“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
It was time for me to choose my next job, and I was torn between two paths: the path I knew and the path I didn’t.
If I chose the path I knew, I was told they’d make me rich. If I chose the other path, I was told, I’d learn a lot and grow.
Immediately in my mind, I chose “growth.”
I live by a principle of “follow the growth.” It’s always served me well. It always leads to adventure. It always expands what I’m capable of. It always leads to experiences that I didn’t expect, that open new doors and possibilities.
But this choice wasn’t that cut and dry.
I didn’t actually know what I’d be doing on a daily basis in either job. I only had a high-level idea of what the job was about and both sounded good, with not a lot of downsides, just very different journeys.
I called my mentor and told her my dilemma.
Her question echoed through my mind and cut the fog of my conflicting thoughts I had dancing around in my head:
“What do you want to spend more time doing?”, she asked.
She followed with, “What do you want to spend more time doing each day?”
It caught me by surprise.
I had been focused on the jobs, the pros and the cons of each, and the career trade-offs. I hadn’t created a clear picture in my mind of how I want to spend my time.
I thought for a moment about what I had been doing. I was working with bunches of world-class companies to help them change their business with new technology. Every day I was working with smart people on amazing challenges to find business breakthroughs and leap frog ahead. I was learning at light speed.
Hmmm … that’s what I wanted more of.
I told her I wanted to do more of what I was already doing.
She said, “Good. Go with the job that will help you do more of that.”
At that instant, all my issues and pre-conceived notions melted away: follow the money or follow the growth, job titles, etc. Instead, it was self-reflection on what lights my fire and what makes me come alive.
My North Star that’s with me always, whenever I look for it.
I find that time and again, whenever I get off path, all I have to do is ask that question, and I get back on track.
In the words of Creed (3 Doors Down), it puts me back on solid ground.
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Image by Matt Clark.