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Life is Too Fast Not to Live Now. This week, while traveling in London, I had the chance to meet up with longtime STL member and friend Rachelle Adams. Two years ago we met through this blog and have kept in touch as we’ve navigated our way through life and career in our late twenties. At the central London pub, as we sipped a pint and chatted about what we’ve each been through over the last two years we started to realize the velocity of our lives.
Both she and I have been through countless highs and lows in our twenties. We’ve struggled to find our career. We’ve contemplated our life’s direction. And we’ve grown through it all. And yet, every event in our lives, no matter how colossal it seemed in the moment, had slowly faded and become nothing more than a distant memory and funny story that we told in that pub.
I see now that our lives are moving too fast to sweat the little things of the past or dwell on the future which looms ahead. Twenty eight years seem like they’ve gone by in the blink of an eye. All my past victories and problems have faded into one. None of it matters now. Won’t the next twenty eight years go by just as fast? The only remedy I see for this is to live now. By living in this moment I can appreciate the fullness of life.Every time I’m able to live immediately, I get a glimpse of happiness and any stress fades away.
Listen to Your Tiny Voice. Exactly two years ago I was sitting in a cubicle in a job that no longer fulfilled me. I was in the wrong industry and in a culture that didn’t align with who I was becoming. The easy thing to do would have been to stay put and clock in and out each day because things “weren’t that bad.” But every time I paused and stepped outside of my hectic work environment I was able to see something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something inside me was telling me that my time here was done.
I didn’t know where I belonged. I didn’t see a clear path forward. But my instinct could not be ignored. I knew that if I pushed this feeling aside forever I would be secure in my career but unhappy. Two years later, after a jump from a corporation to a startup and from Boston to New York, I can see what my tiny voice was talking about. Things aren’t perfect now. They may never be. But I’m on the right path again.
Don’t ignore your tiny voice. This is the real you that’s trying to be heard through all the noise and distraction in your life.
Don’t Accept the Way Your Company Does Things. As a new employee it’s easy to feel like you need to fall in line and accept the way your company and team functions. After all, who are you to point out the mistakes your boss and team members are making? Surely these people who have had jobs for years know the way things should be done.But the fact of the matter is that all companies are dysfunctional at some level. No company has it all figured out and managers are trying to find ways to optimize their team’s performance.
As a new employee you have an unfiltered lens to see all of this through. By asking questions to your boss and team members as to why they’re doing things a certain way you can uncover inefficiencies. As long as you are able to raise concerns in a respectful and constructive way, you have the potential to help your team improve and make an early impact at your company. It’s this type of thinking that can lead to quicker promotions and higher connections within the organization. Think critically when you join a new company. Don’t accept the norm.
Article to Check Out:
How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You) by Wait, But Why. “When it comes to careers, (listening to) society is like (listening to) your great uncle who traps you at holidays and goes on a 15-minute mostly incoherent unsolicited advice monologue.” Tim Urban, from the popular blog Wait, But Why, tackles the dilemma we all face of finding a career that actually works for us. As this quote from the article alludes to, we are often swayed by what “society” tells us to do. But as this long form blog post, which is both extremely entertaining and educational, tells us we can and should find our own path. This post will help you make career decisions that reflect who you are and what you want to do. Shoutout to new STL member Liza Ghosh for recommending this article!
Quote of the Week:
“The wolf on top of the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing it.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger