I know some people who have been unhappy in every job they’ve ever had. Even when they change jobs or organizations, things are “great” from the beginning but before too long, the bloom is off the rose. Most of us have changed jobs and there are many solid reasons to do so, but the belief that we will be happier in one versus another may be the wrong reason to change.
If we look for them and dwell on those things, we can find shortcomings in every job. And if someone analyzed and compared jobs objectively, definitely some situations are better than others. But the one constant in every job you and I have is our “mind set” (read another one of my blogs on Mind Set). We have to be happy in our jobs on purpose. I really believe we need to be self accountable in bringing a happy and satisfied approach to work. It is almost always our perspective, attitude, and choice. The ’job” doesn’t do it for us. This doesn’t mean things can’t be improved; in most cases they can be. But we have so much daily control over our job happiness. I’m reminded of the story where two bricklayers who worked at the same construction site described their jobs this way: one complained of the boredom of the routine, and the other the beauty of building a cathedral. One has to go to work, the other gets to go to work.
So you and I can start a new job right now. What parts of the job could we change our perspective on? What could we do differently to have a more effective working relationship with people whom we struggle with? What would we do differently if we were starting our jobs for the first time tomorrow? The Character Triangle puts us in control. We decide. We determine happiness in our jobs.
Live the Triangle,
The following story is referenced in the recently published book Bounce, and Marlo Thomas‘ book The Right Words for the Right Times.
Shaquille O’Neal, the NBA star who will likely be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, tells a story of how he was despondent after coming back from highly competitive high school basketball camps. O’Neal felt that other players were better and that his future as a professional player was in doubt. His mother exhorted him to try harder but Shaquille didn’t feel he was ready to do that and told his mum that he would “try harder later.” His mother, like many moms who intuitively get the concept of self accountability, responded with the following:
“Later doesn’t always come to everybody.”
Well, O’Neal took that insightful and motherly wisdom to heart and began to work his butt off with the dedication and intensity required. Of course it helped that he had imposing physical attributes. But others have similar physical stature and never come close to getting to the big leagues. Talent helps but is over rated. Purposeful practicing and having a detailed game plan may be underrated?
The point is – we must outline an action plan starting now (for more information read my Success is a Mind Set blog). This includes specifically describing the connection between the desired end and the means to get there. Then we have to execute to that plan. So many people have a hope and wish but no real thoughtful and specific road map. But putting the target and means together as a system is necessary. Self accountable people start now. They don’t wait for later. We have a purposeful game plan, fail, learn, improve and practice, and practice, and practice. We push the limits and practice more. One day we get to some gratifying milestone, and keep going.
Pick a road. Start now. And find a team of coaches and people who care for guidance and support. Most of us can’t do it alone.
Living in the Triangle,
Ok…..let’s say you believe in Character Triangle values and are now “living in the Triangle”, that is, you have become a practitioner. You are taking real strides in being self accountability and you are reflecting on what else might fuel your efforts. Think about this… what’s your mind set?
At a recent sales conference one of our guest presenters reinforced the mind set that distinguishes successful sales people. Carol Dweck, the Stanford psychologist, in her 2006 book Mind Set outlines two primary categories of mind set: fixed and growth. Those of us with an orientation towards a fixed mind set see success as showing talent while those of us with a growth mind set view success as a journey of development.
Perhaps most revealing about the differences between those with a fixed vs. growth mind set is the reaction to adversity, self assessment, and skill building. Essentially a growth mind set reinforces purposeful practice and the work put into the journey rather than the prize.
What mind set do you and I have? Part of the growth mind set is choosing to turn practice into a habit. The difference between thinking about practice then becomes different. It becomes who we are not what we do.