How to Manage Your Career: Part 4

Stage 4: Developing Your Unique Gift and Taking Responsibility for Your Unique Contribution

Returning to our mountain-climbing story… You and your group are now near the summit. The last push is tomorrow. The camp is quiet; there’s not much to say. Everyone is exhausted and their thoughts are with themselves. Although they are satisfied with their efforts thus far, they know the final endeavor ahead will challenge their last reserves of strength and will. It will reveal their deepest inner character, a place that no one in the group has gone before.

Spontaneous Action Instead of Calculated Action

When we were younger, we knew how to play. It was natural to play; we were spontaneous in our play. We thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we created a fort out of cardboard boxes?” Then we just did it. We didn’t think, “What’s the point of this? A fort out of cardboard isn’t going to protect anything!?”

Creating Instead of Copying

Alan Watts (a zen philosopher) once said, “The physical universe is basically playful. There’s no necessity for it whatsoever.” Everything in the physical world is temporary; there is nothing that we are doing here that will last. Everything you make will eventually crumble, and everything you do will eventually be forgotten. That sounds a bit depressing…but only if we take ourselves seriously. Looking at it a different way, we exist on the beach where we play, making delightful sandcastles that will wash away with the tide.

Wholeness and Gratitude Instead of Partial and Seeking

Once you have done the work, what is there left? I remember back to the story of creation in Genesis regarding the seventh day: And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day…Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. God didn’t say on the seventh day, “Wait, I forgot to put a few more llamas in Africa. Also, the seas might need a little bit more fish.”

Summary of Career Stage 4: Authenticity

Alan Shepard, a NASA astronaut, once reflected: If somebody’d said before the flight, ‘Are you going to get carried away looking at the earth from the moon?’ I would have say, ‘No, no way.’ But yet when I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the moon, I cried.

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Antonius Tsai

Antonius Tsai

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My work is in helping people connect to their greater selves and authentic purpose. (https://antoniustsai.com/)