Path? What Path? What’s a Path?

Create Conversation Leadership coach

Create Conversation Leadership coachI was on a linear career path after graduating from college. Entry-level engineer to a master’s degree to the mid-level engineer to the senior-level engineer to the program manager looking to move up to executive positions. The day I realized that even if I lost my current job, companies would be happy to hire me? Well, I thought I had it all mapped out, figured out and in the bag. A seemingly secure and stable existence climbing the corporate ladder for 35 years before retiring comfortably. 

So cute.

Right about year 20, I began to wonder if the linear path was all there was. Then people showed up in my life challenging my way of being, doing and thinking. The challenges led to staring into an abyss of infinite possibilities and paths; what happened to the straight line!? I knew what I was going to be doing for the next 10 years! Ego whispered sweet nothings like, “Why leave? It’s pretty good here. You’re good at your job. You have a path here and you know where you’re going. Why rock the boat?”

What if being “good at a job” is not enough? What if the job you’re “good” doesn’t make you excited to get out of bed in the morning? Does that part eat away at you? Does it suck the life out of you? Are you exhausted?

Occasionally, people will be put right in front of us to help us step off the linear path and begin to explore what could be if we follow what we’re passionate about. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what that passion is, and that’s all part of a new path. This new path? It’s not linear. There’s no ladder (or maybe there is, who knows?). The point is, there may be dissonance as this new way of being forms. Ego may pull toward what’s comfortable and appears to be safe and secure. Self/Soul, will pull toward all the infinite possibilities that could appear when you direct your energy toward your passion. A common argument between my Ego and Self often sounds like this:

Ego: Figure it out right now!

Self: Look at all these possibilities!

Ego: What are you going to do? What does your career look like in 5 years? 20 years? What is your legacy???

Self: Look at all these possibilities!

Ego: Make a plan.

Self: Plan? Who needs a plan when you are on your path?

Ego: Did you miss an opportunity just now? Come on, get it together.

Self: There are infinite opportunities and possibilities, no big deal.

Ego: Have a plan yet?

Self: Shut-up ego. 

Uncovering the path can be fun and light! Or, it can be the biggest fight of our lives as ego begins to take a back seat. I don’t know about your ego, but my ego hates the back seat. It can show up in whispers, gently guiding us forward. It can show up in halting baby steps toward being free from constraints and conditioning. It can show up as multiple whacks from the Universe putting those people and situations in our path to show us that now is the time to wake up. No matter how it shows up, it’s a choice. There’s no right way and there’s no time limit.

We choose every step. All a series of steps on a path. There is no end, there is no arrival, there is just a path.

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