Make Each Day Amazing!

Note to Self:  Start Now!

What are you waiting for?

‘Til you find another job? And then what? ‘Til you get a day off? And then what? ‘Til you get the garage cleaned out? Or the roses pruned? Or the living room painted?

Didn’t the last five years of your life go by in a flash? What about the last ten? I snapped my fingers, and they’re GONE. I still have piles of files full of ideas that I thought I’d pursue….. dreams that I just knew I’d bring to fruition. Places I’d visit, and museums I’d wander through, soaking up the history and the knowledge. Books I thought I’d read while lounging next to the pool or in the park. Movies I’d catch to give myself pure unadulterated “down time.”

Yet, here I am, ten years later, looking at the stack. The stack of dreams, of ideas to pitch, of interests to follow, of causes to contribute to, of books to write, and products to create, things to sell, and talents to learn. Where did the time go? Where did the moments of my life go? And where did I go?

When I ponder philosophically about life in this column, I mean to do so in the rhetorical sense. Personally, I try not to sink too deeply into any form of gut-wrenching assessment about the meaning of life. I have way too much to do! So, my musings are meant to be about the collective “we,” and hopefully, you can buy into what I have to say, and apply it to your own life. (Or even more fun, use what I have to say to tell someone else how to live their life!)

My point is this. Whenever we’re unemployed, we beat ourselves up unmercifully about how we can’t do anything BUT keep our nose to the grindstone about “looking for work.” I say that in quotations, because in our culture, “looking for work” is supposedly done in only one manner, and in a prescribed format that “they” say we have to do. And, after we do what “they” say we must do to find a job, and we start working again, we can then start over once more with looking for a life; as long as the life we’re looking for doesn’t interfere with our job. Or so they say. Well, what if that doesn’t have to be true? And who are “they,” anyway?

Might it just be possible that if you go looking for “a life” each day, you might find a job? Think about it. You could get up, eat your cereal, go on Craig’s List and Monster, scan the job listings for hours, make a sandwich, go on The Ladders, scan the job listings, send out a few resumes, and call it a day. And, maybe, the next day, you could get up, eat your cereal, get dressed in professional attire, go to a “job lead swap meet,” go home, hit the computer, and start all over again. That’s the usually prescribed method for “finding a job” while putting your life on hold.

What if you try something different? What if you make a point each day to have a LIFE, and in the process, look for opportunities for work? What if you get up and eat your cereal, then take a walk, and say “hello” to everyone you meet along the way? If you see someone who is fixing a bicycle tire by the side of the road, stop to help. If you meet a pet owner walking the dog, stop to scratch the tail wagger behind the ears. With a hike behind you, stop to visit the most happening coffee shop in the neighborhood where you want to work. While you’re there, why don’t you notice who else is there? And when you get your coffee refill, why don’t you give a genuine compliment to the servers, who by the way, are employed doing what they can to create a LIFE as well!

Then, later, when you take your own pooch or kitty to the vet or the groomer, take a moment to really get to know the office staff. They’re just trying to create a LIFE as well. Notice what they do for you and how they pamper your precious furry one.  Compliment their dedication and customer service and attitudes. Why not make their day?

And don’t let it stop there! Look around you. Every day there are myriad ways you can change your life for the better, and change others’ lives for the better, and create an amazing day. Understand what I’m saying here – “amazing” can be created in big ways and small – and it doesn’t have to be something that falls out of the sky. You have the ability to create something out of the ordinary every day – something that could lead to a job possibility. Something amazing! Every time you step outside of yourself, and interact with others, and show genuine interest in them, and pursue your passions, and visit daily destinations, as well as out of the way locations, it doesn’t matter where or how – you can create something amazing. And that something can lead to a job.

I mentioned in my last post about how sometimes you gotta take a leap of faith. I used an example of going out of your way to meet or correspond with a person you admire, no matter who they are. I’m not talking about stalking. I’m talking about reaching out to everyone you meet to find a common ground with that someone you have always wanted to know…. and for a genuinely productive reason. Why not make a pact with yourself that if you’re ever able to connect with someone you admire, you’ll do what it takes to make it happen? Why not make a pact with yourself that you will walk a path that will take you to a place to honor them, or to acknowledge their effect on your life?

The trick is, and here’s the important part – wherever you go, there YOU are. Learn to savor every moment, every person, every clerk, every task as you go through your days. If you’re not working yet, it will make each day more bearable. And, who knows? The “amazing” could happen. The smiling face behind the coffee counter might just be the child or parent of someone who can offer you a job. Are you having difficulty taking a reality check? Do you have too much ego in the way? Don’t think the grocery checker or counter help can influence whether or not YOU can find a job? Think again. The CEO of your dream company might just make a daily stop in your favorite coffee shop, unbeknownst to you. The poodle being groomed next to your schnauzer could be a beloved member of the family of the Chairman of your most admired corporation.

Look, we spend our entire lives working so that someday, we can have a life. When we don’t have a job, we tend to spend our days living like we can’t have a life. Turn it upside down on its head. Vow to make each non-working, job-hunting day full of interaction and serendipity. It could be just the approach you need to create the next “first day” of the rest of your life.

And, I’ve got news for you. Whether you think you can or think you can’t have a life today, you have one. Why not make it amazing?

Sincerely,

Di Chapman, Words To Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service and Chief Writer and Communications Officer, Power Connections Executive Career Management, Coaching and Outplacement Service

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