Five Stages of One’s Career

balloon-portrait-life

Then there are the stages of one’s career: an old joke invoked the five stages of Joseph Epstein (supply your own name here): 1. Who is Joseph Epstein? 2. This is a job, clearly, for Joseph Epstein. 3. We ought to get someone like Joseph Epstein for this job. 4. This job calls for a younger Joseph Epstein, and 5. Who is Joseph Epstein?

~ Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays


Credits: Photograph – Tugbaumit

 

seeking calm

David Kanigan:

“We can find peace or anxiety everywhere…The single most important move is acceptance. There is no need – on top of everything else – to be anxious that we are anxious. The mood is no sign that our lives have gone wrong, merely that we are alive. We should be more careful when pursuing things we imagine will spare us anxiety. We can pursue them by all means, but for other reasons than fantasies of calm – and with a little less vigour and a little more skepticism…We must suffer alone. But we can at least hold out our arms to our similarly tortured, fractured, and above all else, anxious neighbours, as if to say, in the kindest way possible: ‘I know…’”

Originally posted on Ophelia's Fiction Blog:

From Alain de Botton’s Philosopher’s Mail.

“Travel, Beauty, Status and Love: the four great contemporary ideals around which our fantasies of calm collect and which taken together are responsible for the lion’s share of the frenzied activities of the modern economy: its airports, long-haul jets and resort hotels; its overheated property markets, furniture companies and unscrupulous building contractors; its networking events, status-driven media and competitive business deals; its bewitching actors, soaring love songs and busy divorce lawyers.

Yet despite the promises and the passion expended in the pursuit of these goals, none of them will work. There will be anxiety at the beach, in the pristine home, after the sale of the company, and in the arms of anyone we will ever seduce, however often we try. Anxiety is our fundamental state for well-founded reasons: Because we are intensely vulnerable physical beings, a complicated network of fragile…

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Do what you love? Or do what most needs doing?

work,passion,career,art,writing

A 2012 share titled “Do What You Love” garnered more likes (393) and more views (8,396) than any other post on this blog. My thinking has evolved (you were naive!) since that time with a subsequent share titled: Do What You Love? Wrong! and this NY Times article by Professor Gordon Marino titled Life Beyond ‘Do What You Love’:

…But is “do what you love” wisdom or malarkey?

…the “do what you love” ethos so ubiquitous in our culture is in fact elitist because it degrades work that is not done from love. It also ignores the idea that work itself possesses an inherent value, and most importantly, severs the traditional connection between work, talent and duty.

…My father didn’t do what he loved. He labored at a job he detested so that he could send his children to college. Was he just unenlightened and mistaken to put the well-being of others above his own personal interests? It might be argued that his idea of self-fulfillment was taking care of his family, but again, like so many other less than fortunate ones, he hated his work but gritted his teeth and did it well.

…Our desires should not be the ultimate arbiters of vocation. Sometimes we should do what we hate, or what most needs doing, and do it as best we can.

Read full article: Life Beyond ‘Do What You Love’


Image Source: daiquiri-kisses (modified)

The Path: Step A. To B. To C. To?

black and white

“…Do well at Step A and you can proceed to Step B. Do well at B, and proceed to C. As I look back at my life so far, I realize that I was playing by a very narrow set of rules. And if I played by those rules, worked hard, and caught a lucky break or two, I’d be rewarded with plenty of wealth and prestige.

And that worked okay…for a while…until I began to have nagging doubts. “The Path” began to feel just a bit too narrow. I felt that I was always trying to do well in life in order to move to the next step. As a result, I had completely lost the ability to live in the moment or to appreciate success for success’ sake. And failure? Well, that wasn’t even an option. Most insidiously, I began looking at the people in my life only as potential allies (or, gasp, even pawns) in my quest to keep plugging along down The Path…”

~ Steve Roesler, Life Choices. Bitter or Better?


Credits: Stairway by Bobus @ Elinka.  Quote Source: allthingsworkplace.com


20 lessons learned in my first 80 years

Byron Wien

Byron Wien grew up in Chicago during the Depression.  “He was orphaned at 14 and overcame a difficult childhood to attend Harvard undergrad and business school.  He recently turned 80, and in response to a request from a conference organizer moments before he was supposed to speak, Wien committed to paper some ideas which surely contributed to his success, but more important, they are lessons that shaped such a rich and remarkable life.”  Here are a few excerpts:

  1. Network intensely.  Luck plays a big role in life, and there is no better way to increase your luck than by knowing as many people as possible.  Nurture your network by sending articles, books and emails to people to show you’re thinking about them.  Write op-eds and thought pieces for major publications.  Organize discussion groups to bring your thoughtful friends together.
  2. Read all the time.  Don’t just do it because you’re curious about something, read actively.  Have a point of view before you start a book or article and see if what you think is confirmed or refuted by the author.  If you do that, you will read faster and comprehend more.
  3. On philanthropy my approach is to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy.  Music, theatre and art museums have many affluent supporters, give the best parties and can add to your social luster in a community.  They don’t need you.  Social service, hospitals and educational institutions can make the world a better place and help the disadvantaged make their way toward the American dream.
  4. Younger people are naturally insecure and tend to overplay their accomplishments.  Most people don’t become comfortable with who they are until they’re in their 40’s.  By that time they can underplay their achievements and become a nicer, more likeable person.  Try to get to that point as soon as you can. [Read more…]

