Before I interviewed for my first job post-grad school, I had a telephone conversation with my prior supervisor. She encouraged me to write down what I am looking for in a position, and to remember that you I am interviewing them, just as much as they are interviewing me. I took some time to write down everything I was currently looking for: a salaried position with benefits (Coming off of 7 years of college/grad school combined, this was a deal-breaker!), the opportunity to earn hours towards licensure, ability to work with the population I had experience with, potential for advancement, and professional development. When I went on my first interview for the position I later accepted, the first question they asked me was, “What are you looking for in a job?” My nerves were immediately calmed, and this process was solidified for me in various aspects of my life.
Fast forward a couple of years and being a little down with my dating prospects and love life, I decided to spend some time writing down and focusing on what I was looking for in a partner. I kept it in the notes section on my phone, and soon forgot about it. I found it again, looking through my phone as we were coming home from our honeymoon. I had started the list in April 2013, and coincidently met Andy that May.
I can find myself constantly spouting out things I don’t want in my life. I don’t want debt, I don’t want stress, and I don’t want to argue with my spouse. And what I have found is that focusing on what you don’t want actually puts energy into those things. Shifting your thoughts to focus on what you do want is the best way to move those things into your life.
I took some time this weekend to write a couple of new lists for what I want, personally, professionally and in my relationship. I realized I felt stuck in a pattern of focusing on things I didn’t want in my life, and wasn’t making the things I did want a priority. Putting them to paper makes them more concrete and gives me the ability to reflect back on them to be more mindful and purposeful in my daily life.
I listened to one of The Marie Forleo podcast episodes a few weeks ago, and she shared about brainstorming ideas in the form of, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…”. Since I have been struggling with motivation to exercise and bored with my current routine, I found myself saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I found a gym I could go to in the morning, that offered bootcamp style group classes and I would still have time to look decent before work?” I started writing down these, and other sentiments and found it was easier to get my brain jogging on what I currently aspire to attain in my life. Through a little research and talking to various people, I found a new gym that fit my requirements.
I am offering up this advice, as it has been extremely helpful for me. Although situations do not always work out immediately in our favor, I have found that with continued effort, energy and mindful choices, doors open and paths shift in the directions we are moving. There seem to be many changes on the horizon in my life and this process helps me feel grounded in what I desire to emanate.
Do any of you do anything like this? Whether it’s praying, journaling, mindfulness, etc, I would love to hear.