Have you ever been told that in order to reach new heights, you need to set your sights further and climb higher? What if I told you we’re doing it all wrong? We don’t need to reach higher. Instead, we need to dig deeper. And here’s why:
If a massive skyscraper had a shallow foundation any stiff breeze would be enough to send it crashing down in a second, because it isn’t anchored strongly enough to the ground. We know this right?
The logic is simple: the taller the building, the deeper the foundation; the stronger it stands.
Funnily enough, this exact same logic can be applied in our own daily lives. If we try to reach for “new heights” without setting our foundation, we’ll often find that we, too, get knocked over rather easily. If we don’t know what we stand for, we often find ourselves bending to the demands and expectations of others without knowing why. These experiences can really damage us if we’re not prepared for them.
Digging deeper is about developing internally, instead of focusing outwardly. Forget climbing higher, forget that new job position, forget all those fancy gadgets and that shiny new car. Take a moment to look inward and discover yourself – when you really know yourself you obtain a sense of identity and emotional security that no one can break. This doesn’t mean you become an untouchable machine – it just means that you become accountable for your thoughts, words, actions and feelings. When a hard gust of wind comes your way, you’ll be able to withstand the turbulence because you are in control. You’ll be able to stand firm and not be a victim of circumstance.
Here are a few tips on how to start building your inner foundation:
1. Have a plan
Before you can start digging, you need to know where to dig. You’ll need to set boundaries first, so that you know where your foundation is going to lie.
- Professional Aspects
- What do you want to do with your life?
- Do you have a plan?
- Where do you see yourself in 3 years time?
- What skills will you need to get there?
- What are your weaknesses or strengths?
- What kind of values do you uphold?
- What kind of person do you want to be?
2. Get equipped with the right tools.
Imagine trying to dig a ditch with a spoon instead of a shovel – your life would be a lot easier if you had the right tools in the first place. Try and equip yourself with the skills you’d require to build your foundation.
For example, if you’re heading into the advertising industry, read up on existing gurus and branding strategies, get familiar with design lingo, work on your portfolio – put effort into making sure you are equipped correctly. The right skills will help pave the way into your future. Take your foundation seriously, and prepare for it.
3. When the going gets tough, re-align.
When a person lays the foundation, they’ve got to make sure the ground is completely level and balanced. One small misalignment in the foundation will affect the entire structure of a building.
You’ll find that as you dig, you’ll lose track of how deep you were meant to go. One day, you’ll step back and see a huge hole in the ground and you may feel overwhelmed. When this happens, take a step back and re-align yourself. Check to see if you’re out of balance.
What’s stopping you from continuing? Is it truly a mistake you made whilst digging, or did you simply lose track of where you were meant to go? Remember your plan – refer to it, re-align yourself and move forward.
Whatever it is, don’t give up! Don’t walk away and leave a huge hole in the ground – that’s just an accident waiting to happen. Choose to finish what you started. Choose to commit to your plan.
As you dig deeper, you’ll find you’ll get better at it. You’ll be faster, you’ll be better and you’ll be able to know if you’re heading in the right direction, or if something’s wrong.
You’ve got to keep on digging.
Change is constant. We all know that. Everything changes over time – including us. We know how important it is to have a foundation but what is equally, if not more, important is the act of continuously deepening your foundation. What’s often overlooked is the need to revisit our values and to purposefully sharpen our skills.
While it’s important to stand tall, and stand firm, it’s also important to make sure you’re not stubbornly rooted to the ground, unable to go further, unable to grow.
By continuously digging deeper you’ll find yourself reaching new heights and discovering the full reach of your potential – and you’ll develop new muscles while you’re at it, I guarantee!
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