If we are honest with ourselves, most of our relationships in life are out of convenience or due to necessity. Typically these types of friendships are fine as long as things stay relatively stable and major life issues don’t complicate the mix. However, once something bad happens, you do learn who your true friends are and it may surprise you. Friendship is easy when life is easy. When life gets hard, some people just don’t have the stomach for it. Always remember that this says more about them than you. Some people are just much more comfortable taking rather than giving – sad for them. Others just can’t handle any level of emotional depth or commitment.
Ideally a person would want to use their time well and be highly productive and effective. They wouldn’t get easily distracted or lose focus. Instead of procrastinating on things they need to get done, they’d be disciplined about accomplishing what’s most important when it should get done with minimal stress. The days would flow smoothly rather than bounce around between shifting priorities and putting our fires. Time should be spent doing your own job not making up for the shortcomings of others. We also need to be smart enough to ask for help when we are in over our heads. If we are being honest with ourselves, we’d own up to the fact that most of the stress in our careers is self-created.
It’s interesting how the older we get the less willing it seems many of us are to embrace change. At some point we start preferring to look backwards rather than forwards in terms of making sense of our life. The word “new” starts to lose its positive connotation. I’m not exactly sure why this happens but I see evidence of it in almost every conversation I have with one of my peers. Thank goodness there is always a younger generation behind us pushing the envelope in terms of what’s possible and could be better. At minimum, as a society we need the collective adaptive capacity to adjust to changing circumstances.
As far as we know, there are no “do over’s” in life. We get one chance to live our journey and make things right. While death bed conversions and family reconciliations make good fodder forHollywood, they are rarer then you think. You can’t make up for lost time or misaligned priorities in one final conversation or the last few months of your life – the damage is already done. Personal grudges have an unfortunate way of becoming firmly cemented with time. There is no better time than the present to assess where you stand in terms of your family and personal life and make positive changes. As I’ve stated many times in other blogs, remorse and regret are useless and unnecessarily painful emotions.
I’ve often heard the saying, “if you want something done give it to a busy person.” While I am an advocate of applying the 80/20 principle in most circumstances, I believe the ratio get even greater in organizations and communities when it comes to overall effort and impact – it is more like 90/10 or higher. Some people just seem to be hardwired to take on more responsibility. They just can’t help themselves and have a difficult time saying “no.” When they find a need they feel compelled to address it. Poor performance isn’t an option for them and they work hard even no one else is watching. While it’s great these people exist, I also worry that we expect too much from these individuals and in the end many of them end up suffering from burnout and/or too much stress.
Everyone needs positive role models in their life and this experience shouldn’t end with childhood. As we go through our lives we will often stumble across unchartered territory. There will be times when there are no easy answers or doing the right thing won’t be as easy as it sounds. It is during moments like this we need to have something or someone to fall back on.
Everyone needs to unplug on a regular basis and focus on being their non-work self. My experience has always been that the best leaders are never one dimensional. They live vibrant personal as well as professional lives.