Three mindsets that will change your career and life

Three mindsets that will change your career and life

Start living the precious days you’ve got left. 

BY Bella Zanesco, 6 min READ

Bella Zanesco writes…

My lovely partner likes to leave his reading material on the bedside table. This week ‘Tribe of Mentors’ appeared so I decided to open up to a random page and take a look.

I’ve always been a fan of Drew Houston the CEO and Co-founder of Dropbox. So much so I quoted him in my book, Smart Girls Screw Up Too.

So to my surprise the first thing I opened up to was from the man himself.

“If I had a cheat sheet I’d give myself at 22, it would have three things on it: a tennis ball, a circle and a number 30,000”.

Essentially Drew is talking about three mindsets and supporting actions to embrace as you navigate your career. Let’s dive into each one in turn.

1. Chase your tennis balls

A dog doesn’t think much before it runs after the tennis ball time and time again. It just does because it knows that it’s the right thing to do.

I’d like you to think of a tennis ball as your values, those things that don’t require any motivation to chase, you’re naturally motivated because they feel right.

I listen to so many stories of women and men who just don’t know what feels right as the whole world of adulting has beaten out of them a natural state of joy.

My research of 5,500 executives confirms that the last time seven in ten of you really had fun and enjoyed creativity without booze, drugs or kids was when you left kindergarten.

And that sucks.

If you’re ready to chase your tennis balls and don’t know what to chase I recommend you have a conversation with your parents or someone who knew you as a kid and ask them what you used to love.

Then find a guilt free, negotiable hour each week to do it, or something like it, no excuses.

Remember: Be like dogs. Chase your tennis balls, aka your values and watch what happens.

2. Fill your circle

Studies have shown you are the sum of the five people you spend your time with.

When I wrote Smart Girls Screw Up Too I geeked out on the work of Robin Dunbar, an Anthropologist from Oxford University who identified we’ve only got five slots for the deepest kinds of friendships.

So I decided to interview a tonne of people and ask them what types of people they have in their life that help them up-level their career and life outcomes (and feel held when it all goes to pot). I published as archetypes the book.

But in case you don’t have your copy yet, I break them down here. Moral of the “circle”, if you want a better life, start by spending more quality time with less people and people that you feel great around.

3. Use your 30,000 days wisely

The average person has 30,000 days. I’ve just cracked the half way mark and if we follow the 30,000 principle we should expect to live out the remainder of our days mostly healthy and happy.

That said, there’s a lot more I want from my life. But what I’ve realised it ain’t big things anymore (well aside from my dream to sail around the world), it’s more subtle, day-to-day things.

Cuddles with my love, strong friendships, sea breezes, salt in my hair, nurturing conversations, seeing my nieces grow up into confident young women, remaining youthful in my outlook and doing work that matters are a few that come to mind.

I came to these through a concept I coined the “Hell No Basket”. My clients and readers will recognise it from Smart Girls Screw Up Too. With this technique I help you frame some of life’s most important questions so you can stop over analysing things and start living the precious days you’ve got left.

Bella Zanesco is Australia’s leading Career Acceleration Coach. In 2018, she delivered $500k in negotiation upside outcomes for her ten clients. She is also the Entrepreneur In Residence for Slingshot, Australia’s leading corporate startup accelerator, a keynote speaker and Author of ‘Smart Girls Screw Up Too, the no-nonsense guide to creating the life you want’. Bella’s vision is to support one million women to love Mondays, be magnetic and get paid what they’re worth.  Join Bella’s free Career Acceleration Masterclass here to learn the top five skills you must get to find purpose and get paid what you’re worth.


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