Trapped in your corporate position? 8 questions to identify what you really want
Mis à jour : août 29
❓Had some success in your career, maybe checked all the boxes and still feeling a kind of void, like something is missing?
❓Feeling horrible on Sunday evenings, when the sun sets, thinking that you’ll have to work again tomorrow morning, and looking for your next long week-end or holidays?
❓Feeling disconnected from your company’s mission, or guilty about its ecological and human impact?
❓Chronically ill for no apparent reason?
If that’s you, then some of your deep desires might not be met - yet.
They may not be met because you do not know what those desires are.
And that is actually normal.
According to Abraham Maslow,
It isn't normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.
Knowing what we want takes Time and Courage.
And it is worth it,
because it can change your Personal & Business Life trajectory for the better.
I was enjoying a relatively comfortable consulting job for a highly respected multinational brand.
All my life, I had followed “the plan” and ticked many boxes: good results in school, top sciences and engineering college, well-paid job, a flat in Paris... because this was my ticket to a successful and fulfilling life.
Or so I thought...
The comfort, prestige and security of my job was a major reason why I kept going for so many years...
Even when it was becoming painfully obvious that my Life was turning into a dead-end commitment of 10h/day with no end in sight.
I strived to maintain a singing activity, but I had to join a less skilled choir to compensate for the rehearsals I missed - and how could I train my voice in a hotel room at 22:00?
I can still clearly remember that lonely Wednesday Evening, in the hotel room I spent my weeks in, with a remaining to-do of 37 items, a Bach cantata I was learning in my ears.
I was willing to serve my client, the Ministry of Defence, leading a team of 40 people recalculating the incorrect pays of soldiers.
And, like every evening, I felt the anxiety of having to work again with people with who I had so few in common, which were more willing to please their manager than to serve the public sector.
That evening, I realized that I had enough.
It was time to leave consulting… yet I did not know what else I wanted to do.
And I did not have enough time to look for another position, far from my home town.
I felt trapped, locked down in a job that had disappointed my wishes for meaning.
I needed to change and get my life back on track.
But I was absolutely terrified of leaving my steady paycheck behind.
Was I getting crazy? Or was I finally ready to take back control of my Life?
I entered the climate and energy sector, willing to work in a field that was high stake for humanity.
Yet I realized that though it was conceptually a good industry to work for, I was not profoundly interested by the subject.
So I knew that I had to finally discover what I really, deeply wanted.
1️⃣ First, using powerful questions, automatic writing and many other tools to free the expression of my intuition, I achieved Clarity and realized - or, could I say, accepted - that I longed for music.
I then knew the direction I should head to.
2️⃣ Second, with that direction, I created a plan:
Resign from my job
Move to a cheaper place
Start a vocal ensemble
Sing in as many paid opportunities as possible
3️⃣ And finally, I executed on my plan.
And quicker than I expected, I was living a completely different life: studying in a city I love, high level music projects with talented musicians...
I realized that I was so much happier doing the work that feels important to me. It brought me a feeling of freedom, of power, of self-confidence, that I had never experienced before.
If you create your own project, whether it be a freelance business, a startup, an artistic undertaking or a social enterprise, you can launch something that ties in with your wishes and values and plays to your strengths. And it can feel good. Really good.
Now, how can you identify what you really, deeply want?
Let's dive right in…
Here is my 3-step “Personal Inquiry Framework” that is specifically designed to generate those ”light bulb” moments and help you Identify your deepest wishes.
Clarity about What is really important to you and Who you are meant to become will then generate all the Motivation and Energy you need to start changing your life.
1) Your Flagship Projects 🚩
Your flagship projects are the top 5 things you want to do in your life.
For example, some of my flagship projects are:
Conduct the musical work “A Prayer” by Franck Bridge in the hall of Philharmonie de Paris
Coach climate activists
Set an online choral conducting course
I strongly recommend you take the time to answer the following questions thoroughly and without restriction whatsoever. Write your answers down, on paper.
Question 1: What would I do if I had $1 000 000 000 000 on my bank account, 10 000 years to live and nobody to judge me?
Write down everything that comes to your mind, realistic or not, serious or crazy.
Are you done?
Question 2: What are 50 things I want to do in my life?
Question 3: What are the top 5?
There, you have your 5 flagship projects. How does it feel? Exciting, scary, promising...?
2) Your Values ⭐️
Values vary from individual to individual. Some examples: freedom, autonomy, ambition, faith, kindness, efficiency, glory, intelligence, lightness, leadership...
Your values are what is most important to you :
You find they are good by themselves, you want to pursue them (you really want to, you do not feel obliged to)
You have already (I insist, already) dedicated time, money, energy or any other resource to back it
Pursuing them gives you energy and motivation
To identify your values, these are the best questions to ask:
Question 4: What revolts me or hurts my integrity?
Question 5: What have I already invested in, taken risks or gone out of my way for?
Question 6: What do I find good or beautiful?
Look at your answers and identify the values behind them (1 word for each). Then, write your own precise definition of each of your values.
You are now ready for the final chapter:
3) Your Sources of Pleasure 😄
Those are the activities that give you pleasure by themselves.
In my case:
Singing, playing piano
Working on my music scores
Two questions will make you identify your sources of pleasure.
Question 7: What do I enjoy doing?
Then, get more exhaustive with:
Question 8: Are there recurring themes in:
My last 2 weeks’ browsing history?
My online subscriptions :
Youtube channel subscriptions (Facebook groups, Facebook pages liked, people followed on Instagram, newsletters...)
The books I read
The films/series I watch
The regular or irregular activities I do
Bonus question: to which extent is your actual job aligned with those sources of pleasure?
Congratulations! You have now identified your flagship projects, your values and your sources of pleasure.
How does this Personal Inquiry work make you feel?
Now, identify 3 easy action steps that would get you closer to those inner wishes.
I would suggest that you do them right now - or at least plan them in your agenda.
Bonus question: how would it feel like to go on with the path you are currently on for next 10 years?
Great? Good! You can go on with confidence, knowing you took some time to check with yourself that you are on a track that is aligned with your inner wishes.
Dreadful? Then congratulations! You just accomplished the first step towards shifting your life trajectory from a hopeless dead-end career to an exciting new chapter of sovereignty, meaningful contribution and fulfillment.
I would love to hear about your 3 action steps in the new direction,
and I wish you all the best on your journey! 🌟