The Blog.

Treasure Hunting

31 Mar 2010 | Happiness, Personal Productivity

What do you want to be when you grow up? Where do you want to be in 10 year’s time?

Begin with the end in mind – it’s a great saying, and it does work, but what if you really don’t know what you want or where you want to be?

What if, of all the choices you see, nothing grabs you? It’s like sitting in front of a menu and discovering that you don’t know what you want, but you know it’s not on the menu. Do you a) change your tastes to suit the menu? b) pick something – anything because you’ve got to eat, and make sure you go to a different restaurant next time? c) put the menu down and go on the hunt for something you do want – or even better create your own?

If like me, you’ve spent far too many of your early years taking option a, and been round the block several times with option b, how would you like to join me on a treasure hunt?

The beauty of a treasure hunt is you don’t need to know where you’re heading. You don’t need a map or to know where X marks the spot. You don’t even need to know what your treasure is. You can start right where you are and look for clues, in current situations, the work you do and the people you meet. Notice what gets you excited, what brings you joy, when you’re most alive. Get to know yourself better – your skills, your personality and your values.

So if you’re searching for career direction, look for clues in all aspects of your life. When are you ‘in the flow’? Where are you gifted? What gets you fired up with passion – or stirred up with a sense of holy discontent?

Talk to people. Seek guidance from those you trust. For me, a treasure hunt usually involves other people. That’s where the fun and magic happens. Invite them to join in the hunt with their tools and torches – to look from a different angle, dig a little deeper and shine a light on our blind spots. Besides, just as the yield of an Easter egg hunt tastes sweeter when enjoyed together, treasure has a way of multiplying when you share it.

Follow the clues and get digging. Do take action and step out into the unknown. At the same time allow space for the experiment to unfold, for the unexpected and the unseen to come to light. If like me you love being driven and purposeful, let go of the impulse to home in single-mindedly on the first shiny thing you see. Instead pick it up, try it on for size, explore and see what it reveals. And enjoy it. As we value and appreciate what we find, we learn to hone our intuition and calibrate our detector.

What I really love about a treasure hunt is that it’s more about the treasure than the final destination. Rather than finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, it’s more about the treasures we unearth along the way. As we dust off the dirt and let them shine, we start to discern between real treasure and fool’s gold.

What about you? What kind of clues are you picking up right now?

Happy Treasure Hunting


Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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