Thursday, January 12, 2012

Only one thing? How terrifying...

Years ago there was a mentality that you by the time you were graduating you should probably have made up your mind as to what you would do for the rest of your life. The importance of this was handed down and taught in such a way that it implied anyone who hadn't decided at the age of seventeen or eighteen was going to be unfulfilled and unsuccessful.

Times have changed and more and more people are embracing and understanding that few people will have a single career in their lives. You've only got one life and it's important to use it to the best of your ability.

I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who always told my brother and me that we could and should do everything we wanted with our lives. A thought which can easily become overwhelming, but take a look at the flip side.

How would you feel if you were told you could only do one thing for the rest of your life? Personally, the idea of that terrifies me. A single occupation? Only one interest for my professional life? A specialisation which I must commit to until retirement?

I think not.

To do only one thing with you life isn't impossible and there are a few who are content to find their niche and stick with it because it does fulfill and satisfy them. That's fine, and wonderful for them. But they are a very few.

Most of us have a lot of directions our lives could take. We may dip our toes in one interest or dive in head first to another - but our lives are not a single pool and the direction our lives go in is entirely up to us. We have as many options as we're willing to be open to. Life really is what you make it.

Impossible, you think? Too much choice and you lack focus or you won't get anywhere? Perhaps some examples from history can convince you.

Aristotle was a playwright and poet as well as a teacher of a multitude of subjects like physics, linguistics, and ethics, to name a few.

Maria Agnesi was a professor who was also a great linguist, logician, theologists, algebraist, mathematician and philosopher.

Sir Isaac Newton worked for the Royal Mint as a warden but he was also a philosopher, physicist, mathematician, astronomer, theologian and alchemist.

Amelia Earhart was a pilot, as a well as a nurse, author and women's rights activist.

and probably most famously,

Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, musician, scientist, architect, inventor, engineer, mathematician, writer, botanist, geologist, cartographer, and anatomist.

So, in the wise words of Mary Oliver: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Want support in taking on the adventure of life? Consider Me First Coaching -

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