Starting a New Chapter of Your Life Story
Getting a start-up off the ground is something I know about. I launched a medical company and a charity fundraising company, amongst others. And I’ve noticed that the process has a lot in common with launching the next phase of your life.
I think “starting up” is a three step process.
• Coming up with a compelling idea
• Identifying psychological hurdles in your way
• Taking a first, concrete step
First, you have to have a compelling idea—compelling to you. That’s the vision piece. What do you want to change about your life or manifest in your life? That certainly involves introspection, and it should involve consultation with a trusted advisor or advisors. That’s the work I love to do.
The vision can be taking your current work to the next level, deepening a personal relationship in your life, freeing yourself from a complicated and painful relationship, embarking on a new path of education, mastering a new skill, pivoting to a different profession, enhancing your spiritual foundation or any number of other changes.
The next step is examining psychological hurdles that are preventing you from getting started, or from getting started in the most powerful way possible. That’s pretty hard to do alone and has become part of my calling. Those hurdles may be emotional ones related to self-doubt or to the way you think about risk and reward. A good life coach or counselor (or, sometimes, a really insightful friend) can help you clear them, with ease.
A Concrete Step
The third step is . . . taking a first concrete step. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you want to write a book, it can be as simple as registering for the best online workshop on the topic. That’s what did it for me and got me started on my six published mystery novels. If you want to write a screenplay, it can be committing to attend the right seminar. If you want to run for office, it can be committing to one hour of consulting with a political consultant. Have you thought about starting a company (or your next one)? Maybe it’s time to ask three of your most trusted friends to listen to the idea. Just taking that first step makes it real. Yet, lots of people need some encouragement to take that first one.
Paul Coehlo wrote, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Sometimes, all the universe needs is concrete evidence that you’re ready, that you’re serious and that you’re going forward, to the next chapter of your life story.
Keith Ablow, MD