Extend Your Life Lessons

When Jason Alba of JibberJobber.com hurt his calf, it made him think over how similarly he'd taken care of himself and his career (and not in a good way).

This is an excellent example of extending life lessons, and it's one relevant to one's career – and of course, one's life. I often preach leading an integrated life, and this is a good example.

We're going to encounter many lessons in our life – but it's all too easy to think they only teach us something about a specialized area of our life. Instead, I find it useful to try and apply any lessons we learn to the whole of my life, and see what we can learn.

This is especially useful in our careers, as our life lessons often apply to our careers, and career lessons often apply to our lives. When you learn something about yourself, good or bad, when you have that profound moment of impact, don't file the lesson away – ask where else it applys to your life and indeed, your career.

Our careers are, at the best, the summaries of and manifestations of our lives, after all.

Recently while coaching some people, I noted how different people responded to different exercises meant to help them find direction in their careers – and inevitably the responses on careers said something about their lives as a whole. Those for whom the exercises were easy were closer to having a more satisfying integrated life than for those the exercises were hard to do or were unproductive had less connected, coherent lives. The lesson of the careers applied tho their lives – and if they had taken more of a life-coaching approach, they would have found what they learned about their lives applied to their careers.

So when you have an educational experience, take a moment aknd ask about how much it tells you about your life and career as a whole. You may save yourself future painful learning experiences by consolidating them at the time.

– Steven Savage