I always seem to hear inspiring thoughts and quotes from many people around me. For some time now I’ve been getting this feeling that I could be doing more than what I am now. People around me keep telling me I shouldn’t discount what I’ve already accomplished, but still I feel I should have more. I wrote about this in a previous post, how the pressure from my family and background has left me feeling like I should have accomplished more in my life. You can find my previous post here: “Taking a Stand to find my Happiness.“ I was browsing Facebook yesterday and came across a post where Mike Rowe, the guy from Dirty Jobs and various Ford Trucks commercials, answered a few questions from a fan about finding the right career. The fan seemed to have a question most of us can identify with, how do you find the right career, take a look at the full response: “A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Life Advice…”
Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.
Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you. Good luck – Mike Rowe
This last part of Mike’s comments really got me thinking, perhaps this is part of what I’m experiencing. Success seems like such a loaded term, but in today’s age of things being fast and instant, could the idea of “Delayed Gratification” be a lost life skill? I want to find success now, but do I have to put in the hard work too? Why can’t life just give me what I want? I’ve been here long enough, I deserve to get what I want! I want to put in as little work as possible and reap the max rewards, I’m entitled to that am I not? Ok so I’m being facetious about all those things, but it’s still a hint of truth behind it, I want to do as little work as possible but still expect or even feel entitled to get more than I’ve put into it.
Here are my takeaways after reading that article about how to find a perfect career:
- Success isn’t’ about the perfect … landing in your lap. Sure there are stories out there about someone finding the perfect job after just a short search. But those stories are the exception not the rule. Success for most people comes after long years of hard work, so if you want to reap the benefits, you’ll have to endure the time it takes to plant the seed, watch it grow, nurture it, and then wait for it to bloom.
- In life the reality is that anyone who has something good, has worked hard, very hard for it. Whether that’s a relationship, a job, or just life itself. An ex-girlfriend told me once “sometimes you don’t find the perfect person, but someone who’s willing to put in the work, to make it work.” Now what I’m not saying is that you stay in a situation that is completely wrong for you. Instead find something that works, something that with time and the right resources will eventually turn into what you’re looking for. Princes and Princesses only exist in Disney Movies, and for those select few who are Lucky, they’ll find the perfect match. Perhaps that’s why it’s called “Luck” not everyone has it. So don’t look for the perfect … instead find the one that has potential to turn into something that’s great. Ok now I hear what you’re saying, sorry it took so long to sink in.
- Life is a mix of working with what you have, and putting in the work to get what you want. There are people that say “I’m a screw up, I’m not good enough…, I’ll never achieve …” That’s a lie they tell themselves so they can remain in that state. As humans it’s in our nature to constantly improve and work on both things and ourselves. If this wasn’t’ true, we would not have evolved, and there won’t be a new craze or device to do things bigger, better, faster. Self improvement is part of our DNA, so if there is something we’d like to improve about ourselves, we’ll have to put in the work to accomplish it.
- It’s easy not to put in the work when faced with a challenge. So what if you face a new challenge, do something about it. Although success is relative, meaning that each person has a different definition of success. Successful people do have one thing in common, they worked hard, and with time and lots of hard work, they were able to accomplish their goal. So if I’m to be successful I’ll have to put in the work, that’s whether it’s my career or my relationships, I’ll have to work hard to get the kind of future I desire.
- Despite what I learnt for this article, I still believe one thing though, sometimes some things aren’t meant to be accomplished. Sometimes challenges are meant to show us that we have limits, and they humble us. Although we’d like to keep people in our lives, some people are only here for a season. Sometimes some people and jobs aren’t right for our soul, they will only bring us heart-ache, and those are the ones we have to learn to let go of.
Although this doesn’t radically change my view of life, it has made me think about the way I approach certain things, especially a career. For some time now I’ve questioned whether I’ve actually put in the work, or am I just thinking that I’m entitled to certain things. I’m not completely convinced that I haven’t been guilty of just sitting back, and hoping that something will fall in my lap; feelings of entitlement have made me lazy.
What about you, how would putting in the work change the way you look at your life and relationships?
Would that radically change your life, or is it the slight course correction you were looking for?