By Lisa Ryan
After my brother, Scott, graduated from college with an accounting degree, he opened an eyeglass store with a partner. They employed a full-time ophthalmologist, and business was booming. A few years into it, Scott became intrigued with the idea of becoming an eye doctor himself, so he went back to college to pursue a degree in medicine.
He applied to several ophthalmology programs, but he could not get accepted — no matter how hard he tried. Yet he didn’t give up. He studied hard, retook the exam and tried again. No dice. Finally it dawned on him that he may be pursuing the wrong path, so he explored other areas of medicine.
Shadowing a friend who was a podiatrist, Scott found that he loved the field of podiatry. He pursued it, effortlessly got into a program, graduated, and after years of hard work is now a partner in a successful surgical practice. He developed two implants that were approved by the FDA, and the company and his practice are growing like wildfire.
My brother could have gotten comfortable with his original plan and led a pretty good life. The eyeglass store was doing well — why should he do anything else? He couldn’t get into ophthalmology school — he could have chosen to use his accounting degree instead. Each time he “failed,” he made the decision to climb the next rung on the ladder, challenging himself every step of the way. This has made all the difference.
In today’s economic environment, many people are holding onto their rung for dear life. Even though they don’t have the career they dreamed about — they may not even LIKE their current job — fear and inaction keep them stuck. Over time, one of three events is likely to occur:
Are you hanging out on the ladder of comfort? What can you do today to move yourself to the next rung? Our journey on the ladder of life will never be finished. It’s the climbing that is the fun part. Enjoy the ride.
Employee engagement expert and motivational speaker Lisa Ryan works with organizations to help them keep their top talent and best customers from becoming someone else’s. She achieves this through personalized employee engagement and customer retention keynotes, workshops, and seminars. She is the author of six books, and is featured in two films, including the award-winning “The Keeper of the Keys” with Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul. For more information, please connect with Ryan via her website.
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