by Elliot Lyons
For many of us, life has come at us so fast that things have just happened. One thing rolled into another, and we stumbled upon a job and ended up with a career.
And when our job turned into a career we stuck with it because it afforded stability and then some. Our career made us comfortable in life—we didn’t have to worry about stuff because we had means.
Yet at some point, we looked around: we were comfortable, but something wasn’t right, something was missing. A different career was out there for us, one we had lately been giving thought because it was more in line with who we were.
This contrast is good because it gives our current situation perspective. From this summit-view, we can see the lay of the land—the paths we took to get where we are and the ones that lead beyond the summit to the valley, where our new, different wants or needs live.
We can see what we’d have to give up to descend because we know what it took to get to the summit. And this invaluable experience is what truly gives us options because it allows us to see the real question, which has everything to do with what we value and not one specific career.
If we decide to descend, one leg of our career journey is over, and we can use the knowledge we’ve gained there to guide our way.
Or we can choose to stay where we are. We can decide the certainty of our career is better than the uncertainty of switching to one that may serve different wants or needs, being content with leaving these things, at least for the near future, undiscovered.
What we have can and does, sometimes, outweigh what we’re forgoing because of the responsibilities we have and the lifestyles we want to maintain.
Kids, mortgages, student loans, and the standard of living we’ve come to enjoy are perfectly valid reasons to stay where we are.
But we can only be content with this decision once we’ve made peace with what we’re giving up.