Monday, February 13, 2012

Character (Can Be) Our Fate

A thought on building a career (or really, a life) I shared with a friend in a Facebook exchange:
when one's character is well-organized, or solidly grounded in a long-term vision married to quotidian practical skills, then character is free to become fate. When that happens, any single particular event seems to be way less important than a trending-toward the vision one has. Individual events can be bumpy, directing one away from the right trend momentarily, but correction for such momentary misdirection is almost inevitable. More, those moments of misdirection frequently wind up being building blocks for the future in ways one never anticipated. I learned all this rather late (alas), but I did learn it.
If we achieve a certain degree of commitment to our goals and allow ourselves to stick with it over time--often, great swaths of time--then accidents, or simple misfortune, become lesser factors in our fates.  If our character is not "well-organized" or we're not grounded by a long-term vision, then every bump in the road can toss us off into the weeds for good.  Sometimes success is, in large part, a matter of remaining the last man standing.  It also requires a healthy respect for chance and flexibility so that one's prepared to make the best of each less-than-optimal outcome along the way.

It may be a long road, but if one knows where one's headed, it's a thrilling one.  It's a journey.

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