So, having established that doing a job you are passionate about is the ideal, how do we apply that to ourselves? The problem most of us face is that we choose our career paths while we are still in our late teens. At that age we’re still naïve, easily influenced by our parents or peers and we often don’t fully understand what a particular career is actually all about. It might seem a glamorous choice at eighteen to become a doctor saving lives but the realities of the General Practitioner’s daily grind of prescribing treatments for minor ailments may be entirely different to what we’d imagined. More importantly, we don’t really know what makes us tick because we’re not yet fully developed. The things we’re passionate about at twenty may not even interest us at forty, so it’s not surprising that millions of people end up in careers that aren’t perfectly suited to them. Unfortunately, once we’ve chosen our careers and started training it’s frequently difficult to change them without substantial upheaval, considerable risk and possibly great cost. By then, responsibilities such as children, a mortgage, school fees and all manner of factors may make a career change seem at best inadvisable — and at worst impossible. But conversely, it would be a tragedy to waste the majority of your waking life doing a job that doesn’t give you deep satisfaction and enjoyment. Life is just too short and too precious for that.
Because our careers have such a huge impact on our lives it is important we constantly analyse them and consider our options very carefully. Despite what many self-help books tell you, there are no easy or simplistic answers. Even though it’s common for books to tell you to ‘dream the impossible dream’, ‘cast caution to the wind’ and ‘throw in your career’ to pursue your Passion — it’s not as easy or as simple as that. That sort of armchair advice can often lead to disappointment while giving you the false impression it’s helping you aim for life on a higher level. Writers of such advice don’t have to live with the consequences if it goes wrong — but you do. This chapter is about how you can be a wise person and truly divine the correct path for your life to follow. Finding that path is not a simple process, as the following true stories reveal.
These two stories raise the following questions:
What is the correct balance between following our Passion and being practical?
How can we discover the true Drivers which give us deep, lasting, intrinsic satisfaction?
When should we be happy with our career and learn how to make the most out of it, and when is it time to move on and look for a new opportunity or a complete change of direction?
How can we leverage off our existing career or modify it so it’s more in tune with our current state of development?
How can we discover what is our true Optimal Future?
‘Know thyself’. This statement is of course ambiguous and has two interpretations which can mean either of:
Know who you are — in other words, what is inside your inner soul
Know on your own — that is, work it out for yourself
Spackman, Kerry. Winner's Bible: Rewire your Brain for Permanent Change (Kindle Locations 2611-2613). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.