“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”
David McCullough Jr.
Currently reading Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity by David Whyte, I came across a paragraph in the book that reminded me of David McCullough Jr.’s quote (a favorite quote of mine, both in its literal and figurative sense). In the paragraph, Whyte reflects on his initial fascination with being a naturalist but then describes the many tasks, some not so fun, he had to complete before achieving that dream of his.
As I often do when an inspiration hits me, I jot down thoughts and insights going through my mind. Here are three of those CareeRealizations I wish to share with you today:
1: Be Realistic
It is so easy to get excited about something, let’s say climbing mountains, and announce you want to be someone who does that (a mountaineer) and reap all the awe and adulation that come with it (right?!). Setting goals is great, but when doing that, you need to be realistic about the attainment of that goal.
2: Experience = Value
The journey to the goal is often full of challenges and thus lots of learning. We’ve all heard that the journey is more important than the destination, yet many still view the goal as the ultimate accomplishment. Time to change that.
3: Know It’s Not Going to Be Easy, and Let That Excite You
As we achieve a goal, it’s important to also celebrate and reflect on what it took to get there. And sometimes, what it takes is many hours of doing the same thing over and over again.
When it comes to careers, it’s a given: we emphasize the end result—getting a job, getting an internship, but we should not forget that most of the learning happens on the way to getting that ideal job. In addition, keep in mind that the journey is not always easy, or fun, or inspiring. At least not when you are in the middle of it. As you come up with a career goal, be realistic about the steps of achieving the goal. And be prepared. You’ll be more likely to get that ideal job.