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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

EJP Photo at Flickr

Photo Credit: EJP Photo @ Flickr

I had a good friend once. We even roomed together during our senior year of college. Then, like some bad instance of Murphy’s Law, our relationship fell apart. I can’t remember the details, but I think it involved a boy. Or boys.

When there are boys involved, there’s always trouble.

Broken relationships can be hard on people. Especially when you are aloof and reserved like me. I mourned our (lost) relationship for quite some time. In ways, I still do.

It’s hard to revisit that part of your life. At some time, somewhere, somebody really knew you. Then, they decided they didn’t want to anymore. It’s tough. It’s more than simple rejection.Unlike romantic relationships, your good friends are supposed to be there through thick and thin.

That can be tough to swallow when someone decides they’ve had enough of you.

In any case, I’ve had to deal with my own foibles, hang ups and issues. We all do. But, your friends can be those free therapists, counselors and cheerleaders that prop you up when you are down.

No one ever says support systems are overrated.

Now, I find myself having to be less picky and more forgiving. I’ve had to change my own ways before I expected to remain friends with people. I’ve had to trust more, reserve less of myself. Be loyal. Be understanding. I have to show vulnerability. That’s not easy to do.

The incentives of friendship with others are not always so readily apparent. We feel around in the dark, blind to the possibilities. For others, the connections are taken for granted. Or, we don’t recognize when we have them at all.

My weaknesses as a friend have taught me more than I wanted to learn about myself. Broken relationships do that. Instead of steering blame on the other person, you should figure out the common (and constant) denominator.

You.

Things fall apart, as (sometimes) they should. But no matter what, you can learn how your own hang ups caused a relationship to break in half. Sometimes, it’s instinctive. Other times, you are dealing with things the best way you knew how with what you knew at the time. And, in other cases, you are a fool.

Being foolish doesn’t necessarily make you friendless. But being friendless can certainly make you lonely. So, don’t (always) try to pretend you’re better off without certain people in your life. Sometimes, you’re not.

And, that’s being a fool.

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simpleKeep things simple if you want to be happy. All too often, we get trapped in the complications of life and dither about the details of our own problems. Most times, being happy has nothing to do with the job you want (or have), what sort of business school you get in to or whether you have those extra few zeros on your paycheck (seriously).

Maintaining simplicity is a synergy we are all too quick to neglect. If you are running yourself ragged to achieve a goal, remind yourself of its worthiness.

If you can’t – something is wrong. Letting external factors unfairly influence what would ultimately be best for ourselves only serves to undermine our own personal growth and maturity.

Fears of student debt keep us from engaging in graduate schooling, insecurities about our professional skills prevent us from pursuing jobs we deem beyond our “expertise,” or preconceived notions or assumptions about others block us from networking with certain people – all of these ideas only serve to complicate your life further (not simplify it).

Asking yourself “what if?” instead of trying to figure out “what result?” will provide a much better approach to your problems and hard-to-navigate situations. The obvious paradox is that nothing is as complicated as it seems while nothing is as simple as it appears.

Lean towards the idea of maintaining simplicity and you’ll be able to understand the complicated a whole lot better.

Also, keep in mind when making life changes: more does not mean better and different does not always guarantee change.

If you are not sure how to keep things simple (or create simplicity), take a quick exercise in what would make your life less complicated.

You know the old saying, “less is more” – well, it’s true! Discover what is keeping you from the elusive “pursuit of happiness” – the barrier is either something you are or aren’t doing.

Operate in subtracting the superfluous factors – you’ll begin to add a lot more happiness that will flow freely into other areas of your life.

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mean-bossI read an eye opening post by Amoura Rose regarding job ego. I loved it so much, I added it to my writing Journal so I could refer it to it from time to time when I need a little encouragement.

This article would have been a life saver if I was able to read it 6 years ago when I began my career journey, but it’s still just as relevant now.

