‘We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us’ – Joseph Campbell
Years ago I had it all planned out. I was determined – I was going to be a pricing manager that would revolutionize the way our company priced it’s products and save the company millions of dollars in the process. I thought about the process, wrote it down, visualized it, and worked out all the strategies. How was I going to get there? Well – education and hard work of course! Little did I know, even 5 years ago, how different my career path would be.
You can’t always see the path ahead of you
I’ve grown a lot since then and learned way more than I could have ever expected. I think during this growth process, one of the greatest takeaways I had was that you can’t always see the path ahead of you. You can plan everything out, work hard at achieving your goals, and have everything written down and visualized in your mind – but things will always pop up that cause your path to shift. In my life, these shifts have moved me in more positive and concrete directions than I could have ever imagined. I’ve learned to expect these shifts now – and to enjoy the surprise experiences they bring.
Random opportunity and good fortune are a definite part of the process
I used to believe that I could control all aspects of my future and my success. I still believe largely in the idea that we can influence and control major portions of our lives, much more than we’re inclined to believe, however there is a definitely element of random luck and opportunity in each and every person’s career ladder. You will notice this consistently in biographies and documentaries – many times the most successful people in the world had early breaks in life that were simply just random chance. The point of noting this is that you should keep your eyes open for these random opportunities, because it is impossible to fully predict where they will lead you in your career.
Building on fundamentals will help you prepare for the unexpected
Another thing I’ve learned through years of practicing personal development is that although there are unexpected events in life – practicing your fundamentals will help you be prepared for the unexpected. Fundamentals like exercise, practicing self-awareness, journaling, meditating, and reading books for self-education. Developing a growth mindset will help you handle the unexpected much better than if you just try to tackle every problem that arises. I focus a lot on self-education through reading non-fiction books, because I pick up a varied account of people’s lives and things they’ve done to overcome adversity. Other people’s experiences all help to form a bridge in my mind to cross when new obstacles come up in my life.
Gratitude will help you remember your past and recognize how far you’ve come
What would a discussion about falling into your life path be without a segway into practicing gratitude. Gratitude is such an easy thing to talk about, but such a tricky thing to consistently make a habit in your life. Every day when I wake up, I write my thoughts out into a reusable notebook that I love – and in here I take time to appreciate the little things that are on my mind. When I look back years ago at my ideal dream job – I realized that I pretty much have everything now in my career that I had wanted back then. If I hadn’t taken the time to think about what I had wanted several years back, I wouldn’t have realized how lucky I am to be where I am today. Practicing gratitude for what you have today and looking back at what you’ve been able to accomplish, no matter how small, will help you keep your momentum going as you continue to work on your development.
Fall Into Your Path
I like to tell people that I’ve fallen into my path, and will continue to enjoy the somewhat-controlled fall, because there were so many things that just kind of worked out along the way. That’s not to say that I haven’t put in effort to plan and work strategy – in fact I believe these things have had an instrumental impact on my own growth, but the point is that you can’t figure it all out point blank 5 to 10 years in advance. You have to live it. Once you start accepting fate, or whatever you decide to call it, as a factor – you can work your strategy and goals along side it to develop your ideal life.
-Anthony from AuthenticGrowth.com