The psychological effects can be as simple as boredom but can progressively develop into deep frustration leading to anxiety. Innovative methods and strategies, such as deep critical inquiry reveals themes that represent dominant elements of "who" we are. The discovery process is focused on amplifying these in such a way as to ameliorate this cognitive impasse, to perfect a pathway that offers meaning and purpose in both their personal and professional lives.
Dr. Richard Davidson recognizes the value in calming the confused mind through intervention. Meditation is one method that centers the brain sufficiently to heighten focus. This enhances attention by filtering out the noise, which overloads our cognitive receptors. This is not the only method to quell these distractions but it is interesting that a Neuroscientist and a brilliant educator can both visualize the same malaise from different professional perspectives.
Their hypotheses do not end at these centering techniques. Each believes, as Frankl espoused, that at the core of our psyche is the dynamic drive to find meaning and purpose in our lives. This fundamental strength is often obscured by environmentally induced noise. Importantly, this is interfering with our making the cognitive connection between what we are engaging in in life and our inherent ability/strengths.
These strengths are calling out to be heard and utilized. Dr. Mel Levine suggests that abilities left undeveloped leads to depletion, or an inner dysfunction that is not being recognized. As such, when we are at an impasse we lose direction; we lose our sense of knowing how to make adjustments. We try to “muscle through” our problem but retreat when we encounter another dimension of this impasse and get caught back into the cycle of “staying stuck.” We have been accustomed to operating on a linear path that offers little room for altering course and mentally we are not prepared nor do we have the capacity to adjust our perception sufficiently to get back on track, to get “unstuck.”
Butler tells us that once we have identified our impasse, we must acknowledge it for what it is and dig deep enough to discover our strengths as a resource to circumvent this condition. At the core of this process is developing a vision for ourselves and constructing it from our newfound abilities and passions. What results is insight into what is relevant to our lives. This is the foundational basis for career development Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to identify this as a “mini epiphany” of sorts which can lead us to unraveling the “dynamic tension” that is at the center of our impasse.
Butler and Waldrop, both colleagues at Harvard, developed an assessment tool called Career Leader. This assessment was designed to provide valuable tools to help young adults work through this impasse and to identify dynamic the dynamic tensions, which may be obscuring career lucidity. It is meant to help identify how individuals regard the world and what dominant themes might help students on their journey to a career that is congruent with their abilities, and passions.
However, both recognized that assessments were just a part of the process and that these tools require counseling to interpret and uncover the impasse. Consequently, authentic career development is about using valuable and accurate instruments to facilitate critical discovery. Through deep inquiry, we learn “who we are” and “what" is truly meaningful in our lives. This assessment serves as a valuable resource to assist in overcoming this impasse.
In neurological terms, assessments identify innate cognitive strengths and abilities while deep discovery reveals themes through personal validation. These can be interpreted and integrated into patterns the mind can recognize and substantiate as genuine. This heightens our perception and realigns that the mind sufficiently to offer more focus, to what Davidson suggests, is an amplified state of “attentiveness.” This new existential perspective strengthens our self-esteem, creating dopamine that in effect rewards this discovery. It offers new avenues to traverse this impasse. Ultimately, neural pathways progressively develop, bringing these elements into sync and offer a platform to creatively resolve this disconnect.
The Chaos Theory also helps us understand that utilizing the traditional linear theoretical constructs alone are not enough to deal with today's complex impasses. In this mapping process, we embrace our inherent strengths as they intersect tangentially constructed themes. In so doing, we elevate our perception of who we are allowing us to then visualize opportunities as they arise. We need to prepare ourselves in advance to take advantage of these windows of opportunity, which will mitigate or effectively allow us to by-pass any impasse.
So, career development is a lifelong process, which employs these collective findings to strength us. Weaving them together into a fabric of sustainability, we can encounter challenges with the resilience to adapt to any impasse or transition that we encounter. It is an authentic process because it originates from within and it is validated through a synthesis of constructs that have evolved into effective consultative interventions. The objective for any career development facilitator or counselor is to guide each client through their distinctive situation in order to assist them through a process that offers clarity and meaning.
The goal is to find a pathway that will be rewarding because it is centered on their natural strengths and abundant passions, one that is as fulfilling in their professional lives as it is in their personal lives. It is about finding happiness in what we do because the work we do is a reflection of who we are. It is when we find that our work ceases to be “work” but instead is transformed into an avocation this is when we have found our authentic career.
Blair Hollis M.A. GCDF BCCC
Crossroads Consulting, Inc.