The news about my boss, Andy, giving his two-week notice spread like wild fire in the department. Everyone who reported to him was apprehensive about what the next guy was going to be like.
Is the new guy going to be better or worse than Andy? Everybody was concerned about how this change would affect them, including other managers that worked with Andy.
Weeks later after Andy was gone, as I was working on the production floor, one of the technicians came up to me and said, “So I heard you have a new boss now.”
“Do I?” I inspected some plastic parts coming off a molding machine.
“You didn’t get the news yet? You and I will both be working for Shawn now,” he said as he scrunched up his face in discontent.
“Is is that bad?” I inquired.
“I don’t know how much you’ve worked with him, but he doesn’t deserve to be a manager,” he added, “The stars were lined up just right for him and the timing of it was right; that’s the only reason why he got to become a manager.”
Years later, I asked my audience at a speaking event: if they believed that everything, every single thing that they have in their life was because of their action. Some of them agreed, others did not.
Look at the above scenario. Andy made a clear conscious decision to quit and move somewhere else. So Andy created what he wanted through his action. However, Andy’s action also resulted in creating a vacant spot in the department. It’ll be foolish to say that Shawn intended that.
Did Shawn get the position because of his own action?
Some might argue that just like Andy, Shawn made a conscious decision of taking the position, so he created what he wanted through his action. Yes. But one intricate component of this scenario is that the decision made by one person (Andy) impacted what the other person (Shawn) got. That is referred to as destiny by some and opportunity by others.
Every one of us experiences this phenomenon in our personal relationships or professional careers at some point of time in our life. That relationship that you so deeply desired with someone, but it never worked out. The job or career that you so yearned for, but you ultimately ended up doing something that you had never dreamed of. Perhaps there is a component that we don’t have a control over: people and events both, which changes what we end up with.
No matter what you call it: destiny or opportunity, taking action is what ultimately makes destiny or opportunity a reality. Whether the result in what you expected or not—take action.
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First, Kit suggests knowing yourself. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and which job field you’d prefer to be in. Then, you should focus on three core principles:
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Pushing on the elliptical machine for over thirty minutes, I increased the resistance to simulate climbing stairs for the remainder of my workout. It was quiet until a trainer and his client (who is serious about losing weight) walked in. I had seen them at the gym for the last three months but never had a conversation with either one of them. We all get familiar with those voices that disregard the presence of anyone else around them, and talk as loudly as possible to make their presence known—this duo had that annoying loud pitched voice. Even with no intention to partake in their discussion, I was now forced to hear the conversation of the day.
“It has been three months and I am still struggling with my weight,” says the trainee. The physical trainer nods. “But I think your endurance has increased since you started,” he said in a positive tone. “But what about the weight?” asked the guy looking for hope to find a solution to his problem. “I have also changed my diet like you asked,” he added, as he breathed heavily and sped up on the treadmill. Questioning his weight loss program, the trainee said, “maybe I need more motivation.”
I wiped the machine I was working out on, picked up my keys, and walked out the exit door. Walking back, I realized that as human beings we are apt in blame storming; we rely on all the external sources that we so confidently assume will help us achieve our goals. Whether it is dropping the extra pounds, doing better in our relationship, performing better at work —always looking for some external force—that will help us make our mark. Motivation is that external stimulus that ignites the desire to achieve something more, but, it is not the sole ingredient that helps us accomplish that something.
The difference between those who accomplish their set goals and those who do not, is not the level of motivation. The primary reason why they are successful in accomplishing their goals, is the strategies they create to stay the course, and overcome all the challenges and roadblocks.
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