The word “work” often has a negative connotation. We have to wake up every day and do something that we might not necessarily choose to do if we weren’t getting paid for it.
But if we think about our days as a series of moments, each special in its own way, we can transcend many of the negative aspects of working and change our attitude about what we do—from one of working to one of being—making the most out of each moment and realizing that each moment is special.
In our jobs, we may not always have the flexibility to work on the things we care about or enjoy, but we do have control over the person who shows up for the job. We should care about the work we do because we are the ones doing it. We are bringing our presence, intellect, energy, and personality to our jobs. We are giving of ourselves, and that, in and of itself, makes the work we do special.
When things in life are going according to plan and clicking along, it can be comfortable. Sometimes so comfortable that we hesitate to make changes or take risks. It’s when things aren’t going quite right (or horribly wrong) that we often make fundamental changes in our lives — changes that can lead to evolution and growth.
Life never happens according to a script, and thank goodness. How boring would that be?
Everyone has times in their lives when it seems like the world is against them or they can’t catch a break. It’s very easy to feel sorry for ourselves, or feel like the world is against us. But it’s during those times that we might have an opportunity to “reboot” our lives. Instead of thinking about what we’ve lost, think about the potential for what we have to gain, or change, or try. There’s no reason we have to try to get back to our life as it was — we can try to get to where our life is going.
How much control over the details of your life do you actually have?
Sometimes parts of our lives can seem very much out of our control. For some, this can be a very uncomfortable feeling. We might feel an intense urge to regain control and get things back on track. But the truth is that our lives are never really in our control. If we can learn to accept that, we will be much more likely to work with that reality and not constantly struggle for control.
Are you satisfied with what you’ve accomplished in life? Do you think or talk about it a lot?
Pride is a double-edged sword. It has historically been considered an undesirable trait, while humility has been considered a virtue. The “sin of pride” is one of the seven deadly sins. However, in this context, pride is a relative term—we would have to feel we’re better than other people. It could also be interpreted as arrogance, which takes that superior feeling one step further—to acting superior or saying that we’re superior.
Pride can also have positive connotations. The positive feelings that come from knowing we did something well or achieved something are part of our motivation for doing those things. Pride gives us confidence. It can be the foundation for our belief in ourselves and our ability.
The meanings of certain words have been diluted in this age of instantaneous information. People throw the them around without a thought to their meaning or their impact. To me, “hero” is an important example.
In the past, I tended to cringe whenever I heard the word “hero,” mainly because I heard it so much. It used to be reserved for those among us who did truly extraordinary things or were able to get jobs done in extremely trying circumstances.
So what is the essence of acting heroically? Is it overcoming fear? Is it committing fully to a course of action? Is it going the extra mile? It may be all of these, some combination, or something entirely different. The essence of heroism is inherently ineffable. If it was something that could be measured or taught, it would lose its mystique.