It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to write an original piece so I am a bit excited about this one…
Today I experienced one of those moments in life where just when it seems as if everything is moving a million miles an hour, someone, an 8 year old someone, says something so profound that your world comes to an halt.
During my 327th trip from my office to our fitness center today I was stopped by the cutest little girl ever in the hallway. As I was entering our fitness center which leads to our youth fitness space a tiny brunette with a blue bow tie in her hair came up to me and asked, “are you the boss?” Naturally from surprise I looked around for my staff, perhaps the host of candid camera, or even a frantic parent looking for their child. It’s not too often that I am posed with the question “are you the boss” from 8-year olds in my line of work. So with curious energy I squatted down to be on her eye level and responded with, “Yes I am, how can I help you?” Her response to me provoked this post…
“You can’t be the boss, you’re not unhappy, fat, or old?”
Over the last three months I have found myself questioning many things about my career choices, as if in almost a philosophical search for the meaning of life. Am I doing the right thing? Am I in the right role? Right profession? Do I provide and received a valued experience at work? Do I feel like I am making a difference in both my profession and with my staff? Needless to say it’s been a trying couple of months. But because of this, all of my focus has been placed on me. Today, at 4:27 PM, an 8-year-old girl who I think was back- handedly complimenting me changed all of that.
For all that have been in my shoes and for those graduating this month and getting ready to enter the workforce here are three little things I always keep in my mental back pocket when it seems as if I am treading water in life.
1.) Don’t change yourself just to make someone else happy, unless that someone else is you. I will admit, I’ve gotten caught up in the rat race that is office politics before because for some odd reason I thought that by playing the game, I would find success. That’s wrong my friends because not playing the game is how you find success. Whether it’s work, life, or relationships, never change whom you are to make someone else happy unless that someone else is you. Don’t get caught up in “how the game should be played.” Instead play hard, play fair and if you don’t get what you want in life, then it’s not what you need. Sometimes the lesson learned is more valuable than the opportunity itself.
2.) The first one to get angry loses. There is no value in anger. Anger solves no problems, strengthens no communities, and most certainly will not build your case or provide you with vindication. There is only so much you can control in life and the unfortunate thing about it is most of us spend our time and energy focusing on the things we can’t control. Then, when we are unable to produce the results we expected, we get angry. And when you get angry, you most certainly cannot accomplish great things. It’s a vicious cycle. There will always be things in life that don’t always go as planned. Don’t become angry — Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like because that’s the true beauty of life. Embrace adversity with open arms because that’s the only way you are really going to grasp success.
3.) Do whatever you want to do in life, but be the best at it. The first rule in discovering yourself should always be ignoring everything everyone has ever told you about yourself. I was talking to a good friend the other day who is studying for the bar exam and is struggling mightily. When I asked him why he wanted to become a lawyer, he started his response with “I come from a long line of lawyers.” Game over. Society and even sometimes family put unrealistic expectations on who you should be or what you should do. My advice is to discover your passion and then work incredibly hard to find a way to get paid for it. You will never become the best at what you do if your work isn’t driven by your passions and love. Passion lends itself to happiness and happiness lends itself to success. Whatever you do in life, do it passionately and be damn good at it!
Today an 8-year-old girl taught me a valuable lesson; no matter an individual’s age, job, or status in life, everyone deserves your respect. And that girl most certainly received mine.
Learning is the foundation of life. The moment you stop learning is the moment you stop living. Keep this in mind the next time your ego, pride, or heart takes a hit. And remember…
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”
Create a healthy day.