Figure Out What's Next

Tackling My Life List

career change dennis blank Apr 02, 2010
skills knowledge growth

by Dennis Blank

photo via pixabay

I know what I'm good at, but not what to do with that knowledge

Coach Lou gave me the assignment to compile two lists: a list of the skills I have developed in a 30+ year career, and a list of things I “absolutely must continue doing” in my Life 3.0.

Dear Coach Lou: You are such a slave-driver, but here is your list. It’s kind of embarrassing though, as these don’t seem much like real skills—you know, like accounting, carpentry, speaking a foreign language. Those are real skills to me. It was kind of hard to even come up with these few things, but here you go:

So lay it on me: What do I do with this kettle of fish? 


Dear d’: I am proud of you. It is a short list but one I find very meaningful. These are not really skills so much as natural talents, which you have obviously been able to turn into skillful assets throughout your life. Let’s take them one by one.

Writing: I had a difficult time reading past this one. It was like a big fish jumping off the page and hitting me in the head. Duh! Of course you need to keep writing. I am intrigued by “I have unfulfilled ambitions.” What are they? 

Entertaining: Yes, you are. ? This talent seems to encompass those “fun” activities that you so enjoy. Keep doing these because they go nicely with the next one.

Networking: This is really about “connecting” for you. And you will always have a good time when you are connecting, no matter where you are. You are one of the few who actually looks forward to our high school reunions! Now that’s dedication to connection.

Persuasion: You do this very well. You got me to join you in this journey, didn’t you? And I do think this is an idea that you believe in sincerely. I am here to help you make Life 3.0 a life worth living.

Risk-taking: Yea! My job just got easier. When you combine this talent with “writing,” I smell a book brewing. Give it up—what have you been yearning to write? Just promise me you will change the names to protect the innocent. 

Seriously, once the book is done (I’ll provide you with persistence) you will need those other talents to get it published and sold! Then you can use the proceeds from your fame and fortune to fund something meaningful.

Okay, I have made a few assumptions here that may be way off. So your inquiry for next week is to answer, “What are my unfulfilled ambitions?” Fish sandwich anyone?


Dear Lou: More homework? Haven’t you already given me my Life 3.0 assignment? What do you mean by “unfulfilled ambitions?” You mean like playing tight end for the Browns? Well, I guess another list is easier than starting the great American novel. I’m not convinced there is a book in my future. It’s a lot of work, you know?


Dear d’: Okay, you are now over 60 years old. You must stop whining. Figuring out what to do with your life for the next 30 years is not going to happen overnight and it certainly isn’t going to magically emerge after one list! However, you have made a great first step and I want to move from there. You stated under “writing” in your list that you still had “unfulfilled ambitions.” My question to you is “What are they?” This is reflection. Now get to work. (This is what persistence looks like.)

Coach Lou

Lou: Okay, give me a few days to contemplate this and I’ll get back to you. I’m not used to being quite this transparent with my life.


P.S. Join us on the Facebook Life 3.0 page. It’s free and easy.

Coach Lou is a co-founder of Chain Reaction Partners, an executive and leadership training consultancy in Boulder, Colo. d’blank is the author of The Daily Blank blog.


The Inside-Out Career Design Podcast

Join Us as We Search for Answers to the Age-Old Questions of 
"What Should I Do With My Life?" and "What's Next for Me?"

Check Out Our Episodes