How Did We End Up Here?

An article on by Gibson Scheid, Ph.D. caught my attention. The title of the article is repeated for this post. Because I coach adults and high school students, the title was sure to have something of interest for me to consider. I’ve repeated the article here (it is short) and added my commentary at the end. What are your thoughts? Email me at

By Gibson Scheid, Ph.D.
We move through life in irregular motions to arrive at places that seem they were planned destinations. Our choices create a pattern—giving shape to what we become. Some of our decisions—both large and small are deliberate, or so they feel at the time. Life takes place in 24-hour increments and we clock our movement accordingly.

Events occur that seem to stop the clockwork pattern. It might be the death of a parent, close friend or child—the diagnosis of an illness, or even something as seemingly innocuous as receiving an invitation to a high school reunion. “How could it be my 40th high school reunion?”

We can recall the events that have taken place between then and now, but it is often more difficult to remember the details.

What does this have to do with our career choices? Plenty. We do not make our career decisions in a more structured manner than many of our other life decisions. However, most career advice grounded in a linear process. There are some who have stepped outside of the grid to consider that making career decisions may not best be done by thinking and planning. People, such as John Krumboltz, Professor of Education and Psychology at Stanford University who offers such radical advice such as “You never need to decide what you are going to be in the future.” Why?  Well, if career “decisions” are more a matter of luck and “happenstance” than the results of left-brain thinking and ‘rational’ decision-making, then it probably makes a great deal of sense to keep our options open.

Neither Krumboltz nor I are suggesting that you take a passive approach to life and career planning, but rather that you do not just think about your career, but that you explore and experiment—and in the process you might be surprised by what you discover. [Krumboltz, John D. & Levin, Al S. (2004). Luck is No Accident-Making the Most of Happenstance in Your Life and Career. Atascadero, California:  Impact Publishers.]

“Do not just think about your career, but explore and experiment—and in the process you might be surprised by what you discover”

Carl’s Comments: There is that word again - discover. Think about that word - just that word. How does one go about discovering. It is such a big word that we use it in our branding - Success Discoveries. You might also notice we use the plural. That is because we believe there are many discoveries that need to be made to find success. How does one “discover”? I think there are two ways one discovers, either passively, by circumstances occuring and intentional, directed work toward discovery. Which path is quickest to discovery? I will argue that an intentional, directed path of discovery is quicker than the alternative. To be sure, both work.

For high school students, we are reaching out to parents, schools, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts. Boys & Girls Clubs, churches - anyone who has a positie influence on our youth, to consider Career Coaching for Students™ - the program as that intentional, directed effort toward discovery. From Conneticut to Mexico, we have professionals ramping up to offer Career Coaching for Students™ to high school students. We also have adult coaching programs that are proven to move a person through the discovery process much quicker than if left to their own, more passive approach.

So, with a great deal of positive feedback and proven results to support the “intentional and directed” effort, what will you do to discover

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