Why Young Professionals Must Learn to Focus on NOW

under30ceo picWe Millennials want immediate gratification. Instant results.

While we ultimately have to take responsibility for this mentality, there’s no denying that advances in technology have played a significant role in conditioning our minds to think like this.

It’s this mentality of immediacy that results in many of us being stressed and frustrated when we don’t see results early on in our careers. This can then lead us to questioning our chosen career path and if it’s really the best fit.

With millennials changing jobs every 2.6 years oftentimes the answer to this question is no, it’s definitely not the right fit. So we move on to the next job. After all, the grass is always greener on the other side, right?

Not always…

As young professionals enter their late twenties, many of them are still “trying to find themselves” or “find their passion”. When this happens, they then experience a whole new level of stress and frustration. Why? Because their reality does not match the blueprint in their mind of how they think their career should be at this moment in time.

All started by having a mentality of immediacy. A mentality that if you don’t see immediate results then it’s probably best to try out a different career. A mentality that forces you to place the majority of your focus on the future when you should be focusing on the “now”.

And it’s this lack of focus that causes many young professionals to aimlessly drift from job to job throughout their twenties because they have no clear purpose or ultimate outcome in mind.

Consider this…

China is home to a tree unlike any other. While most trees grow steadily above soil throughout the years, the Chinese bamboo tree doesn’t break through the ground until the fifth year.

During the first four years, the tree must be cared for each day, because this is when the tree is building a sophisticated root system below ground. Not until the fifth year does something remarkable happen…

Not only does the tree finally break ground but it can grow to heights of 80 to 90 feet in as little as five weeks.

While this story can be a powerful metaphor for any stage of our lives, it provides a valuable lesson for young professionals. That lesson is one of not just patience, but of value integration, specifically diligence and faith.

When we integrate these values into the mentality of immediacy we give ourselves the best opportunity for growth and success, because it provides us with the discipline to focus on… the “now”.

It’s what you do right now, in this moment that will determine the quality of your future.

Now for those who believe that you have to “find your passion” before you can truly be happy and produce at your highest levels, I’d encourage you to consider Mark Cuban’s advice:

  • When you work hard at something you become good at it
  • When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more
  • When you enjoy doing something, there’s a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it
  • When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen

While this might sound like a valuable concept to implement in your career, easier said than done, right? So I’ll end this post with a few strategies that have helped me use the mentality of immediacy to my advantage:

Purposeful Outcome (Goal)

YoungPro Elite gives me the opportunity to speak with young professionals every day. One question that I oftentimes ask them is what their biggest priorities are for the year.

Eight out of ten times they will have trouble answering.

Why? Because they’ve not taken the time to define the outcomes they want to achieve.

By determining what your ultimate outcome is, you give yourself a target. You give yourself something to focus on, which then gives you a purpose. And when you have a purposeful outcome it enhances your ability to focus on the “now”.

Modeling

Since young professionals appreciate immediate gratification and results, this is one strategy that should be utilized immediately.

Modeling is the concept of finding someone who has done what you want to do and then you “model” or replicate their strategy. When I say, “model their strategy” I’m referring to:

  • The psychology (thoughts, states, associations, mentality, etc.) they had while in pursuit of the outcome
  • The tools, resources and network of people they utilized
  • The steps, processes and / or strategies they used to get where they wanted to go
  • The habits they developed that helped them push through the tough times

When you model those you aspire to be like you’ll be able to take what took them years to learn and compress that knowledge and experience to your advantage in a matter of days.

One Skill

Here’s a question that could change the trajectory of your career:

What’s the one skill you could master that would make the biggest impact on your career?

Once you’ve determined what that skill is, devote at least an hour of study and practice to it each day. No matter what job or industry you may be in right now, if you’re able to master a skill that will always be in demand, it will provide you with opportunities that few others will be given.

Contribution

When you focus on what you can be doing right now to serve others, any disempowering thoughts about your present or future will quickly fade. So ask yourself each day how you can make the greatest contributions in the lives of your colleagues, bosses, clients, etc.

In addition, by increasing your level of contribution, simultaneously you’re increasing your personal value. When you become more valuable to others, opportunities start flowing your way.

Presence

With all the demands of the workweek, it’s easy to drift from task to task without being fully present. So throughout the day make sure you ask yourself the following question:

On a scale from 1-10, how present am I?

While this is a simple question, it’s a critical one to ask because if you’re meeting with someone or if you have to complete something, you’re only hurting yourself if you’re not fully present in the moment. If you’re taking the time to do something you might as well do it to the best of your ability, right?

The only way to make this happens is by becoming fully focused in the present.

Risks

As I look back on my career thus far, I’ve recognized that the most rewarding experiences have come during the times where I’ve taken the greatest risks. Although many of these risks resulted in failures and rejections (which never feel good), they’ve been responsible for helping me achieve massive levels of growth and experience at a young age.

So step outside your comfort zone and take risks. Not only will these risks provide your brain with a challenge making it stay focused in the “now” but it’s during these times where you will experience the greatest growth and fulfillment throughout your career.

If you’ve made it through this post this far, you owe it yourself to experience the benefits that these strategies will give you. Make it happen!

The moment we think that our hard work and persistence will never pay off… is the moment that we must have faith that it will.

 

For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Under30CEO.com!

 

Under30CEO

 

About the Author: Blake Cavignac is the Founder of YoungPro Elite and President of Intellectual Innovations.  If you want to get a better understanding of what he’s about take a look at what others are saying about him. Connect with Blake on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

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  • David Shindler

    Fab post, Blake! I say to under 30s, don’t go looking for your passion, let your passion find you. Explore and notice what’s happening internally as you go along, integrate with your values and, voila, you have a guiding compass to identify and seize opportunities that are more likely to resonate with you. There is only now, so choose insight over hindsight.