the BOX

… about life’s meandering ways. Midlife dilemmas.

I didn’t even get past the title and subtitle, and I’m already contradicting myself. I’ll elaborate… Bear with me.

I was contemplating career paths, leadership roles and overall personal development. There seem to be two types of career animals. The ones who know exactly which evolutional path to follow, having a target position in mind and working with every cell of their being to reach that target. If possible tomorrow. Or even better, yesterday! If you are part of this group of animals, this is not for you. Stop here. Read some Dilbert

The second group of animals seems not to be less motivated, or less target oriented, just takes things at a different pace. Yes, I know what I want, I know I want it in the next twenty years, in the meantime, I would also like to explore. It’s kind of like being a tourist in a foreign city. I want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Damme and the Louvre. If I do that all in the first day, the rest of my vacation I will just sit around thinking: What next? Through the hassle of elbowing my way through the Louvre, and buying my online time-slot to the Notre Damme tower, while still in the Uber on my way over (do they have Uber in Paris?), all I will end up feeling is frustration and stress. The rest of the time will pass posting #parisissooverrated #parisneveragain #wtfisthebigdealaboutparisanyway. 

Past the analogy to Paris, in real life setting this is the point when you say: Hello midlife crisis. You start getting the feeling, that you’re missing out. Do I have the right to just say, even if on the agenda for the day, that I do not want to climb all those steps today? What if I just sit in the grass in Champ de Mars? Take in the sights and contemplate how lucky I am to have made it to the foot of the Eiffel Tower? Do I allow myself, to take in the sights and enjoy? Or do I listen to the pesky voices (in my head or in my surroundings), telling me, that I should be further down the road by now? Do you go with your intuition, and choose the position more suitable to your life at a certain point in time, even if it is not the logical (expected) choice? How does your environment react to this decision? You’re crazy. This doesn’t make any sense. This does not bring you forward in your career. You’re selfish and opportunistic… Which one resonates? Which one do you hear most often? Does it scare you? Does it put you back in the box, the top floor office of the highest skyscraper, where you belong? Or do you see yourself as a shrimp blinking out of the fishtanks at your nearest Chinese restaurant? Sure there is a lot of gold and red silk around… 

"Meandering leads to perfection"

- Lao Tzu
midlife career decisions
© 2021 Albert Erika. All rights reserved.

Is it really opportunistic, to do what you want (need) to do at a certain point in time? Or is it opportunistic to take the next big promotion, at the first chance, without considering how you fit to it, or how it fits to you? Just thinking which is better…

Which one is the leader? The one that sacrifices everything to move forward? Or the one who every so often steps aside and says: this is not for me. Which kind of leader would you like to be? And more important: which kind of leader would you want to have working for you?

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