When I venture out in to the world by myself, as I am prone to do from time to time, people sometimes ask, “Don’t you get lonely?”
There are two answers to this question, both of which are true ...Read More
From countless encounters with failure, I can tell you that not everything works out the way you hope it will. If you keep trying, you’ll get where you want to go in the end, but there will undoubtedly be many stops along the way where you encounter a dead-end.
First, how do you know when it’s not working out?
Here are a few signs:
That’s pretty much how you know it’s not working out. So what do you do? The good news is that your options are limited. Specifically, you have only three:
1) Do Nothing
3) Change Something Major
Option #1: Do Nothing
Doing nothing is the most common response when confronting apathy. You suck it up and live with it. You keep going through the motions, dutifully showing up without actually doing much. You attend the meetings, wondering more about what kind of cookies will be waiting on the table than what will be on the agenda.
The agenda? Speaking of that, there may be a written one somewhere, but there is no driving force. Remember, it doesn’t usually get better on its own.
Effectively, you stop all pretense of caring what happens. When I worked in Africa, we used to call this “checking out.” Someone would be coming to the end of a long time in a difficult job, for example, and they had lost their motivation. They had “checked out.”
“Can we ask Steve to do this?”
“He’s checked out.”
Time to move on to the next guy, because when someone checks out, it’s hard to get them back. If you're the one who has checked out, see the next two options.
Option #2: Quit
When you quit, you walk away as quickly as possible, consequences be damned. You’re in the wrong job, on the wrong team, working on the wrong project, pursuing the wrong goal. Or maybe you’re what’s wrong – but either way, you can quit.
If you start to feel guilty about it, or if someone questions you, you can give the age-old response: “Lots of other people are doing this too.” This response seemingly justifies any behavior, from smoking to discrimination or whatever.
But sometimes, option #2 may be your only choice, if for no other reason than to retain your sanity. When it comes down to that, I think hanging on to sanity is worth whatever guilt you feel for quitting. And if you were the problem to begin with, well, maybe things will be better for everyone else after you leave. You never know.
Option #3: Change Something Big
If you can’t stand the status quo and don’t want to give up, this leaves only one option: something must change. It has to be something significant; even outsiders should be able to look and say, hey, this is different.
Change is the lifeblood of innovation and the salvation of complacency, but beware: no one really likes change, and that’s why it can hard to introduce something that is significantly different after apathy has set in.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, however.
What can you change? Ideas include:
Here’s a fun game to play: think about one place in the world that you’d like to visit someday. You don’t have to make a long list, just think of one single place.Even including people who don’t travel that much, most of us can think of somewhere we’d like to see before we die. There are a couple of easy rules for this game: 1) You only get one place 2) It has to be somewhere you haven’t been yet Read More
Everyone lives their life by some sort of internalized moral code, but many people don’t take the time to sort out what they really believe in. Because of this disparity, we often feel conflicted when deciding how to make regular choices about time, money, and personal decisions.One definition of integrity is how closely your life aligns with your values. In other words, do you do what you say you do? Do you live your life according to what you believe in? This definition is somewhat incomplete, because it allows for you to do pretty much anything you want to do (even harm other people, which most of us would not consider to be a good thing). But there is still some truth to the idea that integrity relates to how you live by the standards you have set. If you don’t do what you say you do, how can you say you practice integrity? Read More
re•mark•able [adjective]: worthy of being noticed, especially as being uncommon or extraordinary *** If you want to break out of the mold of average, the first thing you need to do is to make a decision to be radically different. Most remarkable people are people of action, and for a good reason: if you don’t…Read More
A couple of months from now, I’ll go live with a more public launch, but until then I’ll be adding content, tweaking the design, and getting the site together. Right from the beginning, I thought it would be good to state for the record what I hope to accomplish here. A goal is good, a measurable goal is better, and a publicly measurable goal is best of all.Read More
Follow These Simple Tips for a Risk-Free Life: Accept what people tell you at face value. Surround yourself with people who think like you. Don’t stand out. Stay close to home. Get a normal job. Do things the way everyone else does, because there has to be a method to the madness. College Go to…Read More