During a particularly challenging week at work, I happened upon an article by Robert S. Kaplan titled Reaching your Potential which offered up the teaser, “maybe you feel frustrated with your career–convinced you should be achieving more. You may even wish you had chosen a different career altogether.”
I was definitely frustrated, and even discouraged, but did I wish I had chosen a different path?
As I reflected on Kaplan’s article, I realized that I’m right where I want to be.
In sharing this insight with one of my friends, she kindly, but pointedly asked,
“Did you really think that living your dream isn’t challenging, discouraging, and difficult?”
To which I sheepishly replied, “No.”
The truth is there’s a pretty large shred of me which believes that in living my dream, life will be breezy.
This isn’t, and can’t be, true — am I the only one who wants it to be?
Do you remember Psyche’s 3rd task?
The task that requires her to fill a flask with water from a raging river alongside a craggy cliff, a task which is a metaphor for our learning to accomplish goals against inevitable distractions and tough odds.
This image is copyrighted by Mallika Sundaramurthy and Whitney Johnson, 2008.
Would it be accurate to say that Psyche didn’t choose to be on the hero’s journey? That she wasn’t precisely where she wanted and needed to be? That she didn’t want to accomplish her goal?
No, no and no.
But it was difficult.
It is for us too.
After one of your tough days, do you find yourself wondering if you really are living your dream? If you’re not — then that is another conversation. If you are, do you ask why things aren’t easier? Why do you think we believe this?
Did you notice how Psyche delegated the task of filling the flask to the eagle? As we are dreaming, whether our dream involves full-time mothering, full-time careering, or some amalgam of the two, what tasks can we delegate?
Or if you were to interview Rebecca Nielsen, the mother of young twin daughters, who recently wrote about Rightsizing our dream, what will she say? Easy? Hard? Both?