One of the biggest surprises I’ve had since starting work is the fact that I have to be a driver (drive your career, propel things forward in your desired direction), as in steer my own ship.
In school you do what you’re told and you can’t really defer from what doesn’t interest you in fact it’s discouraged and sanctioned. But in the workplace it’s almost the opposite.
You’re rewarded for going after what you want and if you don’t take the initiative to be a driver, well you’re doomed.
I’m really starting to understand what Godin means when he talks about cogs and Linchpins.
If being a driver isn’t in your nature you might find yourself feeling discontented at work, wondering why you’re career isn’t going as you thought.
The only choice is to change.
Maybe, you don’t know how.
Or maybe you just need to learn how to drive.
And if that’s the case know that driving lessons are available.
When you interact with someone that is in a bad mood or is angry you might find at the end of it that you feel bad too.
That’s what happens when you take on other peoples stuff.
It might seem that when someone directs anger and frustration towards you that you have to take it because what else can you do. But you always have options.
If someone asked you if you wanted to feel bad I’m certain the answer would be no. You have to keep that decisiveness when interacting with someone that’s angry.
When you learn to do that you’re not so effected by how the other person feels because that’s not your stuff and you don’t need to take it on.
The festive season is an interesting time of year. You might have a wonderful time with loved ones having dinners, going to parties, going for drinks and catching up with those that are town to spend Christmas with their families.
But you might also find yourself in places you don’t want to be or don’t want to be in for a long time but it’s okay.
I’m currently learning the lesson that if you find yourself somewhere that you don’t want to be, leave (and that applies to life in general, not just for the festive season).
You don’t have to keep up appearances for the sake of trying to appease or to please. And sure it might feel uncomfortable leaving early or turning down an invite but it’s useful to get into the habit of being able to do what feels right for you.
I recently found myself in a place that I didn’t want to be, I suppose in hindsight you could call it an intuitive feeling, I knew that I needed to leave.
I was in a particular place and felt a little off, I waited a few moments to discern whether I needed to leave or if I just felt anxious. But I realised it wasn’t anxiety because I felt calm, so I decided to leave.
As soon as I left, I realised that I shouldn’t have been there in the first place but I also held compassion for myself (something else I’m learning to do).
A few years ago even if I wanted to leave my anxiety would have stopped me. I’d have forced myself to feel uncomfortable because back then I felt like I had to find a way to feel good in those situations. It never occurred to me that maybe there were some places that I just didn’t need to be.
So the message for today is don’t get so caught up in the festive season and the idea of having fun to the point where you forget to do what’s best for you.
There’s a story I’ve heard countless times as a kid called we’re going on a bear hunt.
The story follows a family going on a bear hunt and on their way they encounter grass, water and mud etc. All followed by the famous lines:
We can’t go under it
We can’t go over it
Oh no we’ll have to go through it
I don’t remember how the story ended but I can’t help but feel as though the story was a metaphor for life.
And so the moral is that you can’t bypass stuff. You have to go through it to get past it, even when it’s difficult.
Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons a friend has taught me is to not take life so seriously and to laugh more at the ebb and flow of life.
Life is totally different when you’re willing to be less rigid and laugh at your experiences. When you’re hard on yourself for simply being a human that goes through a variety of experiences, life becomes hard.
But when you laugh and remind yourself that it’s all just a collection of experiences then life somehow softens towards you.
I read an article on Jeff Bezos about a month ago and there was part of it that really stuck with me.
He basically said that the fall of Amazon was coming and that all he could do was delay it for as long as possible.
I don’t know what it was about his words specifically but I felt like there was great power in what he had said.
He’s built something iconic (despite the way the company is run for warehouse workers) that will never be forgotten but he knows that the reign of Amazon won’t last forever.
But I think Bezos’ words are a great reminder that everything is temporary, whether it’s totally amazing or incredibly blah.
That’s a lesson that comes from life itself.
I once new someone who’s infamous line was ‘But why?’.
It made for a difficult relationship when you were questioned every time you said no. It would go something like can you (insert favour here)? I’d reply no, then be hit with but why, I’d say I don’t want to and be hit with but why again.
It was incredibly frustrating and even years later I’m irked greatly and become incredibly sharp when people don’t take no for an answer.
What really got me was that I was terrified of ever rocking the boat so saying no was a big deal. When my no wasn’t accepted it felt like it wasn’t ‘safe’ for me to be myself because when I tried it was being rejected.
So I suppose I’m still moved by those past experiences. But what I’m learning that the lesson is to be okay with saying no without any attachment to how the recipient responds because you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.