What is the biggest idea you’ve ever had? Big ideas can be overwhelming. Think of the times as a child when you imagined what it would be like to grow up to be…The thing we were going to be could be anything. There are a number of accounts of authors who had the overall idea for the book they wanted to write. By breaking the ideas into manageable chunks and writing for a certain time each day, the project suddenly became manageable. The result was a finished book.
The same can be said about an educational and/or career objective. In high school, I discovered the career I was to follow. Among other things, it required both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. Since I was already on the path leading to college, my tasks included picking a college. I applied to two colleges. I was accepted into both. After visiting each, I made the decision based on the one I believed was the best fit for me.
Once I started college, I had the choice to make of what to major in. The graduate degree that lay ahead of me was specific to my career choice. I decided on a different major as an undergraduate. I majored in the subject I had most enjoyed in high school. I even got a teaching certificate in this field. My thinking was this would broaden my educational base, while not keeping me from my graduate school and career goals.
The path toward my chosen career seemed long at times, but there were some very interesting choices along the way. My choice of graduate school lead to time spent in a different part of the country. It also opened me to the opportunity to study under people who saw many things differently than I did. I was challenged in my thinking in ways I could never have imagined.
Following my career dream also meant I had to think for myself and listen to but not always follow the sage advice of some of the people I had been accustomed to listening to. I have had people question whether I would be able to function in the career I intended to follow. Their concerns were based on some of the limiting factors in my life, and I struggled, not always successfully, to overcome the limitations these people pointed out.
The other voices trying to discourage my ultimate career choice came from people involved in my undergraduate degree. Several trusted mentors strongly encouraged me to use the teaching certificate I was earning and follow that career path instead. It was tempting. I was finishing four years, with three more ahead of me. I had to take a long look at the long-term career goals I had set and ultimately decide to push on to that goal.
I spent a lot of time writing down all the reasons to keep going as well as all the reasons to change course and follow this other path. I didn’t hesitate long. I didn’t change any of the plans I had put into place to go on toward the long term goal. This time taught me the valuable lesson of listening to the voices of people around you, but working to give these voices their proper weight.
As we move forward, let us apply this test to our dreams. Divide them and do forward, let us carefully consider the dreams we have had in our lives. While there will always be plenty of people in your life who will tell you why your dreams won’t work. Remember that there are no dreams that cannot be accomplished by breaking them into smaller, manageable pieces. What dreams seem bigger than you can do? How do they stack up to being divided into small steps you can do step by step to accomplish them.If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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