Posted on August 18, 2021 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

Throughout life, we are constantly setting goals for ourselves, both in the long and short term. Major turning points, such as entry into the job market, getting married, or having a first child bring these goals into focus. However, on a smaller scale, perhaps without realizing it, you are constantly evaluating your experiences in terms of how they impact your ability to achieve those big plans you have for yourself.

Plans are great because they help you make decisions about what to do, or not do, in order to help achieve your goals. Like any plan, though, unexpected changes can occur that either help or hinder your life goal achievement. The changes might be completely accidental, such as becoming injured or losing your home in a fire. They may also reflect your evolving set of life priorities, such as the ticking of the biological clock when people who want to be parents get close to the upper limits of childbearing age.

Changes in your life plans may also differ in whether you see them as positive or negative. Typically, we regard life changes as positive when they help us get closer to an important goal and as negative when they thwart our progress. It is also possible that a change you first saw as negative evolves into a change that you see as moving you closer to a life goal. For example, after being injured, you might take up a new exercise regime that, over time, actually improves your stability and health. Although you had to take a detour to get there, you are back on the path toward better functioning.

It is in this context that we can view intriguing research on the concept of career shock. Many career development theories focus on how people achieve their vocational goals through the decisions they make. People will continue to seek change in their career paths until they are able to achieve congruence, or a match, between their personalities and their job environments. 

It is believed that the positive – not the negative – career shocks that resulted in a greater tendency to apply to graduate school. It seems that a positive career boost can give people a bump in their self-confidence that, in turn, prompts them to seek further education and training. No longer bound by worries about their adequacy in their career, they can shoot for higher goals.

Random events can, then, influence the trajectories our lives take. That jolt from out of the blue can get you to think differently about your life plans. You might have planned to settle down with one person in your late 20s or early 30s, which is a relationship “career” that many people plan for themselves. However, just because you think your relationship life should follow this pattern does not mean that it will. You might meet someone in your early 20s, for example, who rocks your world and even if you do not end up settling down with that person, your relationship self-esteem gets a huge boost.

Conversely, what if the person you are in a relationship with cheats on you or otherwise decides to end it? This negative relationship shock not only challenges your self-esteem but derails you from your goals of having a family by a certain point in your life.

Most people are generally motivated; when things do not go their way, they explore alternate paths to fulfilment.

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.

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