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Are you dreaming your days away on Someday Isle?

Jul 20, 2020

And then what…?

The school holidays have started – yay! NO MORE HOME-SCHOOLING!!! (cue banners, party poppers and those party blowers!)  Having said that, working from home and with no school work to fall back on to keep them occupied, what do I now do with my children to ensure they’re kept amused – and that doesn’t involve a digital device?!

And those school holidays will be over in a flash and we reach what I consider to be the next milestone of the year – a new academic year. The New Year, Spring and September are very often markers when you feel that extra impetus to re-evaluate where you are, what you have achieved and what you want going forward; maybe looking for a career change (it is possible, even in this climate)/starting a business/planning the next adventure/experience/learning opportunity.

I personally feel that without goals and a sense of purpose, we’re a bit like a ball on a pinball machine – being knocked around by the flippers and springs of circumstance and other people; we head for the hole in the bottom thinking ‘what happened?!’ - well, not very much if we didn’t consciously decide what we wanted. If we make a conscious decision that we’re quite happy taking life as it comes, that’s great but if we’re sleepwalking through life and wonder why the exciting opportunities don’t happen to us, well that’s all our own doing – consciously or not!

Questions to ponder…

How many 18-year-old’s do you suppose say to themselves: ‘I can’t wait to grow older and lead a really average life? To be in the same job for twenty years that I don’t much enjoy, with a partner who doesn’t understand me nor appreciate me and kids who take me for granted.’ I’d hazard a guess that not too many have those kind of exciting aspirations…! Yet, somehow, for so many, that’s exactly what happens.  The exciting plans give way to mediocre. So, who or what stands in the way of their awesomeness? Well, they do.

"It’s your place in the world, it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live." So said Mae Jemison - the first black American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. Obviously, Mae Jemison didn’t let fear of failure, the naysayers or inertia stand in her way – she had big dreams and she went for it.

Ask yourself - if you could do anything, and money were no object, what would you do? Take a moment here and think about it. Really think about it. What would it be? Round the world travel? Turning your passion into a business? Giving up work so you can get through that to-do list of all the people you want to see and things you want to do/spend time on a pastime you enjoy? Build your dream home? Train for a triathlon? Write a book? Become a mentor and volunteer for a charity etc etc etc.

Yes, I appreciate there are bills to pay if we want to live comfortably – I’m not for one moment under the misconception that we are all in a position to throw caution to the wind, chuck in our jobs, and spend every single moment pursuing our passion; however, sometimes it's important to remind ourselves why we're doing what we're doing, and to take an inventory of our dreams.

We all have the same 24 hours in the day and with some careful planning and saving, might we possibly be able to achieve some of these dreams, albeit modified slightly? “Dream big and dare to fail.” South Pole adventurer Norman Vaughan said.

The world makes a path for someone who knows where they are going.

So, how do you know what you want out of life and how do you get it? Very important questions. Let’s not waste any time finding out the answers my friends…

First, know what your values are. The top five. All our decisions are based around our values so know what they are, rather than adopt them from someone else who didn’t give much thought to them either. Then, it’s finding your why - a strong sense of purpose consists of three things and if it’s missing a component then it’s not a sense of purpose, it’s a wish. What you need is:






Who sets goals for us? Our parents, partner, manager, friends, even our children! Sometimes there can be a whole list of people which doesn’t even include ourselves… If we don’t set goals, someone else will do it for us; so, to have what we want in life, we need to have that sense of purpose, a specific goal and the utter self-belief in ourselves.

Mark Twain once said: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” So, what’s your why?

Humour me and grab a piece of paper and a pen (I go trad – no digital for me!).

Write a table with three columns and in the first column, write down all the areas of your life such as career, family, friends, finance, community etc. Then in the column next to that, score between 0 to 10 how you feel at the moment - how happy you are with that area of life, not where you think you should be. Then in the third column, is it a High, Medium or Low priority in your life at the moment?

So, it might look something like this:

Area of Life



Home – family life/partner:












Health & well-being:






Experiences/bucket list:



Personal growth:






If you have any areas with a score under 5 and an H, that’s an area you might want to focus on. Either make a plan to ensure you address this imbalance or realise that it can’t be important to you - change the H and rate it as a lower priority.

This exercise is worth doing regularly, to check-in what’s important to you because over time, that shifts as our values change. Are you drifting in life blindly working towards something which you don’t much care about anymore?

It’s also an exercise worth doing with family because then you can see how you might be able to find some common goals to all work towards. You might find there are some trade-offs between areas – perhaps you might settle for a smaller house if you want nicer holidays. You might well have to pay the price literally and metaphorically. This exercise really gets those cogs whirring and thinking about life in a way you might not have done previously. Because you can either direct your own life, or not. Most people only have a walk on part in their own lives – yet you should be the star and the director!

Make a new plan, Stan

So, you know what’s important to you and if there are areas which you need to work on, you make the time to consider how you do this.

If you’ve got that big juicy goal to aim for, you implement the Winning Edge’s 8 Point Plan to ensure it becomes a reality:

Your goals should be:

  1. In writing - Only 2% of people write their goals down. Be in that 2%! The action of writing down your goal tells your brain it is something important.
  2. Specific - Rather than a nebulous goal - be specific so that your subconscious can get to work spotting the opportunities to make it a reality.
  3. Where possible dated - ‘Next year’ can be any year as time drifts on… Be specific with the year - month too if possible, and your brain will start working out ways to make it happen.
  4. Frequently affirmed - Affirmations are key to changing yourself, changing the negative to the positive. Repetition is the important thing. It’s proven through cognitive therapy to realign neural pathways.
  5. In the present tense - It’s telling the truth ahead of the facts so your brain will do what it can to catch up. ‘I will..’ can be that never never date whereas ‘I am…’ makes it so.
  6. Expressed personally - All goals should be written and affirmed as ‘I’ – so they embed this goal is specifically about you and that you’re responsible for making it happen.
  7. Visualised as already achieved - There are two types of visualisation - outcome visualisation where you see yourself achieving your goal, and process visualisation – visualising the journey to that achievement. Make a mental move using all 5 senses and play it
  8. Fervently desired - If you don’t want something badly enough, you won’t do it. So, ensure what you what is what you really really want, zigazig ah.

Without a plan of how you’re going to achieve your goal and the self-discipline to persist to achievement, you’re just living on Someday Isle - a place defined by The Winning Edge; it’s a place full of people who spend their lives procrastinating most of the time. You may be familiar with the statements: ‘Someday I’ll do that Open University degree’, ‘Someday I’d like to plan a holiday to Brazil’ or ‘Someday I’ll change my job and do something I’d really like to do’.

We're all doing exactly what we want to do every day because it sits most emotionally comfortably with us. Are you living life consciously though? Want a different life? Then do something about it. Figure out your why and make a plan. Life's too short to live on Someday Isle. 


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