So many paths to choose in life, each having it’s own twists and turns. Do you follow the crowd and go where there is a perception of safety? Or do you travel your own path, alone, not knowing if you will end up isolated and detached or become the hero of your own adventure? There is acceptance and comradely in numbers, even if the themes of the group lean towards the negative. There is comfort in knowing that everyone around you is in the same boat, even if that boat is slowly sinking. Ending up by yourself in the land of the unknown can leave you feeling alone and fragile.
Life isn’t always one way or the other, it usually ends up a mixture of both group and individual benefits in different areas of our lives. We live close to others so we feel secure in knowing we are all making similar choices. We work with peers at our same level, which provides a cohort of people who can relate to the challenges of corporate life. We then have work we do alone and by ourselves that leaves us both invigorated and challenged at the same time. It takes balance and forethought to live both a collective and individual life.
Then one day when we think we have it all figured out, life seems to be cruising right along, so we spend some time being introspective. We reflect on where we are and where we want to be, which makes us once again consider the individual path versus the collective path. Is the path we are on and the choices we are making allowing us to be our best selves? Have we fully utilized our strengths and leverage what we do best, or are we living a life of simplicity because it is easier and less demanding? Have we reached the stage in life – due to age, finances, health, mindset – when we have earned the right to relax more and work less? Are we living with less than optimum choices and have forced ourselves to keep going when we really want to stop? Or are we exhilarated by something new and exciting no matter our own circumstances and the thought of slowing down is no where in sight? All of these types of questions make us think about our path, our choices, and does something need to change or are we okay with things staying the same.
Whew! Lots to think about, lots to ponder. It doesn’t mean we have changes or choices everyday; it simply means when our choices arrive that we choose the option which brings out our best selves no matter what everyone else is doing. Individual and collective work together to help us live the life we want.