In this ever-changing often chaotic world we live in, there can be unpredictable twists and turns in our career journey. Add in the economic stressors of job losses or fear of job loss may create tension bringing anxiety and depression. Feelings, such as Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” Lyrics - "But If This Ever Changing World In Which We're Livin' Makes You Give In And Cry" can turn your life upside down. We can either give in to the stress, continually crying about the chaos or we can embrace the situation as a shift in our lives making the most of it and press on to new directions and possibilities.
I am not making light of these moments, as I have had my share of depressive moments in my journey; as my well paved plans buckled up and blocked my pathway. Thankfully I had my faith in God, good friends to seek advice from, and made the use of Professional Counselors at the deepest point of the struggle. In Living the More Than OK life we need to look at the realities of life that it is not a clearly marked yellow brick road, instead often it is a turning, twisting, bumpy, and pot-holed filled path. When a shift occurs through a serendipitous happening we need to work through any pain, ( with a help of a professional Counselor can help), and move on in a positive manner.
I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Jim Bright this past July, at the NCDA, (National Career Development Conference) in St. Louis, MO. He is one of the main thinkers behind the Chaos Theory of Careers. His presentation drove home a point that although our lives do have stable smooth flowing times, we need to be prepared for when the tumultuousness of complex unplanned events come into our lives. For each one of us these events vary in number and intensity. We need to have an openness to new ideas that come through pleasant chance events or unplanned times of adversity.
Reading of Chaos Theory reminds me of a student I had in one of my classes a few years ago who was a very good student and never missed class. Then mid semester he stopped coming. I tried contacting him to no avail until the end of the term I finally contacted him. It was too late to salvage his semester. He said a family event occurred that knocked him flat and could not keep going. I encouraged him to regroup and keep going in the future not to let the event stop him from the education he wanted. He did not plan during the semester for this difficulty to happen. It just happened and stopped him cold. . As I often tell students no one wakes up and says, “Boy, this is a great day for a flat tire!”
Dr. Bright was considerate enough to send me this YouTube video he created which looks at some of the issues in chaos theory. Click on the link and take a moment to view it.
Where Will You Be?
Viewing the video made me think of the career shifts in my life from a library worker during High School, before college a shipping clerk in Ohio, then a janitor and library worker working my way through school in Chicago, customer service in publishing and other companies in the Chicago area, Real Estate in South Texas, and finally teaching and Counseling college students in South Texas. Some of the careers have been planned and some unplanned through necessity.
I also thought through the concept of the Butterfly effect thinking over small events that had a big effect in my latter time periods of my journey. Sometimes it was a discussion I had with someone that seemed insignificant at the time but as I look back in the grand scheme there was an effect on my life. One impetus in starting this blog was I always wanted to do some writing of my ideas. This I believe stems from my favorite teacher, Mrs. Verna Clifford, from 3rd grade who had us write little stories in her class. It was a little class assignment, ( a butterfly event), but I enjoyed it and later it helped me in my writing of reports in my higher education. It was memories of her encouragement back then that helped me consider venturing out in writing this blog.
I have added Dr. Bright’s website http://www.beyondpersonalmastery.com/Home.html to my favorites listing. Do check it out, because as we look at the concept of chaos it does relate well to how we live out our careers and other aspects of our life journey. Dr. Bright is so right in that we need to build in our lives and strengthen qualities such as Optimism, Openness, Self-Efficacy, Vision, Playfulness and Risk, Flexibility, and Persistence. These are things we need to work on developing in our inner selves so we can better handle the complexities and happenstance events that enter into our outer lives. These are some topics that I will touch on in coming months as I believe they are important in Living More Than OK.
In closing take a short quiet time to reflect over the career shifts that have occurred on your life journey. Can you think of any Butterfly effect moments where in your past a seemingly insignificant event or small interaction with another person later had a significant impact on your life?