Friday, August 15, 2008

"You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails"

By: German Proverb

Oh what a very apt quote for my current situation. I'm sure each of us has gone through a crazy time in life, when we feel that things are just going haywire and that situations are spiraling out of control...

At every point in life, we may not be able to see our directions clearly. Even more so for the younger ones like myself. We want to move forward, to make full use of our youthful energy, zest and enthusiasm to achieve the best that we can. But how often do we know what is the path to walk?

I remember something that my dad told me when I was starting my job search: We never start at where we want to be. More often than not, we bump around here and there for years, while slowly drifting towards where we are supposed to be.

Along the way, that's where many of us seek guidance. We turn to friends, family members, bosses, and even to religion for answers. However, at the end, the decision is still in our hands. When the world is collapsing around you, what will you choose to do?

My dad was again sharing his experience with me earlier: In everything, we must always have our Plan B. Sadly, there's no such thing as "company loyalty" in this modern world. No company will consistently put your interests above theirs. As such, no matter how selfish it is, we have to maintain our own way out.

As part of a group, there should be a Plan B, an option to exercise when things don't go according to expectations. We can't expect everything to be smooth-sailing always, it would be naive to do so. As individuals, we also need to maintain our own Plan B. The plans of the larger group may not always be in-line with our own interests. Of course, I'm not saying that we should rebel against corporate structures. As an employee, it is YOUR JOB to protect the interests of the company... while you're still employed.

What I'm saying is that we should not wait for the organisation to think for us, because very often, they won't. The entity with the greatest interest in your own life is you and you alone. If so, what's to stop us for planning for ourselves? Why SHOULDN'T we plan for ourselves? Should we not direct our sails in the direction which we want to move towards?

Now that we've established that, it brings us back to the beginning. Many of us are still drifting around, not knowing our directions in life, floating from A to B, then B to C...

The real challenge then presents itself:
Where do you want to adjust your sails towards today?

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