Oh, the places you'll go - whose voice do we listen to?

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re are on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Dr Seuss

When my son was at the end of his primary school education they gifted him a copy of the Dr Seuss book, OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO. The book reflected the ethos of the school - empowering students to set goals, and achieve the best they could be.  It has become a treasured book in our house, and an anchor for setting sights high.

It was interesting when I did a quick google search on this book  it brought up a large number of comments from people stating it has been overused and cliched. Two things struck me about this. How many people felt the need to negatively comment, and how difficult it can be to block out the negative opinions. 

The abundance of literature around being focused, setting goals, determination, and achieving to the best of your abilities is prolific.  Yet, somehow we live in a world with a negative bias. Where ‘but’ and ‘can’t’ are given more weight than ‘do’ and ‘can’. 

 A useful question which I often think to myself when I hear someone making a negative or limiting comment to me is  “What are you gaining by allowing these comments too take up space in your head?” I have yet to find a satisfactory response to this question!

Over thirty-five years ago my economics teacher commented to the class that the prospects of having a secure job for life were rapidly decreasing and that we were likely to have at least two or three career changes in our working lives. He said the notion of being ‘loyal’ to one company for life was outdated and we needed to be prepared for new and different opportunities. They were words which had an impact on me and assisted me to be comfortable with change and to take opportunities.

While Dr Seuss suggests you can do this on your own, my experience has been that getting someone independent to help map out the direction you want to steer is incredibly valuable. I have on a couple of occasions used a career coach. Both times they helped set the direction I wanted to go, without the person imposing their values and opinions.  This coaching allowed me to work through any perceived barriers, and set realistic goals to allow me to follow my passion. It was well worth the investment.

On and on you will hike.
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are …
and will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 per cent guaranteed.)