Email is NOT Dead. College is NOT required. And EVERYONE is lying to you about success.
written by john c ashworth
My son Carl was bemoaning his boredom at work this week during dinner last night. A common complaint when summer starts, his hours increase, and the realities that come with the working life begin to show themselves a little more clearly.
I shared with him something I heard from one of my old sales managers in the car business. He had been having a similar conversation with his daughter. Unlike Carl who is just beginning his career, she was already working as a physician, and already complaining of boredom.
“All jobs get boring eventually.” That’s what Lance had said and I’ll never forget it.
Stick around long enough. Work hard enough. Jump from one line of work to another. Soon, you’ll discover that it’s true. Work can get boring. Heck, life can get boring. It reminds me of a bit Jerry Seinfeld did when I went to see him at the overture center here in Madison.
“Life’s not too short. It’s far too long.” And then in his unique and genius way went on to make a pretty strong argument about it while detailing all of the mundane things we must do in order to get to the good stuff. The moments that make it all worth it.
As one example, I try not to think about how much of my life I spend preparing for my swim workouts at the gym. Preparing or being prepared in advance with swim bag loaded in the car. Driving there. Scanning my membership card. Making my way to the locker room. Undressing. Showering. Swimming. And then ultimately returning to take part in the exact reverse of the same ritual. I swim 4-5 days per week. That’s a lot of the same boring routine over and over again to make that happen.
Yes! Work and life get boring. That’s why mindfullness and meditation are so important.
But there is something else that’s very important about this story and it has to do specifically with your ability to do boring things consistently so that you can be successful in whatever it is that you do. Because inevitably, your work and your life will get boring at times and your ability to overcome the lethargy that can so quickly fill this void will be your decision to simply keep going. Keep fighting. Keep moving. Keep exercising. Keep calling. Keep marketing. Keep selling. And keep preventing yourself from being numbed into a sense of complacency that can leave you feeling bored, lost, and groping for something new when what you really need to do is stay focused on the job right in front of you.
No. College is NOT required and won’t prepare you for this.
Here’s what I like to do to fight this sometimes daily battle.
First, every year I choose three words to guide me. No. There is no substitute for writing goals, but I have found this particular habit extremely helpful over the years for many reasons. I won’t go into all of them right now. What I want you to understand about this habit I’ve formed is that while it might not seem like a lot to just come up with three words, if you’re really choosing wisely, you might be surprised how long it takes you to decide on them. It’s hard to choose only three. Which teaches you something all on its own. And I guarantee you will be even more surprised at how much three little words can help keep you on track when you get bored, lost, scared, or distracted from what it is you really want to accomplish. Your mission.
Second, I write. I produce content. I communicate with my followers, subscribers, colleagues and customers. And I exercise every single day without fail. I also get up very early in the morning and read, write, ice my back, stretch and take some very quite personal time to reflect on what is needed that day.
Yes! More meditation and yoga are currently missing from this list, but I have not been that good about either of them lately so I left them off and then shared that with you as a means of reminding my innner conscious mind of their importance to me. Now that I’ve done that it’s very likely I will be led back to them more frequently in the coming months. Almost certain, in fact.
It is this second thing I just mentioned that I want to elaborate on before I go today. That I write and I communicate with you through my blog, facebook, instagram and weekly email broadcasts to subscribers because it helps me just as much as I hope it helps you from time to time.
Doing this does force a different kind of meditation that is grounded in my own personal connection with my mission here on The Ash Flash and how it is driven by the stories, insights and inspirations that pass through me and onto this page.
I’m NEVER bored when I write. I’m NEVER scared when I write. I’m NEVER more engaged with my own mind and everything that passes through than when I write, communicate, and share with you here. That’s why I appreciate you being here so much.
Should you be interested, I want you to know that I can help you build this same kind of communication engine in your own business and I can teach you how to use it to sell more stuff. I’ve been doing it for years now, and I continue to do it in my current line of work as a salesman. The process is powerful in many ways. Both personally and professionally. This body of work and expertise is a sales process that just keeps getting better all the time.
The larger point I want to make before this post gets too long, though, is this…
Everyone is lying to you about success, because no one is sharing with you all of the boring details about what it took to get them where they are today. Just remember that every time you see, read or hear something that seems a little too good to be true. It probably is. In fact, this guy who crushed it on Jeopardy this year is a great example of what I’m talking about. I plan to write more about that another time. He topped the $2-Million Mark during 27 consecutive appearances on the show, but he spent a lifetime developing and honing the skills and expertise that allowed him to succeed. That allowed him the courage to play the game the way he did.
He practiced answering questions in his own living room while wearing dress shoes to get in the right mindset.
I love that story.
…and likely, until I shared it with you, you probably were not aware. You probably have not had the time to read, like I have, all about how he made himself into a success on Jeopardy.
Work gets boring. Life gets boring.
The key is to keep going. Keep studying. Keep practicing. Keep living. Keep fighting.
Keep putting your dress shoes on and going to work.
PS In my current role as a salesman for a fast-growing technology company, I don’t have to wear dress shoes most days. I do, however, still wear the same McDonald’s visor every single day (pictured below). I do this for three important reasons.
First, it does help keep the bright light out of my eyes at the computer. We work in a beautiful space with a lot of natural lighting.
Second, it’s a cool visor.
Third, wearing it has become a ritual and helps me achieve the mindset I need to cultivate to be successful in my job. Could I still cultivate that mindset without the hat? Of course, but why not find the things and the ways you need that will inspire you and help make your work and your days more fun, more engaging and more productive?
Go get em’!