It’s show time once again.
More than three weeks have passed since the Christmas holidays. By now you must have gotten out of the holiday stupor, must have run out of stories of the things you did during the holidays, the places you went to, the dinner you attended, the gifts you gave and received, the weight you have gained and, yes, your credit card balance – if you still have a balance.
You are again back to what most of us do the entire year – work for a living. It doesn’t matter whether you work for someone else or for yourself, dig ditches or manage a conglomerate, you are still working to earn your keep. Calling it names like artist, or brain surgeon, or CEO, makes no difference except for the level of authority, content and pay. It is still work.
And, if you are normal, you must have also written a New Year’s resolution, right? How is it going? Are you working on it or is it slowly being covered by other stuff in your desktop, like the obliteration of the past monuments of men over time?
Being normal, your resolution must be slipping away from your memory. Well, you are not alone. Roughly 92% of resolutions never get done. That’s the norm, like an insignificant life is the norm, being a non-achiever is the norm. The world is full of people living in the norm – they flow with the tide, too afraid to swim against the current, or walk the path never before trodden.
If you want to be one of them, then stop right here because nothing can take you out of your lackadaisical life. A mountain of motivational articles, tips and DIY info can’t make you think and do differently. Anyway you are normal.
But if you want, for a change, to be abnormal and make this year better than the previous, if you want to add a little “zing” to our life, then the following, culled through years of bungling around like normal people do, can help you.
You need no resolutions, in fact. You don’t have to write a 2-page gibberish that will just be forgotten before the end of this month. All you need is a deep desire to be different, to be abnormal. Here’s how:
1. Don’t be Lazy:
“Failure is not only our punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others.” Jules Renard.
Among the unwholesome character traits of men, laziness is probably on top. A lazy person never gets anything done. He will stagnate in his career, if he has a career to keep; he is subject to ridicule by others, despised and avoided by his friends and family.
St Paul wrote “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” - 2Thessalonans 3:10.
2. Do not Procrastinate:
This is the delaying or postponing doing something; it is a close relative of “laziness.”
We all procrastinate sometimes, for strategic reasons. But if it becomes too often to become a habit, expect your career aspirations to get set back or postponed to an indefinite date, as well.
In hindsight, it is better to deal with lazy people because they are predictable than one who procrastinates a lot. They can screw up the best and most detailed plans because you never know when they will fill their share of the work.
3. Be Decisive:
Indecisiveness is a common trait among people for fear of being wrong.
Remember that it is always better to err in the side of caution than not to err at all. People who are afraid to make mistakes will never get things done, will never grow.
“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” – Maimonides
If you want to add excitement to your life this year, live on the periphery of caution. It is very exhilarating and motivating. It is raising the bar of your own limitations and expectations – which is necessary if only to see how far and high can you go.
4. Keep in step with the times:
This does not necessarily mean being stylish and hip though it doesn’t hurt, provided you don’t make a fool of yourself.
What is meant is for you to keep your knowledge in step with the developments, to be well-informed and well-rounded, information wise.
We are in an age where the amount of information available to us is more than we can absorb and digest in a lifetime. And they change even as we sleep. What you know today will become obsolete tomorrow. In fact, before you have familiarized yourself with all the functions of your cell phone, another model is in the market.
It is impossible to know all these, but it is possible to have a talking knowledge about those that can help your career, you as a person.
You might as well be a hermit than not being able to get into a conversation with others during office breaks or in a party.
If you regularly go to the gym, you will surely notice what people do with dumbbells – they are thoughtlessly dropped to the floor.
5. Have a Plan:
You must have a rough guide, a road map, how to make this year better than last.
It doesn’t have to be as intricate or complicated as the instruction sheet for putting together a toy car. It can be as simple as a single-sentence declaration of intent or desire.
But it must be clear and specific and can be accomplished by taking one step at a time, not a single leap.
Track your progress. Not through your smart phone, but by regularly ticking off the items in your daily “To Do” list.
Most people hate to make plans because it requires much thinking and writing; and plans can be so constricting in that they oblige people to make changes in their routines, in their lives.
But you must have one to know if you are making any progress at all.
6. Join a network:
Nobody has ever succeeded in life without the help of others. That includes you.
Your desire to make this year a lot better than last will not make any headway if you go at it alone. So join a group, e.g., a same interest group, a critique group, or supportive group. You may even join the Boy’s or Girls’ Scouts for that matter.
A group can prop you up when things go bad, or a pat on the back for little successes. It can offer hints and live examples that can help you resolve the tiny little things that you will surely encounter along the way.
7. Stay Healthy:
This does not necessarily mean refraining from enjoying the little pleasures in life, like drinking, staying late at night, splurging on your favorite high-calorie, high carbohydrate high fat foods and living near the limits of what is considered a safe lifestyle..
What it means is to regulate them; to be moderate in every aspect of your life.
Your body can only take so much abuse. Beyond that it starts grumbling and complaining until a part breaks down. If you give your car with much care, why not treat your body just as well? Remember that car parts can be repaired or replaced, while not all body parts can.
In a blog post in success.bz, Ray B. Williams wrote that, “Generation Xers appear to be unhappy in today’s workplace and it has much to do with employers and executives treating them like Baby Boomers, the current dominant generation.”
Mr. Williams certainly has some basis for his observations, but it would not do you any good to fall into the mould he is painting of your generation. Your happiness and career success are not the results of other people’s general opinions but of how focused and consistent are you applying yourself in achieving your goals.
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