing a cool 10 minute online survey, you can see where you fit.

So what is a TYPE 1?  These are people who are driven by inner rewards or intrinsic goals. If you are in this group, you are inspired more by an inner sense of fulfillment than by external incentives and rewards. TYPE X people are energized by outside forces or acknowledged recognition won by their actions.  The wealthy Donald Trump is a TYPE X – driven by the growth of his organizations, value, societal contributions, hotels etc. Mozart was a TYPE 1.  We all have qualities of both but tend to lean more in one direction over the other.

Take the quiz to see where you fall

It is definitely not the case that one type is better than the other.  That is a point Dan makes clear.  What he does do is provide reasons why being driven by our inner desires leads to a happier life in the long run. Type 1’s feel happy when they do things that have an enduring effect on their lives.  They aren’t  looking for applause or recognition.  Their achievement comes from doing things that will have a lasting effect on them and those they love. This doesn’t mean that they would turn a promotion or raise away.  Their happiness is fueled by living out their sense of personal purpose in life. In contrast, TYPE Xs are motivated by seeing their actions result in external rewards…their businesses flourish and their talents are well-known (Simon Cowell is another TYPE X).

The carrot however in being a TYPE 1 according to research, is that TYPE 1s have higher self-esteem, better interpersonal relationships and a greater sense of well-being than those who are externally motivated.

If after you take the quiz, discover your TYPE X personality and want to be more like a TYPE 1 – you can learn how…but you’ll have to read Dan’s book!  I came across it at the library (I love the library 🙂

P.S.  I came back as mostly a TYPE 1 – I think that is about right

Dan PInk