Fast Friday quote of the week with Gregg Levoy, author

Posted July 23, 2010 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

Way back in the year 2000, my friend Brenda and I attended a weekend workshop with author Gregg Levoy.  The seminar was based around his book Callings: finding and following an authentic life.  Over the course of the two days, a room full of people from all walks of life went through exercises designed to help them find their true life “calling”.  Recently, Brenda and I both stumbled across our notes from that workshop a decade ago, and within the scribbles, I found a great quote from Gregg that really spoke to me at the time and still resonates:

“What if you spent your whole life climbing the ladder only to discover it was against the wrong wall?”

Sitting in that seminar, I was a VP of Sales in my early 30’s, earning a solid six figure income, living in a great place dating a great guy, working for a great company and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t happy.  From everyone else’s point of view, I had it made.

But here’s the thing, I had spent so much of my twenties working hard to climb the ladder that I had never stopped to think about my bigger career objectives.  And, I don’t think I’m alone.  I see lots of ambitious people who, like I did, get caught up in day-to-day minutia that can drag us down… going for promotions because of the title or money attached, paying no attention to the job that’s required; getting upset over minor missteps made by our boss and missing the big picture of the opportunities presented in our organization.  The list goes on.

Finding my old notes from this program was a wonderful eye opener to me on the huge benefits that we can reap if, from time to time, we force ourself to get off the merry-go-round of work and take some time to check-in with ourselves.  Are we heading in the direction we want to head in (and do we even know what that is)?  If we’re not, what can we do about it?

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but if you don’t start thinking about it now, it will never happen.  When I wrote my vision for myself, I wrote that I wanted to have my own business and help other leaders.  It took me seven years to get there, but I did it.  And you can do it too.

Happy leading!


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