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Focused But Missing The Big Picture

focus on page with rest blurryThat is how I would describe my life until this point. At each stage of my life I have been extremely focused on accomplishing some goal or objective while at the same time missing the big picture.

For example:

At university: international career
After traveling to Egypt in my senior year of college, I knew I had to pursue an international career. The week I got back from Egypt there was a job advertisement posted by the College of Engineering promising an exciting international life. I jumped all over it even though I knew it wouldn’t be very technical and wouldn’t really utilize my engineering skills. At the time, my focus was working overseas.

Schlumberger: traveling
At the time, I saw Schlumberger, the oil services company I worked for in the Middle East, as my opportunity to see the world. I figured that I would work there, earn money, travel as much as possible, and then go back home. But over time, the traveling didn’t compensate for the extremely harsh lifestyle of working offshore for long periods of time in dangerous conditions. I still loved to travel, but it wasn’t worth the dissatisfaction in almost all other areas of my life.

During my MBA: entrepreneurial idea and how to enjoy life
Knowing that I am not a corporate person, I went to business school to learn about entrepreneurship and start my own company. I expected to wake up one morning and get slapped in the face with the entrepreneurial idea of a lifetime. That never happened. But I learned how to enjoy life more in Spain. They know how to live and how to have fun. It was a great experience. But when the entrepreneurial idea never came, I focused 100% on finding a job. I focused on finding a job in renewable energy or corporate social responsibility in Scandinavia.

Denmark: settling down for the “perfect life” and a career in renewable energy
In getting a job with Siemens Wind Power in Denmark, I had achieved exactly what I had set out to do with my life. Denmark is an amazing country with a superb quality of life. But when I got here I realized that I had reached the pinnacle of what I wanted to accomplish in a life path designed by someone else. As I started working, I grew more and more dissatisfied with the working life within a big company. There was a lack of stimulation and I realized I would never be satisfied working like that. I asked what would be satisfying and then finally I started asking myself the right questions.

As you can see, my life went through several very different iterations – several different lives actually. I was reincarnated each time with different goals and objectives, and perhaps this adventure I am currently on is no different. But I am asking myself the right questions now and pursuing a life that maximizes what makes me happy and minimizes or eliminates what doesn’t. That’s what I call the big picture – focusing on your overall life instead of an element of it like family, health, career, etc.

I hope that by sharing a bit of my own journey you can see that it wasn’t easy for me to figure out what to do with my life. I hope you can skip a few reincarnations and iterations of your life and skip to the important part – planning and taking your own plunge!

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