Have you ever found yourself in a state of perpetual hunger for the next thing? For me, it always centers on “achieving.” It’s the next promotion, next big-name client, next design award, next, next, next. Focusing on next, fools me into believing that I’m moving forward, improving, winning, achieving. The problem is, I keep moving the goal line, so I’m always on to the next. What I’ve noticed is that I’m never really present and few things ever live up to my expectations once I get there. Get “where” exactly?

This insatiable need for the next thing has served me well in my career because that is what people hire me to do. I think of the possibilities and then bring them to life. I get paid well, I work with impressive people on impressive projects. Check, check. However, this mindset, unmanaged, has not served me well in my personal life. 

I recently found myself unable to see past “next.” All the “next’s” didn’t seem interesting, fun or worth it. It shut down my ability to be creative, which is debilitating and leads to all sorts of other problems. This wasn’t the first time I experienced this, it was just the most eye-opening. It forced me to ask different questions and find new methods for how I set my goals so I could enjoy the journey, rather than feel exhausted in a never-ending marathon. Instead of focusing so much on myself, I switched the questions I was asking. “How can I be of service?” instead of “How does this fulfill what I think is expected of me?”

That simple shift from self to service eliminated the creative block. Ideas started flowing again and I could see possibilities. Life didn’t seem hard, it felt easy. Opportunities presented themselves, I didn’t chase them. 

One of those opportunities was a position on the board of directors with an organization serving women entrepreneurs in Minnesota, WeMN.org. It was serendipitous how it all fell into place so I wanted to record this moment because I know I’ll need a reminder, now and again, that my mindset and what I truly value is the key to finding my joy and discovering all the possibilities.

Posted by:womeniworkwith

3 replies on “How can I be of service?

  1. Mary this is spot on, especially for high-achieving women! I’d love your mentorship and counsel on shifting into service, gratitude and less of the “next, next, next” I find myself in. 💕

    Like

  2. Enjoyed this bit. Reading from the perspective of someone early in their career with a “what’s next” mentality, this opened my eyes to possible consequences, good and bad. It is important to hold yourself to high expectations, but if you trap yourself into the idea of never being settled, it can weigh heavily on your mental health and personal life. Thank you for sharing this about the challenges you face!

    Like

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