Have you ever been let down by a colleague who you thought was a friend? Or how about getting drunk at the office party? If so, you’re not alone.
But here’s the thing: You can’t mix your professional and personal life. And that’s not a great thing to hear, right? We all desperately want to have a great time at work. And I get it.
You spend more time at work than any other place in your life, so it’s important to enjoy what you do. But doing what you love and workplace rules are two different things.
That took me a long time to understand. Granted, I’m a stubborn idiot who has to learn things the hard way. But one thing I’ve learned about the workplace is this: Things are not what they seem.
Do you believe that more opportunities equal more chances of success? I sure did.
And since we all want to feel important in this world, we think that the way to achieve that is to chase every single opportunity out there.
I hear it often: “This is a big opportunity for me.”
But that idea is broken. Chasing opportunities is a bad strategy. It’s more practical to chase skills, and PREPARE for opportunities.
How many times in your life have you experienced hurt, disappointment, anger, or stress, from the difference between your imagination and reality?
We’re very creative creatures. And when we set out to do things, we always expect that everything will turn out exactly the way we want. Does this sound familiar?
- “I’m going to finish my degree. And then all the companies will line up for me. I’ll pick the one with the best compensation. And I’ll be rich.”
- “I really like her. We’ll date for a few months. Move in together. Get married. She’ll want four kids. We settle for two. Get a holiday home at the beach. Boom. Happy life.”
- “My business idea is awesome. I’ll raise some cash. Hire a few people to build the product. We’ll roll it out. The media will write about it. I’ll get on TV. And then I’ll sell the company.”
- “I’ll make a few videos. Put them on YouTube. People will share them. One of my videos will go viral. And I’m in. Show me the money.”
Chances of those scenarios coming true? I don’t know exactly. But I guess it’s somewhere close to ZERO.
With every conversation I have, book I read, mistake I make, and new knowledge I acquire, I feel less sure about everything.
French philosopher Voltaire said it best:
“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
When I got my first degree in business, nine years ago, I was certain I knew nothing. So I got a master’s degree after that. That took me about two more years.
Still, I knew nothing. So after that, I did my best to learn from mentors, family, business partners, clients, friends, colleagues. I tried to absorb all their knowledge.
Don’t you think life is weird sometimes? Take quitting.
Most of us believe that it’s wrong to quit. That it’s for losers. And that quitting equals failure.
The ‘never quit’ attitude is a good thing. Especially when we pursue hard things. I don’t think you should ever quit just because you can’t handle something.
However, quitting is also a smart strategy. Sometimes quitting is even the better option.
Note: I recently shared this exercise only with the readers of my newsletter. I thought I’d post it here too.
Do you ever worry about things you don’t control?
If you do, join the club. It happens to all of us.
But worrying is waste of time and energy. I’ll show you a little exercise from my book Win Your Inner Battles that helps you to stop worrying.
Imagine the following situation: You make a mistake at work that upsets a client.
Maybe you send someone a wrong email. Maybe you forget to solve a problem. It doesn’t matter what it is. Imagine that something goes seriously wrong at work.