Last week a student asked why I had shifted some of my focus from counseling to coaching, from teaching to leadership development, from writing big textbooks to communicating in other ways. Some people never change their career or life directions. Some don’t have the freedom or desire to change. Others like trying new things and at least occasionally taking risks. A few are constantly making changes even though they never discover a consistent life purpose or focus. So why do any of us (your clients and colleagues included) shift life direction at times? Here are some reasons:
- Boredom. Depending on one’s personality, being in a rut is not very interesting or stimulating. Making a change can be invigorating and bring fresh perspectives.
- Calling. As a teenager I learned that we should select a life career or find God’s calling and stay there forever. But can’t God call us in one direction but later lead someplace else, maybe after a time of testing us out? See Matt. 25:21 and 23 or consider people like Moses, Job, David or Peter. Each got a new calling and changed direction.
- Interests and Passions. These change as we grow older and mature. As a result we change direction to follow new passions.
- Culture. Not many years ago (and in places today) it was usual for people to find a career direction or a place to live and stick with it. That’s different in our age of easy mobility, ever changing technological innovations and information overload. In developed countries it is common to change careers several times. It’s more accepted and easier than it was only a few decades ago.
- Experiences and People. Get married. Get sick. Get released from a job. Get promoted. Burn out or have a disruption in your family life. Like it or not, all of these can force us to change, sometimes for the better; sometimes not.
- Opportunities. These may be rare and often unexpected but most of us know how they can change the course of life.
How does this apply to your life or to your role as a coach or leader? Please comment.