Posts Tagged ‘life’

Sucked into the “blackness”

April 13, 2010

Questions like these are arriving daily:

Dan, Help me, I’m miserable, my current job is literally ruining my life. I’m a fairly young man with a family.  I feel I’m stuck in my current position to “pay the bills” but it is making me severely depressed and affecting every part of my life.  I need to find my passion but I don’t even know where to start. I feel like giving up and accepting my fate.

I’m a single mom, 50+ and in a teenager wage job! If that weren’t bad enough, it’s like Jr high there! I am SICK every Sunday night about going & in 7th heaven when I take a few days off. No other income & few opportunities here. I don’t make enough to live on & today I just can’t take anymore! PLEASE HELP!

Dan, at 35, I feel my job is sucking the life out of me. I have been with the same agency for over 8 years. I lost myself, and got sucked into all the “blackness”. Frequent sickness, weight gain, grouchy with my family, and more recently withdrawal from all my relationships – I know where I am is toxic but I’m at a loss of how to turn around or even down a different path.

“People who are unemployed think the worse possible outcome is not finding another job,” says Richard Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute? “Actually, the worst part is losing your self-esteem. You start thinking, ‘What’s wrong with me?’”

But losing self-esteem can happen without a job — or with a job that’s sucking the life out of you.

  • You can’t do great work at something you don’t enjoy
  • If your work is sucking the life out of you, find something you care about
  • I know you’re talented, but maybe not for what you are doing now
  • If you’re miserable, you clearly are not using your strongest talents
  • Don’t try to “be responsible” by staying in a job you hate
  • Don’t think you’ll just stay with it until you’re out of debt – change now – it’s a whole lot easier making money doing something you love
Advertisements

“Find your strongest life” by Marcus Buckingham

October 5, 2009

In his newest book, “Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently,” Marcus Buckingham continues his theme of helping people find their unique strengths.  While he does allow for a broad definition of “success” it still comes across clearly that a successful woman will be expected to be a great wife, mom and career climber. 

Chapter Nine —  Strive for Imbalance — is a great read for men as well as women – as it applies to work.  The author says to ignore balance and chose instead to find your “strong-moments” and find ways to spend more time in those.  “If you cannot find any strong-moments within a responsibility you’ve taken on, then diminish or relinquish this responsibility as quickly as you can.”  I agree with that position in the workplace, but find it difficult to recommend for a wife and mother. 

I suspect the subtitle – “What the happiest and most successful women do differently” will be offensive to a large group of women.  Buckingham’s research seems to indicate women with children are less happy, and that women become less happy as they become older. 

While there are useful exercises here for managing a busy life, this is not an encouraging book for women who have chosen to be homemakers or who are looking for fulfillment through spiritual growth and enrichment rather than in their careers.

Your Days

May 29, 2008

At Brighthouse, an Atlanta-based innovation consulting firm, staff members get five week’s vacation, AND five Your Days.  The five Your Days are free days that the staff are encouraged to use to visit someplace conductive to reflection and thinking.  No particular goal to solve anything – just what they call “blue-sky thinking.”  CEO Joey Reiman believes this unstructured thinking is just as important to their success as time spent hunkered down in client meetings or looking at computer screens.

Other companies like Maddock Douglas and Google also encourage their workers to spend up to 20 percent of their work hours pursuing whatever intrigues them.

Here’s a favorite book of mine that addresses this issue:  How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci:  Seven Steps to Genius Every Day.  Few people have ever been as creative or inventive as da Vinci.  But he was also a thoughtful philosopher.  Leonardo reflected sadly that the average human “looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odour or fragrance, and talks without thinking.”  In his writings he constantly calls us to improve our senses – and our sensibility and sensitivity.

I hear repeatedly from people who are asking “What is the meaning of life?”  Leonardo da Vinci would encourage them to ask, “How can I make my life meaningful?”

Make sure you’re spending time thinking – and making your life meaningful.