we are all on trains – slow trains and fast trains – trains for health, trains for family, trains for vacations, trains for friends – some trains last forever, some trains stop. a very important train is the job train – for each job you have, you are on a train. some job trains last a whole career, some last 10 years, some last 5 years, some last 2 years, etc. the trick is to not get stuck on a job train when it stops – that means you are out of a job and you are not on the next train. that is why we must keep an eye on the current job train that we are on – we must see how fast the train is going – a fast train means you are moving up the ladder at a faster than normal rate and the job is very exciting with no time to waste – a good pace train means all is going well – but a slow train or a train that is slowing down means “watch out!” – you might get stuck on a stopped train. this is when you need to think about catching the next job train. start looking down the tracks for other trains and get ready to catch the next train if needed – be prepared to jump! – same analogy of a frog looking for the next lily pad – you need a place to land – and you need to get on a faster moving train. that slow train might start to pick up speed again – so you might not have to jump – but always be prepared – as they say.
when you start a new job, you are busy in the first month. but when you start a new job and you are extra busy – that is a rare thing. when you want to work more and more – when you have dinner, then go back to work – when you have so many people to reach to get the word out – when you have a jump on the market and time is of the essence – you want to spend every minute getting out there – when you don’t have time to read the news in the morning anymore – when you don’t have time to write a blog post until the last day of the month – extra busy is good – and we should all want to be extra busy during the heart of our career – of our life. relish that extra busy time.
what can you do. you have hit the mid-life phase. you have family, wife to work for. you can’t just quit your job. you have to keep working no matter what – to keep the train going. you also want to see your family as much as possible. you don’t want a job that has you traveling all over. you want to grab these fleeting days/weeks/months/years with your kids before they fly the coop for good. you have to make that your main focus. to do this, you must sometimes do jobs that are not as exciting as the ones you had in the past. the jobs that were in the big city – things were moving fast. you never watched the clock. you had less stress in all areas. kids were very young – stared at them all weekend – they were the entertainment. now they are growing up – becoming more expensive – you want to see them as often as possible – so you stay in your current job. this is to pay the bills – to see them – to keep things going – until they go to college. you have to make sacrifices. you have to be bored with your job – you have to accept the boredom – you have to accept the monotony of the job. you have to get that check every 2 weeks. you have to suck it up and keep going. you have to do this for the family. this you must learn. you can’t just jump from job to job. you have to be precise in your movements. you have to be precise in your judgement. you have to be methodical in your jumping. you have everything hanging on you. they are not letting go – they are getting heavier by the year. you must slog on. you must be bored. you have to be bored. it is a marathon. be bored, push on – change will come when the time is right or when you wake up one day and say enough is enough. but do you really have a choice. yes, but only a calculated choice now – no more missteps – you can’t afford it now. maybe later.
it is strange when you realize that your spirit is being broken – by another person, relationship, job, etc. it is a strange feeling when you cannot express your thoughts, ideas, feelings anymore. they are not needed, they are discarded, they are ignored – so you feel the spirit breaking and you just close your mouth and accept what is going on around you. you still go through the motions and you still do what is expected – but you also realize that the spirit is in the process of being broken. if you have to stay in the current spirit-breaking situation – you have 2 choices – let the spirit break and become a different person or don’t let the spirit break, but quietly adapt to the situation. you have to be strong to fight against the spirit breaking process. but you can do it. the 1st step is to realize that this process is happening. when you realize, you can then control yourself. you need to stay in this situation for now – you know that. if you don’t – simple – get out. but let’s assume you need to stay for now. so, realize what is going on, then start to protect the spirit – keep it tucked away – back in your mind and soul. you then need to function without the spirit – almost like a robot. do what you are supposed to do – take all emotion out – go day by day – and relax when away from the situation – be yourself so that you don’t change. but when in the situation, be the robot, be the person that is required to keep things going. the last thing to do is think about how to get out of the situation when you are ready. stay in it as long as you need to – then prepare to get out. you must get out in the end – otherwise no sense in protecting the spirit. you are protecting the spirit so that you can set it free again – to be yourself again 100%. this is not new – people have to do this all the time. so do it and keep your unbroken spirit safe.
we have all been beaten down by someone at some point in our lives. this is not a physical beat down, but a mental, emotional beat down. to be beaten down is to harass, subdue, or crush the spirit of – as defined in the dictionary. these defined words are quite accurate. people can crush your spirit, they can harass you, they can subdue you – they can make you not care as much as you normally would about a relationship, a task or a job. we have all felt this way on the job. your opinion doesn’t matter – just do what we say and we will crush your spirit in the meantime. keep doing your job, but do it better because what you are doing is not enough. why do we continue to take this beat down – because we need the money, we need the job, we are too lazy to look for another job, we think things will get better, we think the company will hit the big time one day and we will all benefit – but we just have to endure the beat down to get there. many could not do what you do. they would have walked out on day 2. but you can take the beat down. you have learned to accept it because you have another life outside of work and that life keeps you going – it keeps you happy – but the beat down can occasionally spill into your happy life, causing some problems – but not enough to affect it too much – not enough to quit. you actually like what you are doing at work – but you must endure the beat down to stay there. sometimes you want to quit – sometimes they want to fire you – but it doesn’t happen and you keep going – day after day, week after week, month after month – and then year after year. you get used to it – they get used to you. it becomes normal – but it is not normal. you do learn how to cope better – you do learn how to be patient – you do learn how to be calm. that is all good – but don’t let the beat down break your spirit – it can crush it but not break it. you need to get through at the end – stronger, wiser – and with the same zest for life. you will endure the beat down as long as you are supposed to endure it – and not one day longer. all results will be good because the next phase won’t have the beat down. this is your time to endure the beat down – so suck it up, evolve, and move on.
