As often happens on the spiritual journey, we have arrived at the heart of a paradox: each time a door closes, the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is stop pounding on the door that just closed, turn around—which puts the door behind us—and welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to our souls. The door that closed kept us from entering a room, but what lies before us now is the rest of reality.
~ Excerpt from Let Your Life Speak, by Parker J. Palmer
For Christmas my mother gave each of her seven children the book Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer. Each book included a handwritten note about what she thought we may find in Parker Palmer’s search for a vocation that may be relevant to our own personal journey. It is a beautiful book, and I found embracing the no’s in our life to be particularly poignant. How many times are you with a dear friend or family member listening to them process the untenable? There is no way to retell their story with a happy ending and blaming themselves is always completely unsatisfying. Sometimes it is so much more rewarding to look away from the locked or broken door. The entire world opens up in front of you.
At Just In Time Direction we often meet with people that have worked in a career for many years. They have been successful in projects or businesses, and have hit a juncture where they can no longer settle for what their career is offering. We rarely work with someone starting their career with an amazing technology innovation to bring to market.
Our customers are more often successful searchers who believe something more is possible. They are usually financially in good shape and may be in a changing work situation, or they may hear a calling to something more fulfilling and want to explore stepping off the linear path. They are excited and afraid and are often tempted to turn back. It is so exciting when they choose to stay the course.
Aspiring entrepreneurs and new business owners always have limited resources—particularly time. They don’t have the time to figure out what they need to know and what they don’t know. So often taking the leap to business ownership is followed by drowning in unexpected details. What industry will I be in? What structure should I choose? What skills and talents do I have? Where do I need support? What do I think I know that is wrong, and what do I need to know that I have no idea about? The list goes on and on, and wrong or avoided decisions can derail the dream. It is good to remember that there are many that have walked the path before and they are eager to share lessons learned with other seekers. Sometimes the best answer to the daily grind can be “no” in service to a more heartfelt, unique, and personal “yes”.