This is your life...(but is it the one you wanted?)
At my old University's Student Union bar, above the bar, there was a sign with the words
'This is your life' - and then in brackets - 'but is it the one you wanted?'
I was 19 when I first saw it as a 'fresher' and I remember even back then it struck me as a significant and thought provoking question. It was challenging, with an unsaid suggestion of - 'and if it's not, do something about it!'
As we reach the end of 2021, with everything we have been through since March 2020, and with no sign of an end to the pandemic, to me this question is as pertinent if not even more so than it was in 1995.
Much has been written about the impact of Covid-19 on different sectors, our careers, the office and homeworking. What it all means for the future of work. 'The Great Resignation' is a term that has been coined to describe the vast numbers of people leaving their jobs following a re-evaluation of what's important to them.
In my coaching work, many people I have spoken to this year feel that they are a little bit stuck. With children to provide for, mortgages to pay and a career, role or organisation they've been in for a long time it can feel difficult and sometimes impossible to make any changes and many might prefer to stay put, stay 'safe'. In many ways this is understandable, but these same people also say they have lost some of their spark, the passion for what they do, life has become stale, samey, uninteresting. The prospect for some is to see out the remaining 15-20 years of their working lives going through the motions but with this growing frustration burning inside.
Yes, we are still in uncertain times with the pandemic, but we do have choices. In my view, you are never too old to shape your life the way you want it to be. It’s never too late to make changes. These changes can be big ones or small tweaks to what you currently do or how you operate and behave - linked to your own personal values and purpose.
In past years I have written in December on topics such as New Year Resolutions or goal setting for the 12 months ahead. For 2022 I would instead just pose the question:
This is your life. But is it the one you wanted?
Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all my clients and colleagues