When you started your professional life, you may have done everything by the book. You went to school, you got good grades, you went into a great profession.
While working in that profession, you took on every task. You worked hard, worked late, and the results were great. You may have had it made. Success. Doesn’t it feel great?
Except when it doesn’t.
One of the worst feelings in the world has to be working your hardest, reaching for the final payoff, only to find that once you got it, it wasn’t what you wanted.
You climbed to the top of the ladder, looked around, and realized you were on the wrong roof. That’s a terrible feeling.
How do you avoid that? If it’s already happened, how do you avoid doing it again?
Here are three ways to avoid landing on the wrong roof.
Be Honest With Yourself
Don’t do things out of obligation. We all only live once and deserve to be happy. That happiness involves doing things that we genuinely enjoy, not because it’s expected of us by those around us. Take a moment to step back and observe what you do regularly and where it is taking you. If you don’t like that road, it’s time to plan an alternative route.
Don’t Be Afraid to Jump Off
There is nothing wrong with realizing that you are on the wrong ladder and changing the direction of your life by jumping off. People are so afraid of being wrong that they compound a mistake by continuing to make it after they become aware of it. Our time is limited. Don’t be afraid to make a bad choice as long as you are willing to correct it as soon as you know it was wrong.
Keep Looking Up
Life isn’t as straight as a real ladder. It’s more like Chutes and Ladders with ladders that have multiple directions to choose from at each rung. Sometimes you slide back, other times you can’t decide which way to go. But, if you keep looking up at where you want to go, you can do your best to choose the best direction to get there.
Awareness is Key
It begins with being honest with yourself so that you take that first step on the correct ladder. If you do that, you’ll be much better off than the many people around you scrambling up to a rooftop view they won’t enjoy.