While sipping my morning coffee, I stumbled upon an interesting article in my local newspaper. (Yes, some of us still read actual newsprint.)
The article was a reprint of an Op-Ed piece by New York Times columnist David Brooks entitled “Mapping Out the Life You Want to Live.”
In it, Mr. Brooks outlines two possible ways of thinking about one’s life:
The Well-Planned Life: find a clear purpose for your life, and make time each day to work towards creating tangible progress in upholding that purpose. The Well-Planned Life is, well-thought-out, carefully “tweaked” along the way to fit into the overall purpose, and concluded with a feeling of achievement.
The Summoned Life: life isn’t a “project” to be completed but rather an “unknowable landscape” and decisions about what to do are based on the context of the situation. The Summoned Life recognizes that there are many unknown factors (illness, war, and economic factors) that may arise and therefore reshape one’s path.
Mr. Brooks summarizes the two outlooks in this way:
The person leading the Well-Planned Life emphasizes individual agency and asks, “Whex gf exbacksms.com how to get your ex back
at should I do?” The person leading the Summoned Life emphasizes the context and asks, “What are my circumstances asking me to do?”
As a woman in business, this essay really spoke to me. So much of my “business” mindset gravitates toward the Well-Planned Life model: purpose, planning, goal-setting and so on. On the other hand, there were aspects of the Summoned Life model that drew me in as well. Try as I might, I can’t boil my existence down to just one “purpose.” I wear many hats and fulfill a variety of purposes.
So, I look to my fellow Women of HR readers for discussion.
How is your life unfolding? Is it flowing in the direction of the Well-Planned Life or the Summoned Life? And, how do the two mindsets influence how you show up at work?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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