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On Sunday nights before the work week begins, I like to have downtime. Has the weekend not been downtime? Somewhat. Laundry is a different pace than navigating office politics, but laundry is not a time of complete dissociation from reality. Downtime is dissociation.

During the recent Sunday night ritual, my husband and I watched Dr. Horrible, a short indie film with Neil Patrick Harris that is a spoof on the classic story of the evil mad scientist and the superhero. Though a comedy, it offered a larger point: our perception of good is supplanted by “the system” and belief in the accepted standard of good is the death of innocence.

In addition to a commentary on the flaws of our perceptions, the journey of the main character, Dr. Horrible, depicted a common theme in finding career fulfillment. We often become consumed by what we think we want, sticking to a committed course, without taking time to ask ourselves – why is it I want what I think I want? Is it societal validation informed by a societal definition of “good” – or in Dr. Horrible’s case, “evil” – we’re after, or genuine commitment independent of outside influences that drives us to pursue our chosen career paths?

If we fail to ask ourselves why we want what we think we want before launching ourselves down our chosen road, we may come to believe there’s no flexibility in deviating from our path. We may be like Dr. Horrible, and lose sight of the fact that there is opportunity to leave what is horrible and create our own definition of good.

Changing the trajectory of our career is a challenge but not impossible.