Paulo’s Perspective - Advice from the Founder of Interactive Divination
Dear Paulo, I’ve been thinking about quitting my job, leaving my boyfriend, and running off to France. My French isn’t fluent, so I don’t know if I can get a job. But I’m also signed up for a class in the fall, and our lease is up in a couple months, but we could go month-to-month then. Or my friend’s goddaughter might be interested in sharing an apartment, but if I’m leaving the country or even this city, should I really do that? And should I give up a secure job to go off without a plan? ~Suzanne (age 40-49)
So many things you are willing to leave, my goodness! I wonder what’s troubling you? I mean, life can be hard, but you have a job, a primary relationship, evidently a decent place to live, some sense of community—and you want to chuck it all to move to a country where you don’t know anyone, do not speak the language, have no prospects??? It’s a romantic notion, but what’s going on here? Of course, your dream could be a wonderful adventure—for a French major in her 20’s who wants to bum around France for a while. But that’s not you ... you are in your 40’s, evidently need to work, and you don’t know the language in a country with high unemployment and a finicky attitude about the pronunciation of its language.
The adventure of leaping into the unknown can be wonderful, but I sense that something more is going on here. Whatever it is inside you that is making you want to split, it’s better to bring it into the light and deal with it rather than flee in any direction its shadow may be pointing. You can do it ... and it’s a worthwhile adventure of another sort!
Running away from problems—like taking a drug for temporary pain relief—only burdens you with greater pains to deal with in the not-so-long run (aka the “hang-over effect.”) Suzanne, you are vulnerable to digging a serious hole for yourself here, if you are not careful. Consult the I Ching... also, with someone wise who you feel you can trust, and tell her everything, before you make any huge leaps, OK?
Hi Paulo, My dilemma is, should I be exerting more effort in this business I’m currently in and try to work on my passions simultaneously, or should I try to wind this one down as I search for something else like a non-profit business which is more planet friendly?? How do I get clear about a specific direction for myself? I am just so scattered and have so many interests; it’s really difficult for me to narrow it down. Thank you so much for all you do, you are really a great inspiration! ~Glenda
Glenda, some people are more focused than others by temperament. For instance, I am disposed toward a love of variety (it’s not ADHD, I swear :-). When I became an entrepreneur, my business suffered by developing three unrelated kinds of software, and eventually went belly up—partially as a result of a lack of focus, marketing synergy and efficiency. The design and development process satisfied my creative desire to do new things, but my scatteredness made the company non-sustainable, relative to such essential priorities as making payroll and paying the rent.
The answer to your dilemma lies in identifying your current hierarchy of values and being totally clear what your higher priority is, in order to make a balanced decision. It doesn’t matter so much what your “day-job” is, as long as it’s not harmful ... it’s OK for you to stick with, or go with, the one that simply pays the best. Money isn’t everything, but as one who has worked without pay a lot, I know how important financial sustainability is (especially so during times of high unemployment). Switching jobs is expensive ... switching careers is very expensive. But if you are under 40—or have a lot of savings—and you are strongly attracted to a specific different career that can support you, it might be worth a switch.
Being able to make a living doing something you love is very cool, but is a rare luxury. By the way, this is a good type of question to divinate on! Ask the I Ching or Tarot, “What is the best approach to take vis-a-vis my career, or work-choices?”
Paul O’Brien is a spiritual counselor and founder of Tarot.com and the Divination Foundation. He is also the host of Pathways Radio (KBOO, 90.7 FM, Portland, Oregon), an interview program focused on personal and cultural transformation. He is also author of the books “Visionary I Ching” and “Divination”, as well as the Decision Maker’s Corner, a blog dedicated to helping teach people enlightened decision making.