Speaking with a wise and trusted friend the other day I was reminded of how reinvention is not a five-step, infomercial-ready campaign for enhanced happiness – it’s a part of life.
If you are 20, you will probably hold 15 or more jobs in your work life.
If you are 30, you will hold 10 or more.
Imagine the terror in a 50 year-old’s brain.
There’s a more insidious kind of repetition that we suffer through. Many of us change jobs, but don’t really change tasks. I call it groundhogging.
Someone who keeps accepting “VP of sales” positions at different companies is not actually reinventing. They are doing the same thing every day – the only change is the name of the company on the direct deposit slip. We wonder why we aren’t feeling fulfilled.
Reinvention is not repetition. It’s a new path, a new direction.
Consider how many times things change in our lives.
For me, I still work at the university doing the same jobs I love. But everything else is different. I moved last weekend I inherited two kids and a fiancé. Cyndi will know what I mean (and men will nod their heads in agreement) when I say my life is upside down and sideways. The commute is different. The house is new. I don’t recognize many of the condiments in the fridge. There are little shoes on the floor everywhere. There’s a dog looking at me as I write this. My dreams of a man cave evaporated in a little less than one day.
In one single weekend – boom!
It’s a good thing, but it’s unfamiliar. It will get better, then it will be great. Change is constant in our lives. I believe we forget that fact. We cope and adapt. We veer in one direction, then another.
The thing that haunts us more than the changes in our personal lives is the sameness of our careers, doing those same things we don’t love over and over again. It drives us nuts, because we are not sure how to deal. We are unclear on how to react.
This book and blog are designed to be a conversation between us, not a miracle fix. We have to be able to try and fail for our mutual conversation to be authentic.
Change is inevitable. Embracing it is much easier said than done. We are forced to adapt to life’s variations because we have to. Thinking about reinvention that way makes it unspectacular and not unique.
Maybe that will help us deal, and then do it.