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An unconventional approach to clarifying what matters

Daniel Marzullo
Daniel Marzullo
1 min read
An unconventional approach to clarifying what matters
Photo by Jason Strull / Unsplash

A year ago, I worked with an executive coach (Rick) who took me through an exercise that completely shifted my perspective.

I was struggling to gain clarity around what I wanted to do next in my career. During one of our sessions he asked me:

"During your childhood, what were three careers you wanted to pursue?"

I quickly listed...

  • Musician
  • Personal Trainer
  • Marketing Executive

He then asked, "What did you like about the idea of each of those?"

I wanted to be a musician because I loved performing in front of large audiences.

Later on, I was interested in becoming a personal trainer to motivate and inspire people to reach their potential.

At one point, I was entrigued by the role of a marketing executive because I wanted status, money, and the opportunity to be creative.

I had an "aha!" moment...

I quickly realized I still wanted all of those things. Not to be a musician, trainer, or executive, but to perform in front of people, inspire others, make a lot of money to gain freedom over my time, and be seen as an authority in my field.

Everything I wanted as a kid still held true today.

Rick explained that a lot of our values and what we find important is solidified during our younger years. What we truly care about doesn't change much throughout our lives unless we have a significant emotional experience.

Rick said:

"There are themes that emerge from our past that we can use for the future. Your career is not really about jobs and positions, it’s about challenges and strengths that give you a sense of purpose in life. And if you can find a way to make money doing those things, then you will have a great career."

If you're searching for clarity, I challenge you to ask yourself the same questions.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

Would love to hear what your aspirations were and how much they've changed since.

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    Hi, I’m Dan! 👋 I typically spend my days buried in a booth at a local coffee shop. Ideas flow best with a cup of coffee in one hand and a bagel in the other.


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