Work has started to get busy again after a few weeks of nice and quiet. It’s funny how my mindset is constantly changing. Like a sine wave that oscillates between “this job sucks” to a neutral “this job isn’t too bad.” (Of course, there’s the rare day where I’m all smiles :).) Because I’ve been well-rested, I’m rounding the neutral high. That’s where the danger lies.
When you’re collecting a paycheck and you’re neither excited about or disgrunted with what you’re doing, it’s a trap for falling in a rut. And potentially a long one at that. Hasn’t anyone out there stayed in a relationship for longer than they should have and only afterward kicked themselves for wasting time? I know I have. I wasted the best college years with her…that was dumb.
Anyways, when I’m in this mindset, I can come up with a lot of excuses that stand in the way. I don’t want to change — I’m comfortable. Maybe I can’t find another girlfriend or someone better. Maybe the economy is too bad to find another job / start a venture. Maybe I can put up with her attitude. All of these are fears. And most of them are paranoid fears.
I can’t be alone here. How do we change our mindset and shed our fears? Develop a plan. Ask yourself — “where do I want to be in ten years?” and “am I on a path to get there?” Don’t forget to enjoy life along the way, but make sure you’re proactive in making positive changes in your life. Don’t be fooled by the temporary satisfaction of a lull in work, accompanied by a nice paycheck (talking to myself here).
Without taking these steps, your happiness is entirely at the mercy of external forces. Maybe you stay where you are because you can’t get out of the rut. You lose. Maybe you get laid off after ten years and you find another similar job that you hate. You lose. Maybe you quit in a fit of anger and accidentally stumble on something you like better. You win. You only win 33% of the time. I’d rather be proactive and substantially increase the odds that I’ll find myself in a better place. Who knows, maybe you can even improve your situation at the job you’re in now.
Now how do I go about getting out of this rut?