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.
I’m the last person to say that life is easy. I don’t think that’s the case at all. But there’s one thing I’ve learned in recent years that changed everything.
They way you THINK determines the outcome of your life. But thinking is hard. That’s why we don’t do it often enough. Helen Keller said it best:
“People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.”
I’ll show you 15 thoughts about life that will forever transform the way you live. Ready? Let’s go.
Note: I recently shared this only with the readers of my newsletter. I thought I’d post it here too.
Have you heard of the of the reciprocity principle in social psychology?
It’s a social rule that says people give back what they receive, it was popularized by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. Everyone has been in that type of situation.
When you feel obligated to invite that annoying colleague for your birthday, it’s because he/she invited you as well. And you feel like you have to return the favor, right?
Reciprocity is a common technique used by marketers. It’s about giving with the expectation that you get something back.
Altruism is different. Which is basically giving for the sake of giving. You don’t expect anything in return.
And then there’s reciprocal altruism (originally a term from evolutionary biology), which is what most thought leaders use. People have different terms for it.
When I started my last corporate job, I asked experienced co-workers for advice and best-practices, and most of them told me something like: “Try to get in front of important people.”
That’s corporate code for sucking up.
It wasn’t my first time working for a large company. I’d seen a lot of suck ups get promotions in the past, and in a moment of weakness, I decided to listen to those idiots.
You “get in front of important people” by scheduling unnecessary meetings with random people, always saying something during meetings, pretending you’re working while you’re watching YouTube videos, and staying at the office until late when you’re not productive at all.
But sucking up didn’t feel right — I just couldn’t do it. It’s not my style. But it’s so tempting do it because people get rewarded for that.
And who doesn’t want to get promoted? So you get lured in. That’s why I understand why people who start at corporations decide to play politics—you think it’s normal.