Wherever you are in your life right now, how clearly can you see the stepping stones you followed to get you here?
Perhaps you chose a career path early on in your life, studied the appropriate courses, got a job as a junior and gradually worked your way up.
Alongside of that you might have rented a flat with friends until you met your spouse or partner, then bought a small house together, sold that and bought a bigger one and so on.
In both those outlines the stepping stones are clear, but if your life hasn’t followed such a clearly defined path, what were your specific stepping stones?
Regardless of your path so far, there are yet more stepping stones to take. You may have heard it said that change is the one certainty in life so however happy you right now, or not, this stage is simply another stepping stone.
Sometimes events outside of your control force you to move to a different one but even then, even when it least feels like it, there is an element of choice.
Recognising that whatever you’re doing right now is simply a phase in your life or a stepping stone can be empowering. If you’re happy with your current stone, you’re probably already having some thoughts about which one you’ll move to next. Another promotion, becoming self-employed or retiring perhaps.
When you’re less happy with where you are, it can feel daunting to make that decision. It might feel as if you’re stuck on this stone forever.
What are the other stepping stones you could move onto? None of them might seem somewhere you want to stay for long but if you’ve ever taken a path of stones across the river you will know that this is the very nature of them. You can stand with two feet firmly placed on some of them, whilst others are only for placing your toes on as you move to the next one. Some are more stable than others. Some are more risky and might turn over in the water. Some require more of a stretch to reach whilst others seemingly move you sideways.
There are two ways of choosing your next stepping stone. When you have a clear destination point on the other side, you’re probably going to aim for the most direct route across. This might include more of the risks and stretches.
Alternatively you might be less attached to where you land and maybe more focused on choosing a safer and more stable route.
Of course there are also routes that include a bit of both. The route to choose next will depend on what’s most important to you at this point so there’s no right or wrong.
What’s more important is that you know that in due course, like it or not, you will be taking another step so why not make sure it’s one that you choose?
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