Tag Archives | dreams

Give Up On Long-Term Dreams, and Thrive

I heard this three months ago from a 17 year old school boy diagnosed with a terrible cancer. It has nagged at me. It’s so fricking powerful. For me, anyway. For you?

My then 45 year old mate Tony said this to the lads one night over a beer. “Oh- I’ll worry about that when I’m really old…like when I’m 55.” He’s a hugely smart man, Tony. But for once I was able to say to him: “Tony- let me tell you something I know that you don’t. When you’re 52, as I am today, 55 does not seem old.”

I just turned 55. It feels older than I thought! But I am thrilled about it. Because I have the answer to looking to the future with abundant optimism, hope and enthusiasm. It was given to me by a desperately ill 17 year old boy. Here it is:

The Secret To Igniting Your Career

“How did you you know you wanted to become a pilot?” I asked Pilot Sam. His response had a twist. It’s a message critical for happy, thriving, long-lasting careers. There’s magic in this. Read on.

We were dining beside the Bosphorus in Istanbul, sipping raki after a stupendous meal. My guest was Pilot Sam, a senior Turkish Airlines captain with 11,000 flying hours.

I expected a story about his seeing a plane in the sky above as a kid, and his knowing instantly his passion was for flight. How nothing makes him feel as free or inspired as controlling an aircraft through the skies. How sunrises from 30,000 feet make you feel like you can touch the face of God. Okay- I am going on a bit- but you get the idea.

Instead, Pilot Sam told me this story. It has a big message: in fact, this secret to success and career happiness:

Having clarity on your true Purpose is the key to loving what you do: and doing what you love.

The Key To Achieving Goals- Simple and Powerful, Yet Damned Hard To Do

There is a simple, unglamorous, obvious key ingredient to achieving goals, dreams, aspirations. It is right here in front of us, but so damned hard to do. Are you able to do it? If you can, victory is yours. Here it is.

The World Cup is upon us. It was while watching a documentary last night on the fortunes of six superb Manchester United players from the 1990s that I was reminded of this powerful insight, shared with me on Friday by a colleague.

Lukas inadvertently gave me the message for today’s Possums when he told me this: “Well, it’s time to quote from that movie ‘The Best Marigold Hotel’, when the son who is trying to restore the old hotel in India says:

The Absolute Secret To Success- But Be Warned, It Can Hurt!

The telecommunications executive looked at me expectantly, awaiting my answer to the most critical question of all: “How do I drive my career to ‘success’?” Oh- I knew the answer. And shared it. He was disappointed. As I knew he would be. Bet you will be too- because it is NOT EASY, though very, very simple. Here it is.

Many of us think about what ‘success’ means- what it looks like for me and how I’ll know when I get there. It’s one of life’s tough questions, and often takes years- if ever- for us to get clarity on ‘what’s it all about?’- for us. There is good news though. While nailing what ‘success’ means can be a long journey, the answer on how to get there is right in front of our noses. Seriously. Achieving ‘success’ is built around one very simple habit. And here it is.

If You Don’t Want To be a Loser-Do This-Often

I have just done something so extraordinary for me that I am in shock. When I realized I’d done it, I was embarrassed, for a moment. Ok- in truth I usually do it at night. But today I did it in broad daylight, and in public! Have I gone absolutely fricken mad? No- and here’s why.

I think it was in John Grisham’s ‘The Firm’ that I read about the crazy world of high powered, dog eat dog lawyers, where each tried to out-do the other by billing more hours. No-one went on holiday because someone would knife you if you did, and take your job. Or was it a ‘Wall Street’ era story? Does not matter. Point is, if you are as paranoid and insecure as me, you’re always petrified that unless you put it in relentlessly, and kick goals constantly, you’re somehow going to be found out as a pretender and get the big boot out the door, into a world of selling bananas on street corners.

And that’s why I was so shocked when I realized what I had done, in bright sunlight, just an hour ago. . I quickly comforted myself with this reassurance, given to me by a media tycoon three years ago. It’s powerful. And so basic.

Do You Have The Courage To Answer This One Question- And Share It?

This is a very short and sharp Possums post. It’s designed to get you thinking. And (I hope) to share your response. I am sharing mine. Tell me yours. But beware- this might scare you. Do you have the courage to tell the truth? I wonder……

All my life I have been handcuffed by insecurity and self-doubt. I have tried to compensate by being ‘extroverted’ and, to many, I appear confident and strong. But it’s a façade. Just under the surface is a frightened person- of failure, the unknown, risk, ridicule. Seriously. Fear has underpinned most of what I have done, and haven’t done, in my life.

I am a little better at it now. But still got a shock when confronted with this one, very simple question. Incredibly hard to answer, truthfully. But I am giving it a go. Here’s the question.