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Creative Career Path

Finding Your Creative Career Path2013.01.29

    Roger J. Hamilton said that given 150 years of trial and error, anyone could eventually learn to succeed in business. The same could be said of human relationships, health, learning, and the many challenges that we face in life. The problem is that we don’t have 150 years. Moreover, as learning from experience takes its toll, we may find that the period of our productive years and the window of real opportunity is actually much shorter than our life span.


    Many of us start out in life taking the closest available path, the one that looks easiest, or the one that others around us are taking. After some years we may discover that the path we chose was not right for us at all, or much harder than it looked. And so we go back down the mountain in search of a fresh start in the form of a new degree, a new career, a new relationship.


    A little older, and somewhat wiser, we may be able to sustain this new path, or we may find once again that something is wrong. And so we go back down the mountain again in search of the path that is worth the climb. Some people repeat this pattern throughout life, until fatigue overtakes them and they resign themselves to their situation. The ancient Greeks described this process in the story of Sisyphus, who was doomed to repeatedly pushing a rock uphill, only to have it roll back down again.


    But rather than resigning yourself to absurdity and futility, perhaps there is a better way to learn than trial and error through your own experience. Another ancient Greek Philosopher Heraclitus observed that “A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.” If you can find the hidden connections you have a greater opportunity to discover the best path for you up the mountain, the path of least resistance, or the path described as the Way 道 (dō).


    What are the hidden connections? They could be people who dramatically influence your life for the better. They could be books which trigger powerful insights and understanding. They could be experiences, which strengthen and propel you on your path. They act like sherpa, who guide your way more safely and swiftly up the mountain.


    How to find them if they are hidden? Because they are not obvious, it takes more work to find them, often at some risk. The character for Way 道 (dō) is written with the radicals for (to move) and 首 (neck), suggesting the element of risk in traveling on a new path. Risk and reward are part of the Hero’s Journey, as mythologist Joseph Campbell discovered to be a theme common to all cultures.


    Your search in the early years may be marked with uncertainty, leading you up and back down the mountain trying to find the best approach. Once you have found it your path becomes one of greater certainty and continued ascent. Though this is not easy, the greater risk lies in abandoning the search and not finding it at all.


    In this light, your career choices are quite significant milestones on the path. If nothing else, your career choices will shape you by the way your spend your time and the company you keep. Your work and your path are so closely connected that in Indian tradition, Karma Yoga considers them one and the same, the discipline of action, the path of altruistic service that leads to peace of mind. If that doesn’t describe your current job, then perhaps it is time to examine your circumstances, and renew your efforts to pursue a creative career path.


    If you want some help in getting started, visit and download the Creative Career Path Self Assessment Test, which will give you a clear picture of where you are now, and where you might want to be.



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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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