Scrap The Blueprint.
Maybe you haven’t heard it called “the blueprint” – that’s my word for it. But you know very well what I’m referring to. It’s the way they tell you to live your life.(Whoever “they” are.)Work should look like this…Education should look like this…Here are the things you should be focused on…Here are the things that you are allowed to enjoy…We have all been conditioned to march to someone else’s drummer.We have lived lives according to someone else’s blueprint.It’s time to stop doing what others tell you is best for you and to start doing what you know is best for you.
“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”~ Raymond Hull
So stop whittling.
CAUTION: Escaping One Blueprint May Land You Smack-Dab In Another
Once you realize that you’re trapped in someone else’s blueprint for your life, the natural reaction is to immediately find a new blueprint, right?So you find someone to look up to…a role model…a mentor. While I do think that having role models and mentors is a good thing, I want to wave the old yellow caution flag at you on this one.Be very careful not to just copy your role model move for move.It will put you right back where you started – trying to live your life according to your new role model’s blueprint.
As an example, let’s use two hugely famous guys in the world of music. Two who are commonly referred to as kings of their respective genres. Elvis Presley, The King of Rock N Roll; and Michael Jackson, The King of Pop.Elvis was around when Michael was a young guy, right? What if back then Michael was a big fan of Elvis’ work? What if he so idolized Elvis that he tried to write the same type of music? What if he even dressed like Elvis and tried to sound like him vocally?If he had done that, he’d have deprived the entire planet of the whole Michael Jackson experience as we know it. And it’s safe to say he would have failed miserably.What happened instead is that he wrote and performed the kind of music that was true to him…and it worked spectacularly.Granted, he probably did take a move or two from other successful musicians he admired, but everything he learned about music had his own unique spin to it. You can identify a Michael Jackson song in the first few bars. Just like Zeppelin, Hendrix, Dylan, Van Halen, and virtually any iconic musician. They have their own unique, easily identifiable spin on a familiar product.
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You Have To Draw Up Your Own Blueprint
You can take a move or two from someone else, but you have to draw up your own blueprint.Don’t deprive the planet of whatever the YOU Factor is.Looking for a fast, easy answer? I can refer you to a few hundred other blogs that will be glad to sell you one. I will not. That’s because fast and easy answers don’t exist. Not ones that lead to anything worthwhile at least.Lasting, positive change takes time, hard work, and a certain amount of pain.If you’re not willing to invest those things, you don’t want to figure it out that badly.You’re going to have to to strip away all those layers of stuff that you have allowed others to coat you with all these years and get down to the bare bones – the nitty-gritty of who you really are.Some of those layers of stuff may have grown into the flesh a little bit over the years. It’s going to sting when you strip them away.Here’s the good news. You can handle it.You need to start looking down deep to find what it is about you that is unique to you and only you.
The best time to start is always right now. Funny how that works.Start asking yourself questions – and answer honestly. I’ll get you started…
- What have your past jobs been?
- What did you do at those jobs? (Not what your title was. What did you do?)
- What did you learn from your past employment experiences that most people don’t know?
- What do you absolutely lose track of time doing?
- What do your friends and relatives call you for help with?
- What do co-workers, subordinates, and even your boss come to you for help with?
- What things do you have a “knack” for – job related or not?
- What unique, positive personality traits do you possess?
- What negative personality traits do you possess?
- What things do you absolutely love?
- What things drive you absolutely crazy?
These questions will spawn more questions. Go with it. Dig deep and don’t let yourself off easy.Take some time on this. Get out a pen and a few sheets of paper and write everything you can possibly think of as you read those questions.Don’t judge the validity of anything you think of just yet. Just write until you can’t write any more. Then move on to the next question.If you really take the time to do this thoroughly, I’ll bet you come up with some great ideas and a sense of direction.Now it’s your turn…If you already clearly know what your own personal blueprint is, tell us about it.If you’re trying to break out of someone else’s blueprint, tell us about that.If you’re stuck, what are you stuck on? Now is your chance to share it.