Today, the name of the game is continual career management–taking small, ongoing steps in the right direction.
Five O’Clock Clubber Carroll Cavanagh’s feet were taking him in a certain direction, but he didn’t notice it at the time. Often, it is only in retrospect that we can make sense of our past and use that information to guide us.
While working as General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of the National Gallery of Art, Carroll spent his free time with the curators–getting the inside information on what was happening in the art world–a “joyful habit.” When he was later confronted with a gaping hole in his future–and no longer wanted to practice law–Carroll hoped for some clear direction: a “blinding transcendent vision.” None came. Slowly, he realized that he could combine his knowledge of art with his business skills.
Changing direction–even when you know where you’re going–is a long process. Life takes time. Just about everything we try to do well–in both our personal and professional lives–takes more time than we had expected.
The good news is that we all have the time. The Forty-Year Vision was developed to give you the perspective you need to dream big dreams. You do have the time to implement them. And twenty years from now, you will still be twenty years older–whether you decide to develop a plan and follow it or not. So why not get started?
First, notice where your feet are taking you. What do you enjoy most and do best? The exercises in the Targeting book (Seven Stories, Interests, etc.) are key.
Then develop your vision: your Forty-Year Vision–even if you change it later. Write out your best-case scenario–five or ten years at a time. You must write it so you will take yourself seriously–or nothing will happen. Rethink what you want, and go for it. Day in and day out, gloriously live the life you planned and ride the shock waves you will meet. It’s never easy, and it does takes time. But what else are you doing the next twenty years?
President and Editor-in-Chief