The world would sooner pitch you into the dustbin of forgotten history than even for a moment recognize you deserve anything.
Sounds harsh, right? Well, consider the plight of people in countries with authoritarian governments or under the grip of war.
In a moment’s notice, you could be bombed, disappeared, or worse, and perhaps even taking your loved ones with you leaving nothing behind. Perhaps not even a memory.
We might enjoy better odds in a peaceful country but that doesn’t mean you can rest easy.
You must prove yourself, sometimes every day, to get your basic needs met. Wages don’t come easy and they’re lower than they have ever been, while relative costs continue to rise. The whole idea of getting what you need to survive is challenging.
Oh, and leaving something behind for your family or your children? Maybe even just as difficult as those places getting bombed every day.
The world expects you to deliver. Not when you feel like it, or when you are in a good position to do your best, but EVERY DAY, EVERY MOMENT. If you aren’t being productive, you stand a very good chance of being replaced AND you may carry a record of it for years to come.
If you aren’t the best at what you do, and continue to excel at it, the clock is ticking.
Here’s the clincher though. There are few managers and co-workers out there who are going to give you the nudge to say “Hey you better improve, and here’s some tips.” With hundreds of people applying for great jobs today it’s easier than ever to just take the passive-aggressive route and let you hang yourself so someone who doesn’t need the hand up can be more successful.
Does that mean that all jobs suck, so do all managers, and the odds are impossibly stacked against you?
Don’t Feel Sorry for Yourself
By now some of this might begin to sound like some hard ass gym teacher in school, an abusive boss, or even an ex. Like there’s something here to mean you needed to be gifted a wealth of money or position to succeed. Well before you stop reading and feel like you can’t even get through this, stop a second.
We all have something that is unique to us. An ability, skill, or talent we innately do well. Are you doing something to express that? There’s a lot of joy and satisfaction in doing something you love well, even if it doesn’t pay the bills, it can be something that you can do when you aren’t grinding away to pay them.
It just might be that you can find someone who loves that about you and they hire or partner with you to make a beautiful, fulfilling life together.
Yes, it is hard. If you want to make something new for yourself you’ll have to reach deep down for the motivation, you’ll have to change your schedule (and maybe a few friends) in order to make time, and you’ll have to make other sacrifices.
Why? Because to change takes time. New skills take practice. The more you have to work with in the new skill or change you want to make, the less time and practice it might take.
So, you want to be a train engineer but you are flipping burgers right now. I’d say you have some work ahead of you and a significant time investment.
I’d also say that if you have the motivation to go to the library to get the books, find ways to meet and talk to other train engineers, study what you need to know to do the work, get an apprenticeship or take the classes, you CAN do it. Hell, you WILL do it.
That’s going to mean not watching your favorite shows, spending Friday and Saturday nights at home studying, and not taking a vacation for a while. Big change must happen, but you can get there.
“An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”
What you’re doing now tends to be what you’ll keep doing. You have a natural law as a barrier to changing yourself into the successful person you want to become.
This is a lot like going on a health program. You have your body conditioned to consume certain foods at certain intervals which you might have habitualized for years. Your daily activities are largely fixed around work, play, and home. These standards you live within are influenced by your job, friends, family, income, location of your home and hundreds of other factors that you’ve sometimes subconsciously formed to become your lifestyle.
Now you are going to upend all of that with some changes in food and activity. Easy right?
Your job only gives you a break for lunch, no others, so you can’t snack the day away. You must work at a desk and they won’t give you a standing desk. After this oppressive-sounding job, your friends invite you to the bar for some snacks and alcohol but you have to swear those off for now. You can’t directly exercise because you need to pick up the kids to take them to practice and what-not and hang out. At home you’ve changed the menu but your partner and/or children aren’t on board so there’s some consternation about that to manage.
Sounds even harder. Throw on to that some of the self-talk about how you aren’t all that unhealthy, and things aren’t that bad right now, and all this work really isn’t worth it. Where is that motivation going to come from?
Stealing this quote: “Remember, misery is comfortable. Happiness takes effort.”
I know this is hard. My buildup to the personal retreat means you need to take the time to learn some meditation. You have to change your schedule. You need to find some focus and time in your already busy life for the promise of something better. No doubt about it.
I write about that a lot and I do it because I know how much it holds me back. Influences in my life tell me to stop trying with the book, quit trying to be healthy, just keep treading water and maybe something amazing will just happen to me.
Well it won’t. Nothing is going to get better unless I make it happen. Despite my thoughts, the nay sayers and the world that might seem to conspire against me. There is a happiness out there and I have to work for it.
You can too!
The inspiration for today’s post comes from an excellent article I found on the Cracked website. The language is pretty coarse and there’s some tough realities to face in there but it’s worth the read. Challenge yourself.
Please share a comment about what you think of this post. Do you have something you’re going to work on? You have my support!