So you’ve made the plan.
And you feel really good about it.
You’ve finally accepted that something needs to change, and you’re ready to do it – because you know that’s the only way you’re going to get yourself what you want.
A new job.
Getting that key certification.
You’ve got a plan and you’re ready to pull the ripcord.
Then, life interrupts.
And someone you love gets sick.
You get sick.
You hear some very difficult news.
Whatever it is, it’s a crisis. Totally unexpected. And totally swamps your boat.
You drop everything, and race to help those who need you.
You, my friend, are human duct tape, holding anything and everything together.
And, depending on you and your life, this isn’t the first time you’ve raced to the rescue. You’re kind,you’re responsible, you have a good head on your shoulders, don’t you? And people count on you to do the hard things, especially when they can’t.
So you do.
I imagine this is resonating with you.
But remember your plan? Remember that thing you had committed to doing? That thing that would give you more of what you want? That intriguing, fun, good-kind-of-challenge thing that will make you happy?
What about that?
In situations like this, many of us decide that it’s got to be one or the other. We have to decide: either I nurse my dying mother, or I start a business. Either I help my depressed child manage her illness, or I get a new job.
And sometimes we postpone – or drop – the plan that we know is good for us.
Last year, I wrote about The “And” Way – and maybe that idea can help those who feel caught between service and action.
Very few things in work and life are truly Either/Or, although it’s human nature to attempt to make them so. The And Way – where you get some of both of the things on your plate – is a “moving forward” approach, and keeps you from being thoroughly stuck.
So, yes, care for those you love in their time of need… but also stick with scheduling job interviews. Maybe you’ll have three interviews a week instead of six, but that’s OK – that’s The And Way.
Yes, deal with the crisis you face. But also do the certification program – maybe you can start in six months, rather than next week. Or maybe you can halve the courses and complete the program in four months rather than two.
The And Way. When life interrupts your best laid plans, look closely at your situation and rather than defaulting to either/or choices, seek The And.
You know, if you cock your head to the right and look at the The And Way, you’ll see it slightly differently. When you do, you’ll see it also includes other people. As in: you and me. Because you know that when you need help, there are plenty of people ready to come to your side.
They are also human duct tape. If you give them the chance to be.
All you need to do is ask them, and they’ll become part of your And Way. And maybe find their own meaningful And in the process.