What your surroundings tell you about what you really want to do with your life.

You go to work every day. You engage in the work, interact with colleagues, manage your social network and maybe check your ranking in your NCAA bracket. At the end of the day you head to the gym, a class or home for dinner. You are so immersed in the dance of work/life balance that you may be ignoring clues ‘close to home’ that hint at your next career move.

I was following one of those compulsive tangents the other day, you know the one where you read a classic novel and then you check IMDB to see if there was a film and then you are looking at trailers and watching interviews with directors and cast. Before you know it, time has passed, but you really have come away with a nugget of valuable information.

The book I was reading was ‘A Passage to India’ written by EM Forster in 1924 and I found that the movie had been released in 1984, which then brought me to an interview broadcast on the TODAY show in the early 90s with the film’s director, David Lean.

He describes his father’s ambitions for him to be an accountant. But a visit from an aunt and her observations changed his life. “I went back to visit my mother and an aunt who was visiting commented,”I see heaps of film books here, but no accountancy books. Why doesn’t he go in for the movies?” Why not? It was a tremendous barrier broken. And I went to my father and I said, “I’d like to go into the movies.”He was shocked. I just wasn’t done in those days.”

David Lean viewed his career in film as “a secret magic place”. It took an outside observer to connect the dots to his dream career. And it provided him with the courage to overcome his father’s objections.

Look around. Invite a guest in to describe what they see in your home or office.

Allow yourself time to follow a tangent and pay attention to your surroundings. Here lies the hint of your future.

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