Whether you are focused on personal growth, professional growth – or both – this may be the most important question.
If you were to be diagnosed with cancer, ‘what’s next’ would be the first question you’d ask. ‘Am I going to die?’ is just a different way of putting it. Whether the answer to that question is yes or no, it still requires you to think about ‘what’s next?’
Your life is going to change over the years, with or without a life changing event. Giving it a little thought in advance could be the difference between welcoming the change – or being paralyzed by it.
This is how I learned the importance of ‘what’s next?’:
I made the mistake of not planning for a change when I went to college. Here in the states most college-bound teens visit numerous universities prior to applying. They are courted by the schools and their students. And, eventually, apply to several, praying of course for acceptance to the one they liked the most.
Not me. I applied to one school. (Actually two, but the second was a private school I knew we could not afford.)
The thought of not being accepted had not crossed my mind and ‘everybody’ liked this school so it seemed to be a no-brainer. Turns out, that’s exactly what it was.
I was accepted to Penn State, main campus, and pretty much hated every minute of it, falling into a depression the likes of which I hope never to revisit. (If you are a Penn State alum, feel free to send me a nasty note for dissing your school.) Some of my closest friends are friends I made in ‘happy valley’ but it was, without a doubt my most unhappy time.
I had no one to blame but myself. But I don’t. As a teen it would stand to reason that I hadn’t given much thought to ‘what’s next?’ but as an adult who hopes never to find myself surprised by a change I could have anticipated, asking this question has spared me repeated heartache more times than I can count.
This blog is a perfect example. One year ago I knew nothing about blogging. But, what I did know is that ‘media is changing’ and I wanted to be part of that change. I also knew that I wanted to spend more time, not less, with the Sheriff.
It hasn’t been easy. And it hasn’t been instant. But my today is all the better because I am now excited about tomorrow.
And do you know what the best part is? It’s all because of Penn State. That’s where I learned to consider ‘what’s next?’
I transferred after two years to Temple. And that’s where I learned everything else. Hoot hoot.
Do you ever think about ‘what’s next?’
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