Dreams don’t build castles and castles don’t build themselves. But it’s the dream of the castle that inspires and spurs you to start building.

What’s your career dream, and what does your ‘castle’ look like in your dream?”

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Building your castle means doing the thing that makes you come alive, the thing that you know, somewhere deep inside, that you were meant to do. That ‘thing’ is your song.

Fade out the noise from the world around you, and tune into the song inside you, so you can sing it with verve and gusto.

Remember that nobody will sing YOUR song for you, because they don’t know the lyrics and the tempo.

When YOU ‘write’ the lyrics and start singing yourself, then you may find others who’ll join in your song to create a beautiful melody.

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Conversation with a Visitor at My Voodoo Magic Shrine

VISITOR:

Sigi, why do you keep talking about “listening to the song in your heart,” and what is this song anyway?

MOI:

The song in your heart is the only song there is, really. And it’s sweeter than anything on the radio, YouTube or SoundClound.

Yet when you listen to it, you’ll hear a line in there that implores you to also acknowledge the songs emanating from others’ hearts.

It’s the skilful blend of your song with others’ that creates career success, like the sweet music a maestro creates by drawing on various elements of the orchestra.

You have to shape your own career destiny. But no successful person on the planet ever achieved their success entirely of their own accord. We’re all ‘carried’ in various ways — sometimes unseen or unexplainable — by others, e.g., through advice, encouragement, help, opportunities, good wishes, support, challenge or love.

As you endeavour to craft your career success, remember to surround yourself with people who can help you flourish. And draw on their support and nourishment; just as much as you provide the same to others.

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Crafting your career destiny is sweeter when the work you do as you build your career inspires you and rouses your spirit. An endeavour imbued with passion and enthusiasm will always be much more enjoyable.

Of course, things may not always go smoothly, or you may feel as if you’re not progressing fast enough. Sometimes you have to go slow to make prompt progress towards your goals.

Making progress isn’t about making haste but about finding your rhythm and letting the tempo of your flow guide you to your success.

Remember, a pigeon moves seemingly slowly as it walks with its pigeon steps, yet when the time is ‘right’ it takes flight and moves promptly with its wings.

When you’re in your rhythm your progress will happen at the right pace, and your career success will seem almost seamless.

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As you make progress on your career journey, you must be clear on what YOUR OWN definition of “success” is.

Your career success shouldn’t be defined by or measured against what others do or achieve. You should be more influenced by your own desires, convictions, actions and results than by the opinions or attainments of other people.

Other people are not living your life, dreaming your dreams or experiencing your career; you are.

And other people may never know of the power of the magic inside you; you will.

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Some of us sometimes think we’ll discover our personal magic by learning from books. Well, if you’re going to read a book, the most important book you should read is one titled, Myself.

Every successful person I know of has read this book. It will help you achieve brilliant career success.

One of the most outstanding things about this book is that you get to choose the ending — you get to write the rest of it as soon as you start reading it. That’s awesome!

If you don’t like reading books, then watch the most important movie you should watch; it’s also titled, Myself.

It’s based on the book of the same title. And, just like the book, you get to choose how the movie ends!

And if you don’t like watching movies or reading books, then listen to the most important song you should hear; it’s also titled, Myself.

It’s the soundtrack to the movie. And you also get to decide how the song ends.

Even better than each of the 3 options is the multimedia package — try them all together: the book, the movie and the song. You’ll be astounded by what you will discover. And your discovery will propel you in remarkable ways to the magnificent success that awaits you.”

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Reading the book titled, Myself, or watching the movie or listening to the song, is far more productive for your success than spending too much time on social media and other digital pursuits.

Digital slavery certainly lurks everywhere in this age, often sapping our personal effectiveness, focus and self-leadership.

It’s one of the paradoxes of humankind that things that are good for us (e.g., in the beneficial ways we can leverage them) can sometimes be bad for us too (e.g., when we become fixated with them). Like an artist who becomes fixated with his paint brushes, forgetting that they’re simply tools of his trade; his work is still to paint — that’s where his focus should be.

Rather than be hijacked and enslaved by technology, its pivotal to our work success and career growth to stay attuned to our inner drives, dreams and desires.

‘Worth thinking about:

  1. How much time and attention do you spend on social media?
  2. How much time and attention do you spend listening to the song in your heart?

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Social media addiction isn’t the only way technology can enslave us and drown out the melody of our song. E-mail is another.

Many of us have unknowingly developed the habit of instantly checking, replying to or taking action on e-mails. And it’s definitely not the most effective way to work.

E-mails may have become a poison to our personal effectiveness and productivity, just like social media fixation.

My antidote to the poison is to constantly remind myself that the time is exactly “xyz” time on “abc” date and I’ll NEVER get this moment in time again. I get one shot at it; so I must use it wisely — on things that take me towards my goals, as I have planned.

Of course, those goals can be varied. If the goal is pleasure, then spending the “xyz” time with my mistress is priority. If the goal is serenity, then a walk in the woods might be what I invest the time in. If the goal is to hone my voodoo magic skills, then the time is spent in my voodoo shrine…

So it all comes down to the goals we’re targeting; planning ahead how to spend our time to achieve those goals; and the self-discipline to stick to the plan, despite the constant pings of new e-mails or social media alerts.

Of course, if our goals are powerful and motivating enough, the pull of the pings and alerts will likely be suppressed by the allure of working towards attaining the goals.

So, are your goals powerful and motivating enough? Or, put another way, is your ‘castle’ magnificent enough to capture and retain your full focus?

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Features extracts from Career Dreams to Career Success by Sigi Osagie © 2018. Image by Johannes Plenio 

Extracts and adaptations posted on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, 2018-2019. Some posts feature references to “Social media apps are ‘deliberately’ addictive to users” by Hilary Andersson, bbc.co.uk, 4 July 2018; and “How work emails affect productivity,” @businessinsider video tweet, Twitter, 30 July 2018