Do we place too much value in monetary success and professional prestige?

It is no wonder, once a perfect fit with your talents and interests, ultimately becomes boring, or a career loses its power to take you where you want to go. Nor is it a surprise that in even the rewarding and successful work life many people come to points where – often unexpectedly- they find themselves in transition. Sometimes the transition seems to rise up from inside – a wave of boredom directed at things they used to find interesting or a mistrust of things they used to believe in wholeheartedly; at other times the transition is precipitated by external changes – either in their personal lives or on organisations where they work. Either way, people usually try to put things back the way they used to be. If the transition is significant, however, that isn’t likely to work. In our culture, there are forces that stand in the way of this normal, cyclical pattern of development. We place a high value in monetary success and professional prestige, and that encourages people to set (and then keep trying to reach) distant and elevated goals. This emphasis on success often stands in the way of people’s doing what really interests them and makes them happy. ……

…. And the emphasis on financial success not only dissuades from careers and lives that they might have found very satisfying but also teaches them that their own imaginings and longings – those haunting feelings that they weren’t meant to spend their lives doing what they are doing at the moment – are inherently untrustworthy guides. This sense (even though it is a misleading one) haunts them at each successive transition point, not only where they must once again establish a direction and tap into a renewed source of energy but also where they are bedevilled by the sense that they don’t really know what they want or need.

– William Bridges from ” Transitions : Making Sense of Life’s Changes”

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