Weekly Wisdom on Effectively Managing Change with
Contributing Expert and Career Success! Partner
Ryan had been a manager for a small company in New York’s garment district. Then he got laid off and looked for work in his field for almost a year. Finally, he took advantage of the need for seasonal holiday workers and took a temporary job unloading pallets at night for Wal-Mart. “I’m so glad to have something productive to do,” he explained, “and to be bringing money in, even if it’s much less than I used to.”
Sometimes when change hits, we must do things we would rather not. With an Ivy League education, I’ve been a cashier in a drug store, a mother’s helper, and a housecleaner (all very temporarily, for which I am extremely grateful). I’ve worked the equivalent of three jobs for years and on more weekends than I care to remember. In tough times, my husband’s worked as a day laborer and sold books and other possessions on eBay, including a Wedgwood teapot that had been in his family for years.
Some people have trouble with the need to get on with it with as much grace and gratitude as possible. My guess is that it comes from a sense of entitlement. I worked for a while with a young woman fresh out of college who was continually outraged that she had to work as a receptionist because she “deserved” a more interesting job. This was a person whose parents were making up the difference between her income and her expenses, which ironically served to make her less grateful, not more, for her lot. It took all of my fortitude each week not to say, “At least you have a job.” But I kept my mouth shut because such awareness never comes from the outside, only from experiences that teach us there’s no such thing as “deserve.”
Each and every person on the face of this earth “deserves” food and shelter and meaningful work. But unfortunately, as Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein says,
“You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you get.”
Maya Angelou is a great role model of someone who did what was needed. She learned from her grandmother never to complain. When she heard someone complaining she’d say to Maya, “There are people all over the world, black and white, rich and poor, who went to sleep when that person went to sleep, and they have never awakened….They would give anything for five minutes of what that person was complaining about.” As a result, says Angelou, “I’ll protest like the dickens, but I don’t complain….No matter how bad it gets, I’m always grateful to know that I don’t have to stay with the negative.”
Tough changes give us the opportunity to see just how tough we are. We roll up our sleeves and do what’s needed. (Within the bounds of what’s legal and moral, I hope.) We experience how work, even unloading pallets, makes us feel good. And the dignity that comes from the determination to do what’s necessary, that “starch in the backbone,” as Maya Angelou calls it, can never be taken from us.
Original Post by M.J. Ryan: CLICK HERE
M.J. Ryan is a widely recognized Change Expert and author of the book, Adaptability - How to Survive Change You Didn't Ask For. She is also one of the creators of the New York Times bestselling Random Acts of Kindness series and the author of The Happiness Makeover (nominated for the 2005 Books for Better Living award in the Motivational category), Attitudes of Gratitude, The Power of Patience, Trusting Yourself, The Giving Heart, and 365 Health and Happiness Boosters, among other titles. Altogether, there are 1.75 million copies of her titles in print. Learn more about M.J.
I'd like to welcome! friend and Career Success! Partner, M.J. Ryan, as a regular contributing expert to our blog site. M.J.'s insights, ideas and wisdom on the subject of Dealing Effectively with Change will hopefully resonate with you in your journey to achieving incredible career success.
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A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
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