Are you just leaving a problem or heading for another one?
Difficulties will always torture you unless you master a few well-kept secrets.
In my 20’s and until my early 40’s, much of my existence in the world was flavored with luck and enthusiasm.
Whether charming some unsuspecting manager into hiring me or quitting a job because it “no longer served me, my belligerent six- year old life-coping skills allowed me to justify bad life choices.
Ridiculous, right? But you know what’s even more ridiculous.
Life ain’t that hard. Humans make is difficult, annoying, confusing and complicated.
What if you could adopt three solid and easily applied attributes that could change your life today?
Turning fifty and looking at the next fifty in a manner that will allow me to kick some booty, I’ve realized that the only thing that matters is my ABS. A=Approach, B= Boundaries, and S= Skills.
I have no idea how I came to this conclusion about the best way to move forward. What matters is that I figured out (through much trial and error and foolishness ) what works and what doesn’t.
Approach is how you will tackle any problem. When we run into any problem, the first thing to examine is our approach. How did you attack the situation? Did you play out a number of scenarios or possibilities beforehand? Did you jump in and just hope for the best? These are all very definitive approaches and naturally, each one has its merits.
For example, because I knew nothing about how to approach a career in the arts, I spent years getting screwed by working for free with no clear cut plan to become a well-compensated performer. Until you create or mimic a proven approach (getting an agent, creating a support team that wants you to be successful and book well-paid work), you will create a multitude of problems – one of them being broke the other one being desperate and both of these are no way to build or sustain a career.
I mention this because it made me think of the number of years a person can spend stuck in a situation that is no longer working and doesn’t provide any undisturbed opportunities for success and recognition.
Family and friends love to suggest that artists have a backup plan. Well-meaning, misguided and fear-based, a backup plan will be indulged as soon as things (rejection, discouragement) show up. A more productive manner of dealing with the urge to create is to suggest people get jobs and formulate plans that will allow them to create.
Why not lead with curiosity and offer this question: What are you going to do to support yourself and further your career?
Relationships matter. And will show you where your approach is faulty, needs modification or just plain sucks.
My six-year marriage constantly reveals places that need a fresh and productive approach to problem-solving. Raised in very different socioeconomic backgrounds we’re often entangled as we attack agreed upon goals. Our values and beliefs around self-preservation, self-care, and scarcity bring much drama to the fold. We have learned to get angry, walk away, and regroup based on our shared fifty-year commitment.
But here’s the most important part…
You can figure this out then master when and how you wrestle life to the ground and claim your personal victory.
The next question to ask yourself is: What are my boundaries? What is not okay with me?