Most of us have realized, or at least acknowledged, that life and careers are no longer linear, predictable, plan-able. We are told to be opportunistic (in a positive way) because we never know if the moment will be right again, hence the ever used adage, "Timing is everything." Timing is everything AND timing is not fixed! Sometimes the answer to, "If not now, when?" isn't Now! Sometimes the answer is, "If not now, then... Later!"
This hit me in a discussion with a former student, a few years out of college, who had two amazing opportunities to choose from. One led to a potentially lucrative exit leaving him financially set to pursue his passions and the other was the quintessential embodiment of his passions with serendipitous timing and uncertain financial stability. After some long, blunt conversations challenging his assumptions and self-construct, we realized this wasn't an Either/Or, an "if not now, when?" but an And/Both, an "if not now, then...later!" decision. It was, what he called, sequencing (and urged me to make it part of the Life by Design work). He realized he'll have many more opportunities to gain financial security, so it was an "If not now, then...later!" decision and embracing this unique opportunity to pursue his passion was an "If not now, when?" moment.
The decisions we make today, while having an impact on our future, do not have to prescribe our future! It is not fixed, immutable... it is not irrevocable! Life is a set of creative acts, branching out in many different directions, in circuitous paths that we consciously and subconsciously design.
If we haven't yet learned that life is And/Both, not Either/Or, we should now. It's all around us. What if we aren't permanently closing and opening doors? What if we are sequencing the doors we open, close and re-open over our lifetime? Wouldn't that dramatically change our outlook? Wouldn't that make Life by Design more powerful, meaningful and fun?
Many many thanks to my incredibly wise, loving, bold students who teach me so much every day!!