In my work career, I have been blessed with working amongst a wide swath of people. Some of my co-workers are now in a high place and doing very well. Then I have worked amongst people who seem to have lives filled with chaos and bad luck. As an outsider, I have observed the actions of many and have seen what propels people along or just keeps them stuck.
During several events, I too have been tested. As hard as I tried, it seemed that I could not catch a break. The struggles seemed demoralizing at times. I would step back, plan, execute my plan, and then watch as something else would happen and make my gains seemingly disappear.
To someone watching, it would have seemed hopeless.
One day, I am going to win the lottery. One day, if I keep working hard, my luck will change. My plan is to stop smoking so next week I will cut down.
During my down times, I never once had thoughts such as these. When I was at my lowest, I never spent money on the lottery. I had my cable turned off and I stopped watching television. I cut my food spending bill down by cooking at home. I made sure my earnings were higher than what was going out the door.
I spent hours sitting at home alone. Reading. Studying about interviewing and improving my profile on Glassdoor and LinkedIn. I was determined that although it felt like I had fallen into a sea of problems that I was not going to become a victim of drowning. I knew that I had to kick my feet to make it to shore.
Our lives are not a collection of good days or huge events.
Our lives are a necklace. A collection of days strung together. Some will be blessed and some will not. Some will not have a lot of days strung together at all. Yet, each can have their day be colorful or shiny. Or it can be a bottle cap or a dirty piece of plastic as the representation of what you did. The point is what really matters is what you choose to do with today.
If tomorrow comes, then you can work on that day. Adding it to the string with your actions; or inaction.
So were my low points really filler between the big events? Were those days just throw aways – basically a waste of a day…Bare string. They could have been but I chose to make them productive. Now I see that my actions joined the events together and linked my golden moments along the chain.
What can you do to make today and tomorrow shine?
Drop by a friends house.
Go to the gym.
Visit a restaurant that you have been interested in yet never visited.
Sit for 10 minutes and think of one thing at work that you could do but no one ever does.
Write a thank you note.
Do something you used to love to do but have stopped.
You have to decide what kind of necklace you will create.