Life is short. And the older you get, the shorter it seems.
This is of course wrong. I know that the perception of time over a lifetime is linked to changes in mental stimuli. But one of the things that do change as you get older, is the impact of the choices you make. The landing strip gets shorter and shorter, and in that sense, you don’t have the luxury of nonchalance about the twists and turns of life.
A few weeks ago, I attended a Student’s Forum at the IAAPA Expo Europe about career planning. Although I am most likely the last person in the world to give advice on this specific topic, it was still a highly stimulating discussion.
My – maybe rather unconventional – view on career planning is that you can’t. Because your path through work life is not just determined by personal qualifications or preferences, but also by context, timing and … well … luck. But at the same time, I also believe, that the inner compass guiding career choices needs to be well calibrated. Because those choices has to be authentic, based on your personal values, and driven by heart, rather than head.
And again, the older you get, the impact and importance of these choices escalate. Life is short.
A few days after the Student Forum, I followed my own advice. Because I hadn’t, for a while. This means I am back at Liseberg. Not because ‘In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks’ to quote Warren Buffet. But because I am not quite done here, in Gothenburg. And, because this job makes me happy.
Reflecting on this process, it is clear to me, that while decision making can be complicated, revisiting decisions are in fact much more challenging. It is definitely not an instinctive behaviour. But while U-turns are hard, they also have the advantage that you get to see everything from a 180⁰ angle. And that is, in fact, a luxury in this life of accelerating speed.