Early warning signs that a career in consulting was in the cards for me:
1. Since I was a small child, I have been genuinely motivated both to achieve conventional success (good grades, good schools, good jobs, etc.) and to express my equally powerful subversive/creative tendencies.
2. I came of age (no, not that kind of coming of age) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1971, a city under siege. Other than being marginally-to-quite terrified at all times, I had fun water-skiing on the Tonle Sap river, learning to speak French, and squabbling with my equally adolescent brothers. Banality amidst mayhem became quite comfortable for me then, and my view of what constitutes a crisis was forever calibrated downwards.
3. My first job after graduating from college was on the all-male locked unit of an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After the initial shock, which was considerable, I found it quite interesting.
4. When I was nineteen years old, I travelled with a friend to Timbuctou, Mali a) because it was in the 'neighborhood;' b) because it seemed worth doing; and c) because everyone said it couldn't be done. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, if not the most sanitary.
5. I wrote my doctoral dissertation in ten days (didn't want to miss a 'client' deadline). Note to all present or future doctoral students: I do not recommend this approach.
................seems pretty consistent.