about what his thoughts were for his career in the future. Pretty basic question and, although I don't expect everyone to have a clear defined roadmap of exactly what they want, I would typically expect someone his age to respond with some variation of... more, different, or other as desired goals.
I was taken aback then by his response... 'I'm done'!
35 and... this is it?
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think that everyone needs to strive to be CEO, to own their own business or even want a management role. That's not my point. More, different or other don't require a move 'up' so much as they imply that you are open to a change at some point. A change that perhaps tests out and develops a new skill, gives you the opportunity to try something different, expands your perspectives, lets you learn something new, upgrades your skills... SOMETHING!
But... 'I'm done'????? A possible 30 more years of working and... you're done?
I consider myself a work in progress. I reserve the right to be better at something tomorrow, than I was today, to know something tomorrow I did not today and to therefore make better decisions and choices for myself as a result. I think back to what and who I was at 35 and have a hard time reconciling that with the person I am today, the growth I have experienced, the learning, the development, the career shifts...
Although we all have different levels of comfort with the concept of change, we need to leave ourselves open to even incremental changes occurring, to prevent stagnation. We can't just simply 'stop' where we are because nothing else around us enters into the same holding pattern. Life doesn't exist in a vacuum. It moves, grows, shifts over time, as do the people in our lives. We too need to move, grow and shift in order to, at the very least, accommodate the shifts and eddies of those around us, lest we be left behind.
Leave yourself some wiggle room by keeping your options open. Envisioning a future that is 'more' or 'different' from your current situation does not have any value associated with it as to how 'much' more different it is. The size of the shift is up to you and whatever your comfort zone will accommodate, but not leaving that opening implies no change at all. Nada. This is the very essence of stagnation.
Live your life with the one true aim of being 'more' each day. Being more in some small way, each and every day, creates incremental but definitive growth. This small step of possibility leaves the door open to other possibilities that you wouldn't be otherwise. No one knows for certain what the future holds, but if you don't leave yourself open to potential and possibility, I can guarantee what your future won't hold.
Leave a small crack in the door for opportunities and change. Just the very acknowledgement of wanting 'more' of some kind can be a catalyst for change that you wouldn't have imagined otherwise.
And... for those of you who dare to be bolder, join me in my preferred vision.
When my time comes, sometime past the age of 100, I expect to be dragged off to heaven by angels while wailing the whole way...