From the book: Simple Steps
There’s another lesson we can learn, too, from that resourceful little ant I mentioned at the start of the chapter. That lesson is to keep your goals flexible.
When that ant encountered something he was incapable of climbing over, he didn’t just keep walking straight into it again and again, hitting his head, without changing direction. He shifted course, found another way around – and kept his journey on track.
There is a lesson to be learned in that, about the way we set our life goals and pursue them. I’ve noticed that people who accomplish a great deal know better than to keep hitting their heads against the same high obstacles. They know that life goals are adaptable. They can change.
Positive change is not always comfortable, More often than not, it requires breaks in routines and familiar ways. Here are some statements I’ve heard from people who have encountered obstacles in their pat – and who are finding their way around:
I’ve been out of work for nearly a year. Even when I think I’ve found a job that I could handle quite capably, I just don’t get excited about it – and that lack of enthusiasm shows when I go in to interview. I think it’s time for something new.
I thought I wanted to work in the legal profession, but I’m finding myself called to do something different with my life.
My parents always wanted me to excel as a classical pianist, and I tried. I think I’m destined go find my happiness in another kind of work – although it might disappoint them.
Obstacles come in many shapes and sizes – and they can suddenly appear in many places in our lives. In most cases, they are really valuable signs hat our goals and ambitions are not serving us as well as they once did.
More and more today, I encounter people who are empowering themselves to make midcareer changes and transformations – often involving considerable risk and sacrifice. The growth they achieve is usually greater than they could have realized by remaining stuck in repetitive patterns – another name for “ruts” – that were no longer moving their lives forward.
I know one worman who snjoyed a successful career as an executive for several decades, but who then became a teacher. She described this change as her “new lease on life.” And I know a man who went the other way. He left the teaching profession and became an executive at an advertisement agency, He, too, is elated at his life change.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “One thing I’ve found out about his life is this. It’s not so much where we stand, but in what direction we’re moving.”
What a profound, yet simple thought.
Embrace change, When we do, and the change is the right one, it’s like having the wind at our backs, filling us with strong energy. We can move our lives ahead again with confidence, and our lives become renewed and refreshed.