“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” – William Shakespeare, from “As You Like It”
I recently heard the statement, “This is not your only shot.” This, referring to your career, your life.
It stuck in my head for awhile… in a good way. Not like one of those earworm lyrics that sticks just short of driving you to the edge of insanity. But more in the way of an “Aha!” moment. A realization.
Amazing to think that Shakespeare saw the world as a stage in much simpler times… allowing entrances and exits… playing many parts.
We now have so possibilities, but we choose to limit our options.
Why do we so often treat our careers as something we’re stuck in due largely to decisions made long ago… as far back as our teens or twenties? Survey after survey puts 80% of us in jobs we don’t like. And saying it that way is being generous!
What is it about jobs and careers that makes us think we have to live in a state of “stuckness”?
Is it that it takes effort? It already takes effort to push through every day if you’re part of the 80%.
Is it the fear of change? You can be sure that’s part of it. After all, it’s “the devil you know…” Right?
As kids, we believed in the “do-over.” Anytime something didn’t work out as planned, we just did it again… adjusting the rules to fit our desire. Gradually, that changed, and we lost the power of the do-over.
Somewhere between childhood and the real world, dreams began to fade and hurdles became barriers.
Do you think it’s just part of our system? You know, the one that says go to school, get a good job, get a promotion, make more money, buy more stuff, then get “stuck” and wonder how you got there? And, it feels as if you’re running out of time.
Maybe that’s it. The investment of time. The sunk costs. Now we own it. And once you own it, it’s ours and we’re not letting go. That’s known as the endowment effect—our tendency to apply greater value to things we own. I believe investing time has the same effect as investing money in something.
But even way back when, Shakespeare knew better. Back when it really was hard to change your lot in life.
We are blessed to be living in these times. I know, one cycle of the evening news and it may not feel like it. Think back to Shakespeare’s time. The family you were born in absolutely mattered. If you were privileged… great! You had it made. Born a peasant, not so much.
So, go ahead and have your many exits and entrances.
Don’t allow yourself to be stuck. And remember, this is not your only shot. You have as many as you’re willing to take… even if you totally shank some.
Take your shots.
Make them count.
Or… shoot again.
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