Reflection: We’re pretty quick to ask young people about their futures: “What do you want to be when you grow up? What will you do after graduation?”
However, once we step through that portal of adulthood and into a career, a family, and responsibilities of all shapes and sizes, those ‘imagine your future’ questions are often sidelined.
You make a choice. You set out on a path. You’re headed in the right direction. All is well. Or is it?
I recently delivered the closing keynote for a conference of career planners and employment counselors. My message focused on connecting them to the hidden value in what they do and how they are.
The conference planners asked me to also build in a message for those in their mid to late career years who might be faced with: waning interest, lagging energy, or a once raging fire in the belly now faded to glowing embers. And, so I did. Here are a few of the ideas I shared that I thought might also interest you.
Action: In truth, a dampening of enthusiasm can happen at any point along life’s continuum. At its core, the concern boils down to figuring out: What now? What next?
If you find yourself becalmed by doldrums, or drifting around in the murky backwaters of mid-life ho-hum, why not revisit that earlier question.
The question used to be, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” But now the question looks more like: “What do you want to do as you grow old?”
For even deeper insights, toss in two more queries for good measure:
- How much of the rest of your life do you want to spend doing this (whatever ‘this’ may be)?
- What else might you do to be more of who you really are?
Your answers won’t necessarily trigger a change of career – although they could.
Sometimes all that’s needed to light a spark right where you’re planted is a shift of focus or a fresh challenge. Sometimes that spark can be lit in the world of work, and sometimes it can be triggered in other arenas of your life.
But whatever you do, don’t ignore those niggling inklings and twinges of discontent. Better to address them now than to suffer bitterness and resentment later.
Quote Of The Week: We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there. – Charles F. Kettering
Resource Of The Week: Keep Your Boomers In The Game is a brand new article just posted to the Pauseworks Library. Feel free to share it with others who you think may be interested in what it has to say.
Readers Write: In response to the message, Stop Trying So Hard, Pause reader BM writes: Your message this morning is so true! I struggle and struggle with some tasks at work. Usually when I step away for a while the solution comes to light.
Tags: attitude, burnout, career, commitment, encouragement, focus, future, inspiration, motivation, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, productivity, purpose, recognition, Saskatoon, speaker, stress, success, time out, wellness, what next?, workload