Are you Just Keeping the Lights On in Life?
I want to share what a dear friend of mine shared with me yesterday about something she was told in the recent weeks about the work she does. It really rang true for me and I think it’s really indicative of where so many of us find ourselves stuck in right now.
It was a high level, executive meeting and the goals of the organization were being discussed. She noticed that the large majority of work she was focused on was not aligned with the goals laid out –and she mentioned it. Someone told her “That’s ok, there has to be someone who keeps the lights on.” It was said as if that was ok — and other co-workers quickly piped in to agree as if to say “yeah, the machine has to keep running.”
Now, if you are asking yourself – what’s wrong with that? Let me ask YOU something– Do you want to be on the team that just threads the needle or the one who sews — and makes that amazing, innovative, beautiful garment? For some, the answer may just be the threader — you like stability, the freedom it affords you, and the lack of stress and pressure that the role may have. But you know what happens after a while of being stagnant? For most people, you begin to lose your drive, your fire, your inspiration and then ultimately, you lose your joy. I have seen it happen to many of my friends, co-workers, and family. They settle for mediocre because they are convinced it affords them other benefits.
I’m not saying that keeping the lights on is not the right role for some. I am asking for each and everyone out there to stop and think about where you are in your life and figure out if it’s where you need and want to be-whether it be in your personal or professional life. Jotting down some Likes/Dislikes using a good old fashioned note pad is a great way to help you figure it all out —
Think about the following questions:
- What are my life/work ‘deal breakers’ and are they being broken?
- Are you where you want to be?
- Are you OK with where you are right now, today?
- Do you have Joy in your life and/or career?
- Are you taking care of YOU?
- What do YOU want out of life, your career?
- Are you being challenged regularly?
- Are you able to learn something where you are?
- Are you being valued, recognized, and/or compensated appropriately?
- How do you feel when you do <fill in the blank>?
- When was the last time you were excited to go to work <or fill in the blank>?
Take CrossFit for me for example — I am excited each and every morning to hit the box at 6A. Crazy I know –but I love it. Love the people I get to see, the workouts I do, the challenges I face, the way I feel during and after, and seeing the progress I have made and continue to make. From time to time, I do get burned out and it starts to feel like a chore and I don’t feel so good (I’m super sore, or run down) –and I know, it’s time for me to stop and think about what’s going on and make a decision on what to do. Usually it’s taking a few extra days off or lowering my weight, but the point is – I don’t just keep doing things blindly — “keeping the lights on.” I adjust and we all need to do that in all facets of our lives regularly.
And as I have talked about before, adjustments are changes and change is hard. But so is being stuck in a Fear Loop and being paralyzed by fear. Go through the steps above to assess and then come up with a plan to take action! Period.
- 800 m jog
- high knees
- side shuffle
- heel to butt
- run backwards
- 10 handstand holds w/3 shoulder touches
- 15 Pull ups
- 10 SDHP (65#)