Are You a Rhino, Elephant, Ostrich or Rabbit?

Are You a Rhino, Elephant, Ostrich or Rabbit?

Wisdom From My Dad

In my younger years, my dad guided me with open-hearted wisdom, his “department store” philosophy. In his eyes, I was on a journey to reach the center of the store, the place I was meant to be. There were many routes I could take to get there. Which door would I enter, which aisle would I turn into as I made my way to the center?

While I valued his insight, and loved his advice, I now question: is there really one place we’re meant to go?

As the mother of three young adults, I’m guiding them differently than I was guided. Rather than having them focus on one singular place ‘in the center’, I’m guiding them to focus on one place in the present. From that one place, crossroads of choice will present themselves, shaping their paths forward to a destination unknown.

Linear vs. Nonlinear Trajectories

Back in my father’s day, he had a vision for a career, and that climb to a career destination was typically linear—a predictable move up the corporate ladder. Attend school, get a good job, get a promotion, continue working hard and then retire.

Today, non-linear career paths are the norm. While we want stability both for ourselves and our kids, we’re also craving discovery and exploration. With evolving interests, meandering paths, ever-changing technology and unanticipated opportunities it’s rare to follow one path, it is the journey, rather than the destination, that is what shapes our lives.

The decisions kids make as they start adulthood are likely the first they’re facing to forge their own path. As parents we’ve likely had our guiding hand in their prior choices. Now, they’re finding their way to make their own thoughtful decisions around their professional choices, personal choices and relationship choices.

I’m curious…How have you helped your young adult children or relatives to face the choices that might seem overwhelming to them? How do you articulate and share your experiences as evidence that they are at the beginning of a lifelong journey along many paths? (Please reply, I’d love to hear.) (Send me a DM)