THE COSTS OF REIMAGINING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

  • A passionately lived life is not always comfortable. Going for it involves being open to all of life: the joys, the sorrows, the mundane, as well as the magic, the splendid victories, the most abject defeats. You might even stop closing your eyes during the scary parts of the movie.
  • You will have to control your impulse to constantly remind your friends how much you enjoy your career.
  • You might have to get new friends. When you begin to live from a commitment to have your life work brilliantly, you might discover that you have outgrown some of the people who will champion their lack of fulfillment until their dying day. Or, as Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
  • You will lose some of your best reasons to complain. Most of us have a certain investment in complaining. If you think this doesn’t apply to you, try to refrain completely from complaining for the next month. An unfulfilling career is ideal raw material for this hobby. You would have to find other things to grumble about.
  • People will talk behind your back. When you are just one of the herd of moderately dissatisfied people, you don’t attract much attention. When your career really takes off, there will be plenty of jealous gossiping.
  • You will not be a member of the biggest, most popular club. You will be in a minority and perhaps feel slightly out of the mainstream, like a monk in a bordello.
  • It takes more heart, more energy, and more commitment to have a career that really sings. You would have to ask more of yourself, inquire more deeply, put more time and energy into choosing your direction.
  • You would have to exchange comfort for vitality. This is by far the biggest reason people pay the terrible price that having an ill-fitting career exacts. If you want a full life, you have to give up whatever addiction you might have to comfort, to not rocking your boat, and to avoiding the feelings of fear and uncertainty that are always one’s companion on journeys outside the safety of the daily routine. 

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