Our last post Happy Christmas Or Merry Christmas? was a little darker than usual, and as I said, was a segue into a new trilogy, the Pursuit of Being Alive which will be a lot more positive. There is some irony that it seems the harder we pursue happiness, the less we are focused on the pursuit of life, as if attaining happiness could fulfill life and give us meaning. In this trilogy we will look at three things we can do to pursue being alive.
In the last couple of years I have discovered that I have a gift – I can help people find their mission in life. Within a few minutes of talking to someone I can help them find their path. Whether they take it or not is another story, but I can help them find their life vision. Many people struggle coming into a new year, because as U2 said, nothing changes on New Year’s Day. It isn’t a magical unicorn day. For some there is nothing to look forward to except more of the same struggle. However, you can make this year different. I’m not talking about a New Year’s Resolution, I hate those things. I am talking about finding your vision. Something much deeper and real.
I have worked in the corporate retail world for a long time. There are some amazing people in retail, truly amazing people who genuinely care for the people they work with. There are also some less amazing people as well who say things like “perception is reality”, seek to “manage perception” and don’t care about the human collateral damage in their pursuit of self-promotion. The corporate world can often suck the vision dry, burn people up, and spit them onto the human trash-pile. However, as I said, there are amazing people, and one of those people is a trainer who said one of the most profound things ever heard in a training room – “Treat people like people.” Not resources. Not employees. Not subordinates. Not sales prospects. People.
I doubt that the corporate world is the only place this happens. I am sure there are people in every career and industry who are where they are because they fell into it, and by the time they realised they were stuck, they thought it was too late. But it’s not. It’s never too late. Ever. I teach online psychology in a college and have students ranging in age from new High School graduates to grandparents. It is never too late.
Here are the three takeaways for today:
1 – Rediscover your vision. What is it that makes your blood pump faster, and more importantly, why does it? When you have these questions answered you can start thinking about how to get on the path to making your vision happen.
2 – If you know anything of the Stanford Prison Experiment, (you can read about it here) you will know that people don’t take long to adapt to their expected roles. You don’t have to be a prisoner to your job or the company you work for. You can take steps to bring your vision to life today.
3 – Treat people like people. This includes treating yourself like a person. You have goals, thoughts, and a vision. If others choose to treat people like resources to help them move up a chain that is their problem, and their pursuit will never bring them peace. You don’t have to be like them, and you don’t have to follow their vision.
If you take nothing else from this, remember, the Stanford Prison Experiment showed how easy it is for someone to feel trapped and like a prisoner when they have all the freedom in the world. How often do we feel trapped and without options? What is your vision? What are you passionate about, and why?
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