August article of the month |
Craig Nathanson © 2003
What is your attitude on a daily basis?
Excerpt from P is For Perfect; Your Perfect Vocational Day
By Craig Nathanson (9/2003)
What is your attitude concerning yourself and your world?
Do you wake up in the morning and take the position that the day ahead of you is going to be a lousy one? Are those who you'll see around you just going to be in the way? Do you wake up and take your family and loved ones for granted? Or do you take a different position as you awake each day? Do you take a position that this day is going to be great, full of opportunities and challenges which you'll overcome with relish?
How about those who you will run into during the day?
Will you take a position of greeting them with pleasure and an open friendly smile? Are you consistent with your position each day? Do you wear one mask to work and then take it off or even change into another one when you get home? If so, have you thought about why? Have you thought about any of these questions before?
People's daily position is critical. It drives them forward or backward from what they want most in life. I should know this. For much of my corporate life, I wore a mask at work and let me tell you it wasn't much fun. At work, I wore the ''I'm a good corporate citizen mask'' pretending to care about what I did or what the company objectives were. Once I reached home, however, I took off my mask and became the relaxed me; the husband, father, runner, scholar -- well maybe I wasn't so relaxed.
Doing a job during the day can be very tiring! In fact, wearing a mask all day can be tiring. Your face muscles can't relax and no one gets to see the real you. You don't smile much. I can remember one month when there was this big push at work to get everyone wrist pads, so when typing on keyboards all day, they wouldn't get carpal tunnel syndrome. I think they should have focused instead on helping employee's find fulfillment and meaning in their vocational lives. It would have brought a lot more smiles back into the workplace. I couldn't help wondering whether the carpel tunnel was caused more by stress than by typing?
Masks tend to influence our position all day long. They affect those around us as well. The day becomes one of ''let's get through it'' while rushing around and avoiding as much human contact as possible. When colleagues at work mumble, "How's your weekend", do they really care what the answer is? In response to that question, I once looked up and said, "Well, not that good, I almost lost my son" just to see if people were actually listening. They weren't.
When going to a job, it becomes easy for many of us to wear a mask of caring. After all, when one lacks a vocation, the heart is left at home and the job takes over. A mask then becomes a necessary requirement to cover up the lack of caring, happiness and meaning in the job.
I am not writing this to sound bitter but just to showcase what I used to see daily in the workplace. One's position can make a huge difference in one's day. If I take a position that each new day will bring new energy and possibilities, then that day and those around me are influenced in a positive way. Ever say hello to someone in the hall and they respond "Ya know, for a Monday, hanging in there." How do you feel as a result? Now how about that rare person who responds, "Great, today's going to be a great day!" Now, how do you feel?
What does all this mean for you? It means that following your vocational passion in life requires discarding your mask forever. It requires you to throw off your mask in triumph and to yell at the top of your lungs, "I can do this!"
For myself, there are some days when I am speechless as I'm writing, teaching or counseling.
This feeling overwhelms me like the bright sun breaking through the clouds for the first time on an otherwise dreary day. It's a feeling of inner strength, courage and warmth that I am indeed following my vocational passion.
The position that I take each day is one of optimism, anticipation and inner confidence that this path is right for me. It wasn't always this way. Some days it's still hard to smile after all those years of frowning after staring into useless meetings, one after another. Now however, I feel consistent. That is, if you run into me at noon and then again at 8pm, chances are you'll find the same person! Can you say this now about yourself? Is your daily position helping or hindering your moving toward what you want most in your life? What would others say about your daily position? How would they describe you?
This is an excerpt from Craig’s first book called, ‘’ P is for Perfect; Your Perfect Vocational Day’’ due out in August from BookCoachPress.
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