Running. Against the Wind.

rainy-days-running-man

Out the door. 6:30am.
Driving to a team meeting in Manhattan.
Freezing rain. Tap tap tapping on hood of car.
Passenger side wiper banging on an ice chunk. Curse. In a hurry. Again.
Fwap. Fwap. Tap. Tap. Fwap. (You could stop and clear it pal. You could. Or you could keep watching and listening to this show. Show plays on.)
I fan through playlist.
Dreary day. Fog. Rain. Icy conditions.
Feels like, looks like, Detroit. I rifle through playlist hunting for Bob Seger.
And, land on “Against the Wind

Traffic slowing. Yellow caution lights frenetically flashing.
Salt truck scattering its melting magic on I-95.
I turn my attention to the lyrics.


↓ click for audio (Bob Seger – “Against the Wind”)


It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago…
We were young and strong, we were runnin’
Against the Wind

Running. To get on travel teams. To get grades. To get out of high school. To get the girl. (No one would have me!) To get to college. To get to adulthood. To get. To acquire. To, To, To, something else… [Read more…]

Mission for today…

try harder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“The answer will only arrive after we stop looking for it,” says bestselling author Jonah Lehrer. Examining recent research into what drives creative insights, Lehrer breaks down how and why we have “aha!” moments, using examples that range from Bob Dylan writing “Like A Rolling Stone” to a Tibetan monk’s zen puzzle-solving powers. But insight isn’t everything. Those who achieve great things in the long-term also have another important quality: Grit, a single-minded persistence that helps them keep their eye on the prize and pushing ever-forward even when the “aha!” moments aren’t around.

~ The99percent.com


Image Source: abirdeyeview via graff14

Related Posts:

Worried about your job? Hope is not a strategy…

Klaas Verplancke, ParapluieHBR Blog Network: “…It would take something like 1,000 hours — and maybe a lot longer — to recover from a forced career change…

…If disaster were to hit, you’d like to believe that you could find another job. Well, as the cliché goes, hope is not a strategy. Especially in this job market.

…It certainly seems we are running harder and harder to keep up with the required knowledge in our specialized fields. What would you actually have to invest in order to stay in this race? In this race, information is the tiger and there doesn’t seem to be an end to how fast the tiger can run. But remember, the good news is that you don’t have to outrun the tiger. You simply have to outrun your competitors, people like you who are going to be looking for a job, once their industry becomes obsolete…”

[Read more…]

Feeling Blah about work?

job rainI received some backchannel email blow-back on my last post (10 Most Loved Jobs. And 10 Most Hated) and the related posts on Doing What You Love.  (Whispering to me: Here you go again.  Not everyone is in the situation YOU are in.  Try to walk in someone else’s shoes for a change.  Tired of you preaching about Doing. What. You. Love.  Some of us can’t walk away to a lesser paying job to Do.What.We.Love.  We need to pay the bills.  We can’t relo away from aging parents, family, friends.  We can’t walk away from our house and the mortgage. We need to keep the Don’t-Love-My-Job we have.) 

OK.  I get it.  Yet so many are unhappy.  Feel stuck.  Are unfulfilled. Or are frustrated in their current station. The three articles below share some excellent advice on how to make the most of the current job you are in.  My Cliff-Notes recap is summarized here:

  • Do. (Continue) to do an excellent job.
  • Connect. (Develop deeper relationships with people you work with)
  • Learn. (Learn & apply new skills and knowledge which will fuel higher levels of engagement)
  • Contribute. (Achievement and contribution gives us a higher sense of purpose.)
  • Don’t Complain.  (…And drag down your colleagues and pollute your brand.)

There’s no justification for an employee to wait expectantly for the organization to furnish engagement, as if it’s something somebody can give you. The key to sustainable high engagement is taking primary responsibility for it. Now is the time to own your own engagement. (FastCompany)

Here’s the 3 self-help articles on the topic…

[Read more…]

10 Most Loved Jobs…(and the 10 most hated)

From the HBR Blog Network: Happiness Will Not Be Downloaded.  I draw the line on a solve being fixing things yourself Smile otherwise a great post.  A few excerpts from the post below along with the charts for the 10 Most Loved Jobs and the 10 Most Hated…

Ten Most Loved Jobs

“…The proliferation of cooking shows, blogs, celebrity chefs…taps into something more primal: it’s one of the last jobs that still does what most of us don’t — make things…In this sterile, white-collar world, where meat comes from ShopRite and homes are built by “guest workers,” cooking is the last physical job many of us can relate to.”

[Read more…]