Put your stake in the ground

I recently read something in Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Mindsby Arlene Dickinson of Dragon’s Den that’s making me feel uncomfortable. That is usually a sign that the message is hitting close to home, and that I need to pay attention to it.

Hmm. Which path to choose? Photo by Daniel Oines.

She says that indecision can paralyze you. It can keep you from doing what you’re meant to do. It can keep you wandering along your whole life constantly wondering what you should do and never make a choice. It’s best, she says, to put a stake in the ground and then experience things and adjust from there. One can always learn and improve along the way.

My lesson: I need to commit to something.

Now that’s terrifying. If I commit to one thing, I automatically reject a number of other possibilities that are really cool.

So is that what I’ve been doing the past few years? Letting indecision keep me from choosing a path? If so, yikes. I think a part of me knows this is true. The other part of me really doesn’t have a clue.

During one of my interviews with people about life purpose, the lovely Margaret Case gave this advice: “Pick a career and make that your passion.”

I had thought it was the other way around. Aren’t you supposed to find your passion and make that your career? It’s very similar to what Dickinson is saying. Just pick something and do it. You can always course correct or refine after.

All of the seconds you spend agonizing over which path to choose, the less time you will have and the shorter the road ahead of you will be.

If you stay undecided, you actually say no to all choices. You choose nothing. If you never pick anything, you’ll never have the opportunity to get better at that one thing and you’ll never find your passion, your purpose.

The road before us gets shorter and shorter every day.

Don’t choose nothing. Don’t live without a passion or a purpose.

Put your stake in the ground.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Which do you believe in – passion into career or career into passion? You can leave a comment here.

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3 thoughts on “Put your stake in the ground

  1. I love this post – especially the “pick a career and make that your passion” vs “find your passion and make that your career”!!! I have never felt that engineering was my “passion” and struggled with that for awhile- it just never felt quite right. But over the last few years I have really flipped my thinking (unknowingly until today) to the opposite. Thanks for the reminder!