As another candidate walks into my office, one of the first things I like to do is ask them to go through their CV for me and help ‘bring it to life’. I like to understand their motivations and how they navigated the crossroads of life that’s led to their current position and situation – applying for a job with my company. Through this process I have heard many stories of how people find themselves in a place that they never intended to get to. Though I don’t always get to express it, I find it really interesting to hear people’s stories. Almost always the next phase of their life only ever unfolds one step at a time. The beginning of the next phase cannot start and doesn’t reveal itself until the end of the current phase. And generally we don’t know when that will be.
My own CV would fall into that category – not counting family takeaways and Chinese restaurants I have helped out in, I have had jobs in Utilities, Financial Services, Data Protection, Sales, Recruitment and E-Commerce. All of them very different roles, from data entry to people management, sales to business improvement, operations to coaching. So were all these roles simply a means to an end? To my end goal – which I am still trying to figure out? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Where is this journey taking me?
The first time I remember really having to think about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to end up was having to pick my A-Level subjects. Then it was my degree. To be honest, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. I ended up picking an engineering subject that I felt would leave me the most open doors following graduation. To date, I haven’t applied any of the content from my degree in any of my jobs. Would that then be considered a waste?
Over time, I’ve changed my focus from ‘what should I do with my life?’ to appreciating and fully experiencing the moments that I found myself in. The tragedy of constantly trying to figure out the purpose of your life is that you don’t make peace with where you are currently, and before long there isn’t much life or time left for you to pursue that thing even if you end up figuring out what it is.
How you go through what you’re going through shapes you more than the attainment of the goal you’re longing for. A couple of weeks ago I went walking with a good friend of mine in the Lake District to celebrate his soon-to-be-born baby that was almost due. Otherwise known as a man shower (male version of a baby shower for mums-to-be).
Through rain, heavy winds and steep climbs, we made it to the peak, and were rewarded with the rays of the sun breaking through the clouds, revealing beautiful views of the landscape around us. It wouldn’t have been the same if we were able to simply drive to the top, get out of the car and just be there. The hard work of the climb made it all that more rewarding. It was a mental battle to keep going, my legs were starting to tire, I was starting to get hot and sweaty but I savoured the experience.
BE where you are, even if it isn’t where you want to be. It is in the learning, the doing, the experiencing, the overcoming, the practicing, the being there that ensures you are fully living in the moment, even if things are tough. This is part of the human experience. Don’t short cut it. Embrace it.
There is beauty in the perseverance, the overcoming and resilience of life. There is beauty in your current circumstance, be it the journey of pregnancy or parenthood, job seeking, or looking for employment, or seeking that special someone. Behind every achievement, every milestone, every goal, is the potential for a beautiful story. Your story. Learn to live out your story fully so that you can inspire and encourage others with it.
你選擇經歷你所應當經歷之事的方式比達成你一直追求的目標更能塑造你的人生。幾週前我和一位好友去湖區散步來慶祝他的孩子即將出生，或者說這是個準爸爸派對（準媽媽派對— Baby shower 的男人版）。冷風陣陣，陰雨霏霏，山坡很陡峭，但最終我們成功登頂，而得到的回報就是看到太陽穿破雲層的光芒，照耀著我們四週的美景。如果我們僅僅是驅車登頂，這將是完全不一樣的體驗。艱苦的攀登讓一切都無比值當。堅持下去是一場精神戰鬥，我的腿變得疲憊，我開始發熱流汗，但我盡情享受這段經歷。