I’m a sucker for to-do lists, and maps to get from point A to point C in the most efficient manner.(Looking back on my own path, it’s part of the reason why classical music appealed so much to me: there was a seemingly tangible, organized trajectory to get from music student to professional opera singer. When that started to not quite be the case, well, part of the attraction fizzled.)  But, as I’m learning (yes folks! SHE CAN BE TAUGHT!), a pre-prescribed path doesn’t work for very many of us. It’s easy to be reactionary, to make a choice – or a whole series of choices – based on external factors: what I should do, what pays the most, what my family will have the most respect for…the list goes on.

But it’s difficult to talk about discernment.

We struggle to talk about feeling unfulfilled (especially when family and friends are supportive of our talents), we worry that talking to people about wanting to change careers could hamstring us if we ultimately decide that performing is our thing. We struggle to find the time and space to soul-search, to ask questions and really listen to the answers. And we look at our resumes and wonder if we’d ever be able to make a transition, even if we wanted to, with the plethora of stage credits and comparable lack of office/teaching/business experience.

It’s an extremely personal process.

And, like most large projects, it’s better divvied up into small chunks. (One of the beautiful things that tends to hamper we creative folks is that we rush right to the end result in our heads, and decide whether or not it’s going to work before we’ve even begun the journey. Or maybe that’s just me?)

This article very quickly combined my love of lists with a succinct small step/big question discernment exercise. Three steps, maybe thirty minutes of your time.

  1. What do you want?
  2. Dive into why you want it.
  3. Gain information and momentum.

Even if you end up with more questions than you started with, you’ve at least started the process, right?

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