I was sitting on a train at the end of last week and caught the eye of a man who was shouting at his laptop and ripping up bits of paper in raw anger. This man was in his late 50’s and when I asked him if he was ok – he replied directly, ‘ I hate my job!’ Many people, I thought, would be in a similar place. Having asked him what he did I went on to ask him what he’d love to do. ‘Be a gardener,’ he said. ‘Why don’t you do that?’ I suggested. He paused and then looked at me in an enlightened way and said, ‘there’s no reason why I can’t, but I now feel trapped.’ I went on to share my passion of purpose being so central in life – often it’s as simple as extending our job descriptions to their end purpose. For example a brick layer could see his job as a homemaker, however sometimes it requires a more radical response – biting the bullet and moving. My friend on the train felt this is what he needed to do and was going to give it some serious thought over the week end.
My anxiety is that too often the drivers are money and status when it comes to career choice and my plea to educators and parents is to ‘listen and observe’ their charges and steer them in to places that bring them ALIVE. This will certainly make for happier people on trains!