I know that I’m already a bit boring with my “timing” preaching. It was one of the first things that I learned when I was starting my scriptwriting studies and it is the first thing that I’m trying to teach all young people that I’m coaching.
But here is what triggered my thoughts about timing all over again.
I was driving to the city where I lived a few years ago. I had a business assignment there and I spent a year in this challenging environment. While I was approaching the city Ryanair plane started landing on the airport which is just next to the city. This was the first time that I saw a plane landing in this city in over a year that I have spent there. There were no commercial flights at the time. “How nice, finally a low-cost company with cheap tickets. Is it a flight from Berlin? My favorite city in Europe”. I immediately got one business idea that I shared with a lady that I’m mentoring now (and that also happens to be from this city). And there was something else I figured out: I don’t care about cheap flights anymore. This nice development (which I still consider to be very good) does nothing for me. I needed low cost companies 20 and 10 years ago. Now I’m too old and too spoiled to fly low-cost. From my personal perspective – wrong timing for this nice development.
The second event was from a few days ago as well. I had a talk with a friend of mine about his boss. Coincidentally, I know his boss, and she is one of the most incompetent and rude persons I have ever met. When I asked him how he’s managing to survive this situation he told me that things are actually – very good. What? It was a surprise to me. But then he explained: She figured out that she should not interfere too much in what he is doing because she doesn’t understand it all that well. He always finishes everything on time and results are good. At this life and career point my friend wants only two things: to finish work on time and not to be bothered too much by his boss. So, the timing for having such a boss, even though they are incompetent and rude, is actually good.
In the first case, it is quite easy to figure out what you want and what you don’t want and figure out the correct timing. Through time you create certain lifestyle, habits, preferences and they guide you in everyday decisions and choices. Your lifestyle changes with years. And you adjust your choices accordingly.
It’s a bit more complicated with your career choices. At least, that was the case for me. I’m fully aware that many people deal much better with this topic. But I’m sure that quite a number of people have similar doubts and troubles about timing, just like I do.
The trouble starts when you imagine your career and set up your career goals. If you are/were a highly ambitious person like I was, then you make quite a number of plans. You also set some standards for yourself. In the same way, you decide that you will not fly low cost or buy furniture in Ikea, you decide that you will not work on a job that is not intellectually challenging enough or if you don’t have proper learning opportunities or chances to make a progress in your career. Or you want enough independence in making business decisions. Or, you always want someone who will guide you through making those decisions. And then you stick to those decisions, or if you must compromise you feel deeply unsatisfied because you compromised. But you make another plan, deciding how long you will compromise and when you will get back on the track.
But time passes and you change. If you don’t take enough time to introspect and to understand how your needs and views have changed through time it might happen that you want to get back on the same track – which is now a totally wrong track for you. Yes, it was a good about 5 or 10 years ago, but it’s not anymore. Your ideal boss from 10 years ago might be a bad choice today. Your desire to learn new things might be fulfilled in a totally different area of life, not in your office.
Why is it then so hard to understand your own needs in time and to take proper action? I would say that this is the case because reaching proper timing is a matter of practice. The more you try (and fail) the more successful you will become. Of course, making some tough calls in life is scary but if you push yourself a couple of times – I promise – each attempt you make afterwards will be less painful. And very often, good timing comes as an award for courage.
Cheers for good timing! I would say that now it’s good timing for one Shiraz from Australia. Because it’s the beginning of summer down under.