Positive Thinking

I met a friend this weekend to catch up. Work, family, just life in general. I walked away from the meeting feeling refreshed and energized; full of positive energy and excited for the future. My friend is forever the optimist and it’s her positive views on life that I’ve always admired the most about her. It seems like no matter what happens she seems to find a way to find the silver lining and to make the most of what life gives her.

“How’s the new job”, I asked.

“Fantastic!”, was her reply.

I was thrown by this. I knew that the job wasn’t quite what she thought it was going to be. The organization wasn’t what she expected. The position wasn’t what she really wanted to be doing.

“Really?”, I asked. What about all that other stuff?

It turns out that all of that other stuff is there. But here’s the thing. The challenge and the opportunity has given her the chance to learn and grow; to discover something that she didn’t know about herself. And if it gets to the point where it’s not rewarding anymore, she’ll move on to something else.

Going with the Flow

One of her favorite slogans is “I’m just going with the flow. Seeing where life takes me.” As someone who tries to live intentionally, that stuck with me a little bit. Then I realized something; I used to be the same way. When it came to career advice, my slogan was that if I worked hard then the rest would take care of itself. I didn’t really worry about the next promotion or projecting what my next job would be. I just went with it. But a few years ago that shifted. And my life shifted. Where once I found myself as someone that “worked to live”, I now find myself as some that “lives to work”. I actually have been aware of it for sometime, but I was ok with it. Pursuing career advancement and having job security seemed to be more important. But back to my friend. As we talked something became really apparent to me. She is living intentionally. More intentionally than most people I know. She knows what’s important to her and she is working very hard toward achieving her goals. It just doesn’t have much to do with her job.

Here’s the interesting thing. Because she isn’t stressed out and overly focused on her work, she can relax. Her performance is better and she isn’t stressed out. Which brings her advancement and other opportunities. And when she finds that she no longer gets what she needs from her situation, she changes it. I think there is good advice to be had here: never be too committed that you aren’t willing to try something else.

“Here’s the thing”, she said. “In every opportunity I learn something. I grow and I find out something I didn’t know before. And every opportunity has brought me a new opportunity that was better in someway. Life is good.”

Yes, yes it is.