Friday, 17 April 2009

The box


I've just done a spring clean. That is, I went through every cupboard and drawer I have and ruthlessly threw out what I no longer needed.

I came across one box which was full of files with newspaper cuttings from the time I worked at the Foreign Office. It was astonishing the breadth and depth of these folders:

Economics
International relations
Media
Graduates
Tax
Developing countires
USA
International finance
Philosophy
Neuroscience
History

I could go on.

Two things struck me about this. Firstly, there's so much less excuse for clutter in the age of the internet.

Second, I think this symbolises many of the problems people have in choosing a fulfilling career. People graduate with the world at their feet. They feel they can do anything - and that's probably true. But, and this is the bit no one tells you, very often success depends on working out what your priority interests are.

Without doing that, we tend to drift from opportunity to opportunity and subject to subject without any real compass of what's really important.

The reality is that my box was a trap. I thought I was pursuing fulfilment, but in reality I was wasting time by not thinking carefully enough about what I truly wanted to do.

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