Settling – What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Why do so many of us stay in jobs that are not fulfilling? or work environments that are so dysfunctional? Ultimately these two points are very different but in many ways are interrelated at least for me. I have been working with my current organization for over a year and a half now and it has not turned out to be the opportunity that I originally thought it would be or presented to me in the courting stage. I can count the number of conversations I have had trying to make sense of where I am at and trying to understand by leaving whether this means I have failed and should have been able to succeed. In my heart, mind and soul I know the answer is no, it does not mean I have failed and that it is okay to move on but I guess the high achiever in me keeps thinking if I approach the problem from another angle maybe the  chances of success will be better.

So it was fitting to receive a wake-up call last night in the form of a seasons greeting note that made me sit up straighter this morning. In this note, the person reflects on when they look back on their career, in this person’s case 42 years, how fortunate they are to have been able to do something they so dearly love and share this love and passion with others. Of course I am so happy for this person but her words stung like cold rain on the face. I want those words to be my words, not the exact vocation this person chose but to be able to say at various points in my career that I am doing something that I really enjoy. Of course there are always bumps and turns but overall to have that level of satisfaction of following a path that is true to the desires and values of yourself as an individual. I am sure I couldn’t find one individual who wouldn’t want this but then why do so many of us settle?

I started to look around my office as if the answer was somewhere beyond my desk when I saw looked at the two framed cards on my windowsill that have been gathering dust.  One  that I reference in the title of this blog post is “What would you attempt o do if you knew you could not fail” and the other one is “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.  To read these again followed by this seasons greeting note is quite fitting.  By staying with what I am doing would not be in line with these messages and I need to act.   And in doing so…. leaving this situation might mean on some level giving up but this needs to be viewed as a positive move, one that will allow me to work towards a future career where I have a great chance on being able to reflect at some point how grateful I am to do something I love (at least for most of the time).   Thank-you Universe!

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