Friday, 11 May 2012

Set Life Goals But Enjoy The Journey

My first book came out last year. Writing a book has always been a dream of mine and one of the many "Life Goals" I set myself in my twenties. 

A goal acheived
I used to be very goal orientated. I wanted to work in Television and only  a few years after graduating was working as a director for the BBC. This was swiftly followed by stints at Granada Television, and nearly six years of working for Sony PlayStation, producing and directing adverts and filming the amazing product launches they held all over the world. 

Look to the future that fine but don't forget to enjoy the present too
Tick, tick, tick as each goal was achieved I gave myself only the most cursory pat on the back and then set the next ambition. I never stopped to enjoy the moment and after ten years suddenly hit a wall.
Sure on paper my life was exciting, I stayed in amazing hotels, LA was almost my second home. Id been everywhere from Monte Carlo to Japan but whilst my passport filled up, I felt emptier and emptier.
The thing I had forgotten whilst racing from one challenge to another is that life isn't just about the destination, it really is about the journey. This may sound cliched but a fabulous career wont keep you warm at night or make you laugh until a little bit of wee comes out and yes its lovely to be able to afford designer handbags but they are just bags (my little girl uses my Louis Vuiton Cherry bag to carry her Sylvanian toys in now)
Filming in LA for Sony
What I wanted in my twenties and what I wanted in my thirties were entirely different. I realised I didn't need the status that I had felt my work as a TV Director afforded me and that for the first time in my life I wanted to put down roots. 
I had brought a beautiful little house near the sea and was hardly ever in it. I wanted to do the garden, see friends.I still needed to be creative and also needed to make a living but increasingly I started to wonder if there was another way to achieve this.
I'm sure many people thought I was mad when I walked away from my "career" to set up my own photography business but for me I knew the time was right for a whole new direction.
Setting up my own business was the way forward for me
A leopard can't change its spots (and I am rather partial to leopard print) and I still have dreams and ambitions for both my business enterprises (Nicky Rockets Photography and The Vintage PamperBox) and its been wonderful to see my name in print and a book by me available to buy on Amazon but unlike before where this would have been the be all and end all, I am now also savouring the bits in between.
Savouring the in between
 I do lots of things for the sheer pleasure of doing them (this blog for one) and no longer obsess about where things will take me. Ironically this approach has still garnered lots of recognition and success none of which I have taken for granted but now when things work out I'm thrilled and when things don't lead to anything I'm cool with that too. 
Rather than doing one all consuming job Ive learnt that I prefer to have a portfolio carear which allows me to do a few things to pay the bills. It keeps things fresh for me and I don't get as obsessed over work as I used to. If things go quiet on the photography front, the Vintage Pamperbox keeps me busy and visa versa. I love writing and am fortunate to get paid to do bits and pieces for magazines and publishers but my blog brings me the most joy and that hardly pays a dime.Its all about balance and I think I may have started to get it right.
Its a world away from the glamour of my old job but I'm loving ever moment
So if you feel you are becoming totally goal obsessed and this is leading to frustration my advice would be have an idea of where you want to go, but if life takes you in a different direction roll with it for a little while. You may be pleasantly surprised.
For more advice on working for yourself or navigating the choppy waters of a carear within the creative sector check out my Sassy Self Employment page


  1. Betty, have been following your blog since I signed up to blogger and started my fictional blog and have been meaning to let you know how much I enjoy it! Particularly liked your recent career/life balance post. Congrats on your book! Good luck with it and I look forward to reading more in the future. (Love the stylish Sylvanian families you have living with you)Jules

  2. At this very moment in my life, when, I won't lie, I'm on a rollercoaster and I'm finding it difficult to find a way to either enjoy or make the most of it (or just do anything to make me feel better), this is one of the most inspirational things that I have heard (well, read). I didn't even realise, how much I needed this. Thank you for sharing that experience. Thanks to it I hope that I'll soon find a way to enjoy life, both the joutney and the goals.

  3. I relate to this so much! I've always been goal and career orientated, but being mad redundant and having to roll with things is totally changing my outlook. X

  4. That is so exciting! congrats! I have always wanted to publish a book as well, but have yet to figure out on or about what! Ive been stuck in an awful dead end job for quite some time and have just recently made plans to change that! Heres to the future!

  5. What a lovely time to reflect on where you've been, and where you are going. Truly wonderful journey and memories to make you smile now and later in life.

    I'm a great believer in change being a good thing and have embraced it many times in my life. Great blog and a great chance for some personal reflection too.

    Thanks and good luck / pob lwc with the book! x

  6. What a great post, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing your book x


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