A while ago I took on a new teaching gig, in an organisation where I trained over 20 years ago. The guy who handed the course over to me was a friend, someone I had trained with. While we were chatting, he told me a story I hadn’t known before – that he became a teacher because of something I said to him all those years ago about my own life.

I told him at that time that I’d decided to leave the law and become a teacher/trainer/coach after thinking about the Shakespeare quote, ‘All the world’s a stage’. If so, I figured (not the first person to do so, I know…) that we could potentially play many roles – lead part, chorus, set design, waiting in the wings, understudy, dresser or whatever. At that time, I had the deep sense that I was participating in the wrong play altogether, and it was time I took a lead role in my own story.

Apparently, this prompted my friend to wonder whether he was playing too small in his management career, and should step up to become a teacher – a dream he had long held but felt unable to reach. He became (and still is) a first-rate and much-loved teacher over the years.

So, maybe it’s time to ask yourself: What role do you want? Do you need to change plays like I did, or is it a matter of auditioning for a bigger part in the same play? Or do you need to celebrate the fact that you are already playing exactly the right part for you?

Are you occupying centre stage in your own life?

Joanna Maxwell

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