By Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla
It’s 2am on a Saturday morning. You awake in a panic. Your body is pulsing with electric jolts and your mind is racing uncontrollably! It is at this quiet, undisturbed hour of the early morning that it hits you: am I where I want to be in life? Did I meet my professional and personal goals? You close your eyes and the image of who you imaged yourself to be is vivid again. This image is so powerful that you awaken the next morning energized, ready to make this dream a reality! How do you continue to achieve our life goals? What is needed to create a mindset for success?
As working professionals, juggling your family life, careers and community activities, you are faced with the looming question: are you happy with your status? Have you been successful, and do you see more success ahead? It is important to realize that everyone has their own set of priorities in life with different permutations of family, work, scholarship and leadership. While there is no “one size fits all” solution, there are common ideals that allow professionals to maintain a mindset for success. This allows you to ultimately achieve all of your life’s dreams and goals.
There are six steps to ensure personal happiness and professional success. These steps are the basic foundation of success in any endeavor, especially as a busy professional. It is vital to stay energized and focused on your goals always adapting to new variables that may be thrown your way.
1) Stay Positive: The first ingredient to success is maintaining and emanating strong positive energy from within, and surrounding yourself with positive people. Drawing from your own inner strength and not depending on external sources of confidence building ensures a continuous supply of “success fuel”: positive energy. Meditation, reconnecting with your spirituality, self –reflection and engaging in activities such as exercise, sports and a hobby of your choice are ways to cultivate your inner sanctum of positive energy. Though it may seem difficult to smile or stay happy during times of social or financial difficulty, remember that everything happens for a good reason. Live without regrets and allow life to teach you; learn from these lessons. A well-known adage is “A fool is one who makes the same mistake twice.” Visualize and state your goals out loud. This strengthens your inner visualization, making it a more concrete, definitive goal.
2) Maintain Academic Discipline: Develop self-discipline with regards to education. Treat your academic life with utmost respect and continue to pursue higher learning. This gives you an edge over others and allows you to find an unexplored, untapped niche in your profession that can allow for tremendous success. Tailor your education to suit your goals and align yourself with mentors who can nudge you in the right direction and give you valuable experience.
3) Make a Plan: Plan out your goals and put them into action. Create a work/life balance plan that factors in other aspects of your life that are important to you: family life, hobbies and other interests. Think about how your eventual goal will affect these other “spheres” of your life and decide where you are able to compromise. It is important to involve your significant other in these talks to avoid surprises and conflict. You must be pro-active in pursuit of your goals. If you continue to be consistent, responsible and show an edge and insight unsurpassed by your peers, you will shine and succeed.
4) Be Prepared: Prepare yourself for surprise scenarios that may interrupt your journey toward your goal. This could be a company upheaval or financial “hiccup.” Take these changes in stride, never losing sight of your goal, but be open to modifying your approach. If problems arise, regroup to decide if you still want the same goals or if they need to be altered to suit your current situation. Your life is in your hands!
5) Be Humble: Never violate the cardinal rule of stepping on others to get to the top; this will eventually circle back around to you and has a negative snowball effect. Remain humble throughout your journey and accept criticism in stride. Winston Churchill once said, “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
6) Self-reflection and Re-evaluation: Frequent re-evaluation of your “happiness” thermometer is a good way to recognize if you are where you want to be in life. More angry or sad days than happy ones indicate that a change may be needed. Self-reflection, re-visiting your goals list and talking with your significant other is your next step in strategizing your move. Take a comprehensive worldly approach toward achieving your goals. Talk and interact with others who have already lived your goal and learn from their mistakes. Be willing to adapt to the new “climate” in your business life. As when the economy took a tumble years ago, instead of licking your wounds, remain open to new approaches within your area of expertise. This could be your golden opportunity to re-energize your career and professional goals.
There are many different ways to be a successful professional, even with the demands of other aspects of living. Choosing the best path depends on instinct, which must be honed over the years, and buttressed by the support you get from those closest to you. Open your heart and draw strength from within and envelop your life with positive thinking. You make your own mindset. The power has always been yours to use! You will learn through experimentation and good old-fashioned trial by error. Throughout your journey, keep this lesson at the forefront: With humility and drive you can yoke and harness your own inner strength as an adult and as a working professional, achieving all your life goals.
Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla is a speaker and expert in work/life balance. Her book, Harmony of the Spheres, offers methods to streamline workloads, solve interpersonal workplace issues and offers practical advice on integrating work and home life. In addition, she runs the website busymomMD.com, an informative site for modern, educated women juggling career and family.