there is something very interesting about staying at a company until the main task is complete. most people will say you should leave if you are not happy or the pay is too low or the people are not that great. but what if you looked past all of that and you just stayed. and if by staying you helped get the company to the finish line…eventually. you helped the company finish the job because you stayed. by staying somewhere and not giving up – you succeeded – and that is very interesting. it is the old concept of if you just stay and keep showing up and keep working – then you will ultimately succeed – and build a strong resolve in the process. isn’t that what life is all about – not giving up on something because you are not always happy. if we can all do this a bit more, we can get to our goals. at the end of the day, you won’t remember the pain or the heartache you suffered over the years – you will only remember that you stayed and you won in the end – and this helps you satisfy yourself and this helps you reflect in a positive way and this helps you go easier into the final phase of your life. think about the concept of just staying where you are and never giving up until they close the doors or you reach your goal.
coworkers come and go – it is a fact of life and a natural flow of life. in your career, you meet good people, bad people, people you become friends with, people you don’t become friends with – this is all part of work life. in the cycle, there is always a time when a coworker moves on or when you move on – this is what i call the final loop with a coworker. you have shared good times, but now those times are over. you have your final conversation, your final lunch, your final project together, your final walk, your final loop. you might feel sad or empty when that person leaves or when you leave. you might look around the office and feel lonely – like there is no one left to talk to, no one left to relate with. but this is a part of life – saying good-bye to people you might never see again. you must move on and re-focus and dig deeper into your work. more folks will come along or you will also move along. take a minute to reflect about the co-worker or about your experience at the job – and move on. like anything, don’t live in the past. do your final loop and look to the future again. this is what you must do.
you have to hang in there even when you don’t want to. you have to put aside all negative feelings and just do your job. you have to do things in life that you don’t want to do at the time. this is what is on your table right now – so smile and do it. to keep things on track, you have to bite your tongue and not say a word. people are counting on you and you must keep being there for them – for the people that pay your bills and for your family. this is along the lines of never giving up until the last moment when going on is not an option. this is a big part of life – doing things that you don’t want to do. if you hang in there and do what you have to do – at the highest level – then all things will come full circle and the days will eventually get better – but only because you did not give up and because you did what needed to be done. hang in there and do it.
always have options. you must have options. you must think about options. you must plan for the unexpected or the expected. keep other options going. always tell people that you are open to other options. do not close any doors that could be a possible option. if you have options, you can then feel more calm – you can feel more at ease – knowing there are other options that you can choose if needed. never trust anyone 100% except your family and close friends. if you keep some doubt in your mind about your current situation, then you will create options. options are good. options are the keys to long-term success. options keep your train running – keep you on the path, keep the lights on, keep the family safe. if you do not have options, start to think about what could be options. you do not have to proactively search for options. you just have to keep your ears open – you have to keep your door ajar. continue to focus on your current work, but also be open to options. options allow you to move from one lily pad to the next in an easy, seamless way. have an option, have a lily pad.
look – we are all human. so we feel and think the same in many ways – whether in bangkok or toledo. and one of things that we all dislike to a certain extent is monday or the first day of the work week in your country. and if it is not monday for you – it is at least one day of the week. it is that day of the week where you feel blah and you just want to get through it – no matter how busy or bored you are during that day. you doubt yourself on that day more than any other day – and when you wake up the next day – you feel completely different – like you are ready for anything – you are confident and ready to go. but on that “bad” day – you might have negative thoughts or thoughts of hopelessness – and you want to avoid everyone until you are in a better mood the next day. how do you get through it. first -acknowledge that this is not your best day. 2nd – don’t make any big decisions on this day. 3rd – avoid conflict. 4th – think of what you will accomplish the next day. 5th – think about the end of the day and the things you will do as you wind down this day – getting closer to the next day so starting to feel better. ultimately you will have to go through these days over and over in life so you need a plan to get through them without any major problems. and you can’t avoid this day by not going to work, etc. – because the next day will then be the monday. you must start the monday like a normal monday – but you can then change it later in the day to make it better. so start the day as usual to check the box and feel the monday emotions and then start to shift out of the blues as the day progresses – following the 5 steps. some things are inevitable in life and we have to endure – so recognize it, endure it and move on.