The cycles of transition and reinvention are speeding up.
We used to stay in one job, one town, for 40 years. Today, we may switch jobs every 2 years, locations every four, and industries every six.
I'm going to explain what it looks like to go through a transition or reinvention.
This isn't to give you the answer for "how to reinvent yourself" but rather by explaining this process, I hope to give you permission to go through the stages of a transition or reinvention, and come out the other side in a better place.
So maybe you're in a transition, a reinvention, a career change, a relationship change...
Maybe it was of your choosing, or not.
You've been given a gift.
You've been given a pair of glasses that now let you see through fog to how things really are, exactly as they are.
It's July 2018, this is where I am, this is what is happening, this is what the landscape truly looks like, today.
See, when we're heads down, we narrow our focus.
We're focused so narrowly that there is a bokeh effect to the details of the other parts of life (and the world). These details have largely been ignored, or de-prioritized.
So in an open space, a pattern break, a time of reflection or rest...
We suddenly return to seeing the bigger picture of our lives.
We begin to see the full complexity of the world.
We begin to see new options available to us that were not within our realm of possibility.
The "lens" we look through widens.
If you're fired from your job, your options for the location in which you live go from "the city you live in now" to "any city in the world."
If you've been through a heartbreak, your options of who to be with go from "this one individual" to anyone in the world.
Having choices again is freeing. Seeing the world without the fog of focus is energizing.
But, after this moment, after you begin to see the larger picture at hand, areas you've neglected, opportunities on the horizon...
At some point, suddenly life comes rushing at you.
You're overwhelmed by the pure amount of new data.
There are too many options. There are too many areas to explore. There are too many details to sift through.
And so you're overwhelmed, stuck in the face of opportunity.
And then you realize that this is why we seek engagement.
Or, as I mentioned last week, this is why we seek purpose.
Without having a direction, these new options are pointless.
We see that action is what allows us to engage with the world. And that opportunities without action are the same as non-opportunities.
If you're lost in the woods, you pick a direction to head in and stick to it. And because you've decided to stick to it, being lost suddenly is a mission or a path you're on.
If you're lost in the woods and you don't make a decision about which way to head... You become frightened and overwhelmed.
And this is the toughest point of the transition or reinvention process.
Some may too quickly make a decision on their path.
Others will allow too much time to pass without any movement.
But at this crux, in this point of pure self-leadership, is the fuel that can propel you.
This is Steve Jobs being fired from, and returning to Apple.
There is some type of energy behind a renewed focus, a desire re-chosen, a new path confirmed.
That when a commitment is made, the path illuminates.
This part is less logical, it's more of a feeling. Allowing a softer whisper in you to be heard, and a relinquishing to the whisper which wakes up a newfound purpose within you.
You make a choice. Not because it's not without trade-offs (it is), not because it's perfect (it won't be), but because you have the ability to make this choice.
This is the self-leadership is necessary today.
And the process that takes us to the next stage in our journey.