Preparing Yourself for the Next Big Thing in Your Life

I hope I’m not generalizing too much here, but I think that most people have some notion that there’s something bigger and better out there for them. Call it natural human optimism. But at the same time, there’s definitely a treading water quality to life. You may have big dreams, but you might also be in a position where it’s very difficult to pursue them. But maybe you don’t have to follow your dreams in a direct way – maybe what you need to focus on is simply preparing yourself for the next big thing in your life, whatever it might be.

We Don’t Always Know What the Next Big Thing Is

Sometimes the Next Big Thing in your life isn’t clear. It may just be a loose idea that you’re cut out for bigger and better things. Even though that seems like a totally fuzzy concept, it can still have value, if you take action.

Preparing Yourself for the Next Big Thing in Your Life
Preparing Yourself for the Next Big Thing in Your Life

But how do you take action if you haven’t exactly defined the goal?

The fact that you expect better things in your life can indicate that you have a strong sense of self-worth. That’s a definite asset. Even if you don’t have a specific goal, you can still set yourself in a positive direction. That direction might even help you to set the goal, at least eventually.

Why You Need to Be Prepared Even If You Don’t Know What IT Is

We can think of this as a process of optimizing your circumstances. That means taking a series of steps aimed at improving either specific areas of your life, or all areas in general.

By improving your situation over what it is now, you will be pre-positioning yourself when a good opportunity comes your way. And naturally, if you have already figured out what the Next Big Thing is for you, preparing your life to pursue it creates a positive direction, even if you are not in a position to jump into it immediately.

This is an important concept. The path into a new opportunity is often more of a stair step pattern, or even a zigzag, than a straight line. Even if you can’t pursue your goal right now, you can create and follow specific strategies that will improve your chance of success when the moment comes.

Preparing Your Finances

We’ve all heard of “rags to riches” stories. Hollywood loves them, but they’re closer to fantasy than reality. In the real world, it can be very difficult to pursue riches when you are buried in a rags financial situation. In fact, it might even be your financial circumstances that are what is preventing you from pursuing the Next Big Thing in your life.

If you’re going to make a major change of any sort in your life, whether it’s a career change, a new business, or moving to a new city, state, or country, it’s obvious that the transition will be easier if you have more money saved, less debt, and fewer expenses.

Even if you are not in a position to pursue the Next Big Thing in your life right now, you can work on gradually saving more money, reducing your debt, and reducing or eliminating certain expenses.

Those steps are important not just for tactical reasons, but also because they give you a game plan. It’s an opportunity to begin taking concrete steps now that will move you closer to the date when you make the jump for the dream. It’s also likely that the gradual improvement in your finances will move that day closer to the present.

Preparing Your Skill Set

If you have a notion that the Next Big Thing in your life is making a career change or launching a business idea, you can spend some time now to build whatever skill sets you will need once you get started.

This is especially important since career changes often involve getting a certain amount of formal training or even certificates or licenses. If you can get those taken care of now, it will put you in a better position to make the transition later.

You may also need to do deep research, particularly if you want to start a business. The more you know about running the business, as well as the industry it operates in, the better position you will be in to succeed in the venture.

If you have the time, one of the best preparations you can engage in is spending some time working in that new career or business on a part-time or seasonal basis. Even if you have to do it without getting paid, you can gain valuable experience – and business contacts – to have available before the effort becomes a full-time venture.

Anything that you can do to prepare yourself for the Next Big Thing before the fact is a step in the right direction, even if you can’t plunge in fully right now.

Preparing Your Health

This is another area of preparation, but one that is often underrated. Transitioning into a new career or business usually requires a higher level of energy than what you are required to have now, especially when you are first starting out. There are ways that you can prepare yourself for that in advance.

If you need to lose a few pounds, do it now. If you would like to adopt a higher energy diet, there’s no time like the present. If your sleep habits are less than optimal, now is the time to find a remedy. And if you can think of moving into a new career situation as something of a marathon (which it usually is), you might want to implement an exercise regimen that will help you literally improve your stamina.

It’s all about making sure that you’re physically up to the challenges that you are likely to face.

A secondary benefit to preparing your health in advance is that it can result in a better, more positive frame of mind. You need that any time you,re making a major change in your life.

The Power of Forward Motion

By taking the above actions, you will be creating forward motion. That’s incredibly important, and has real power. Once you begin moving in more positive directions, the transition into the Next Big Thing will seem more natural, and less of a challenge.

It’s about getting out of your rut (pun intended!), at least a little bit at a time. It’s usually easier for people to make changes gradually over a long period of time, then to do it all at once.

You may even need to be prepared to make a geographic move, if whatever the next big thing is in your life might be more doable in another location. If you’re a homeowner, this can be problematic, as it could take months to sell a home – years in a bad housing market. You may have to line up a contingency plan so that you can sell your home on short notice, if your circumstances require it. Real opportunities sometimes come like lightening strikes, and this is where being a homeowner can cause lengthy delays that could result in lost opportunities. Advance preparation could prove to be a strategically important step.

In addition, if you have been kind of “settled” in your life for the past few years, the prospect of making a major change can be downright intimidating. By making small, positive changes in your direction, as well as developing contingency strategies, you will be preparing yourself to take on bigger challenges later.

Being Ready When “The Moment” Arrives

Being ready when the moment arrives is what this is all about. We live in a world of perpetual change; even if your goal in life is mostly to maintain stability, change has a way of sneaking up on us and forcing us to make adjustments. Advance preparation will make sure that you are ready even if the change is a surprise.

But more important is putting yourself in a position to engineer a change to your own liking. If you can, then the change will be a much more comfortable one.

If you want to create change in your life, or if you see change coming in the future, you’re not powerless. You can prepare for it now, even if you don’t know what it is, and even if you’re not specifically sure what the change will be.

Do you ever feel trapped by your current circumstances? Do you feel that they prevent you from pursuing the Next Big Thing in your life? Have you considered implementing an action plan to get you moving forward?

( Photo by Photographing Travis )

2 Responses to Preparing Yourself for the Next Big Thing in Your Life

  1. I’m working on my skill set right now for 2016. I plan to improve my skills in supply chain management by getting CSCP certified. Will it lead to bigger and better things? Who knows, but it is something that many jobs I have my eye on are requesting…. so you never know!

    I certainly have my finances in order so that when the right thing comes along I can jump on it with both feet!

  2. Hi Derek – That’s excellent. Any skill with general application in your field makes sense. It improves your chances of landing a good opportunity when it hits. Most employers want to know that you already have a certification, and quickly lose interest in your candidacy if you don’t. You don’t have to know specifically where it will take you, since it has the potential to create opportunities for you. Good move!

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