For those of you munching sour grapes about your career prospects, Ms. Rose offers a bittersweet and encouraging story about how she came to acquire a job she loved. She wasn’t always in the luxury beauty market and was forced, actually, to gain some professional experience by taking a job that included making coffee and doing dishes for people who probably thought she was an idiot (did I mention, she already had an MBA at this point?)

Ms. Rose only confirms the notion that education is not the deciding factor when it comes to landing a job you want. Sure, education helps, but it can’t mean much when there’s no experience in which to layer it (or give it context).

Also, keep in mind that some employers (or employees) may, unintentionally, hold it against you if you went to college or have an alphabet soup of degrees on your resume. This is not to suggest that those groups don’t value education, however, they are much more likely to stereotype you as the typical over educated, under experienced, egotistical Gen Y brat.

Jobs are not a life sentence. Throughout your career, however, you may have some pretty crappy jobs. Nevertheless, don’t think for a minute that any of them are beneath you. For whatever reason, you are right where you are supposed to be to learn whatever lessons you need to learn so you can move on (or up).

Imagine your journey as various episodes of “Quantum Leap” (for all you sci-fi fans out there), with the exception that there’s no Al giving you valuable hints about your future or what to do next. You can’t really “jump” to the next adventure until you learn the appropriate moral, complete a certain task or understand a much-needed lesson.

So, if you are answering phones, delivering mail, making coffee or just busy being the all-around office grunt take solace in remembering that it’s only temporary and look forward to leaping to a new and different path once the time is right.

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cubicle-aisleI’m having trouble getting in gear today. And, most days, I feel like I’m on auto-pilot. Since sifting through the murky, muddy world of job hunting, it can be difficult to stay driven enough to remain motivated, much less stick to being positive.

As of late, I’ve been toying with the idea that it may be better to hunker down and hang on (for dear life) to my temp job and hope they hire me permanently (although, I’m not that interested in continuing in my present role).

Family and friends have already begun to hum the job/economy sing-along, “What if there aren’t any jobs like the one you are looking for?” “You need to make some real money in the meantime, ” and “You can always keep looking once you secure a permanent position, nothing is forever.”

But that’s the problem, from where I’m sitting, this feels like forever. I don’t want to relegate myself to an eternity of securing jobs I don’t want to only look for careers I’m more interested in having. It wastes time and only encourages a fruitless cycle instead of steady path.

Therefore, I had to have serious change of mind about things, instead of hoping my circumstances would take a turn for the better.

Set your values in stone.

Values and principles do change over time, but don’t waffle and fudge them in hopes of convincing yourself to do something that makes you unhappy (professionally).

If you value having a career that involves working with children or want to set up your own business – stick to the value of wanting those things. Such values drive to the core truth of who you are and that’s the most important component of staying driven.

There’s no such thing as the perfect job – only the perfect job for the right person at the right time.

Being happy in a job involves a lot of factors that actually have nothing to do with the job in question. It’s all about where you are in your life and what you are looking for at that particular junction. 

Sometimes, your drive will slow down, veer off course or come to a complete stop, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less likely to find the career you want. 

Of course, there are hidden opportunities within every professional path that opens up, but follow your instincts about which ones that will be right for you.

Don’t use being financially desperate as a reason to take a job you know you don’t want.

I don’t know what’s worse: being fired from a job you didn’t like in the first place or working somewhere in which you are totally miserable so you can pay the bills. 

If you’re getting by financially via temping, waitressing, odd jobs or whatever – then, keep at it! Your chance will come sooner than you expect.

Don’t think, however, that you should take an opportunity to work (and have health insurance) at a place you know you won’t like – don’t bother. They’ll fire you a year later because of your lackluster performance and replace you with someone who actually wants to be there.

Finally, don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting unrealistic bars of success, comparing yourself to others or thinking whatever goals you set have a time limit.

Being successful is not about what you accomplish when, it’s about seeing your vision come to fruition. Follow through is the fuel that keeps drive going. 

Put yourself on the path, but make sure to keep your foot on the pedal if you want to get to the end of the road.

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