50 Challenges: No. 23 Do Not Drift

Yes, I keep reading of people whose glittering career just sort of happened. Good luck to them. There is much less fanfare for those whose failed career was run on the same basis.

The disadvantage of drifting through life is that if you do not know where you want to go, you can have no idea of what to do to get there. You end up being blown this way and that be storms, and you have no idea whether the coast that you reach will lead to Eldorado. The country may be full of disease and hostile natives. And of course you may finish your voyage up the creek without a paddle.

Most companies have a mission statement, setting out what they are trying to achieve. Work out your own mission statement for your life – but make it meaningful rather than using glib phrases. What is your main aim: success, family, changing the world, or a quiet life? While it is possible to achieve more than one of these, which is the most important? What trade offs are you prepared to make to reach your main goal?

The next question is where your career fits in to your goal. Indeed a succession of jobs may be more appropriate rather than a career.

The summer holiday is an opporunity to stand back from day to day pressures and cogitate. But start this weekend, and note your initial thoughts.

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