If you’re caught in a fast flowing river and you need to get out, you need to swim like crazy. Most of us can appreciate that – trying to go in a different direction than the forces around you requires effort.
Choosing and pursuing your own career path is no different, of course. We operate in a world designed to have you flow through a certain path in life: go to school, graduate, take an entry level job, work your way up in a large corporation, retire. I would hazard to say that 20% (maybe) of the population is actually satisfied by this path; actually fulfilled. And power to ‘em.
The challenge, for me, is that we are all subjected to the forces of this path, regardless of whether it makes sense for us or not. Family, educators, employers, friends and other influences in our lives can all contribute to the forces pushing you in a certain direction. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that direction, it just may not be the most rewarding, the most fulfilling direction for you.
As competition gets fiercer (for everything), the spoils go to those who are deeply, passionately engaged in what they do. There’s little room for faking it any more. Which means, of course, that you need to find that path that engages you completely… even if it requires some extra paddling to do so. ”Going with the flow” may not be an option much longer.
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