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Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential

Living Your Potential

Exploring Your Options

Opening To What Is Possible

Years ago while working with a career counselor to determine what I wanted to do next, she gave me a research assignment.  I thought, “Okay, research, that sounds good,” but when I set out to do it, I was tempted to try and figure it all out even before I had gathered all the facts.  At first I measured everything against what was familiar, not really giving what was possible a fair chance.  As inventor Charles F. Kettering said: "People are very open-minded about new things – as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.”

Frame It As Research

While talking to a contact from another company, Pam landed an interview.  She felt a little nervous setting it up, however, and second guessed whether it was the right time to make a move.  I reminded her that she is “just doing research” and she doesn’t have to make a decision until her actual options become clear.  “That’s right,” she said, “I don’t have to figure it all out before I have all the information.”

When Susan first started working with me, she wanted to identify a post retirement career that fit her lifestyle criteria.  Her research list included: 1) something where she could use her knowledge of Spanish, 2) something to do with adoption, 3) something that tapped her financial expertise, 4) something having to do with health or fitness.  At different points in the process, she might have bet that she would go in another direction, but she ended up discovering that her true passion and interest was to start a wellness coaching business.
Looking into something doesn’t mean you are actually going to end up doing it.  What’s important is where your exploration might lead and the ideas or contacts that it generates.  When you frame it as research, you are giving yourself room -- the freedom to discover options you didn’t even know existed.

Before You Evaluate... Explore

Taking an exploratory approach applies to situations other than career change.  It’s good to keep in mind when you are trying to find the solution to other questions on the table.  Resist the urge to go into automatic decision-making mode.  Know what’s important to you and remain open.  Explore and the option to select will become clear.

 “But how shall I get ideas?  “Keep your wits open!  Observe! Observe!  Study! Study!  But above all, Think! Think!
And when a noble image is indelibly impressed upon the mind – Act!”
 – Orison Swett Marden 

Here's to you,
Ginny's signature

© 2007, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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