“You simply cannot craft a successful, rewarding and happy career or life if you don’t know yourself deeply, intimately and fearlessly.”
This outstanding line comes from an article I just read on the always inspiring Forbes.com website. The title of the article is "How Superficiality Will Kill Your Career" and it’s a powerhouse of a read. I've talked a lot in this blog about how to be happy at work. There are also countless books published on this topic every year that try to teach this concept.
The very fact that there are so many articles and books on the subject of happiness in the workplace illustrates the extent of our mutual, nationwide discontent at work -- but are the solutions we have been coming up with too superficial to really make any profound or lasting changes?
I do believe that there are times when small surface tweaks can make large changes, but that depends on the nature of the person trying to change. There are also times when sitting down, digging deep, and having a serious heart-to-heart with oneself are needed.
How many times have we seen a friend, family member, and co-worker complain bitterly about their job or their industry, blaming their unhappiness on their workplace, their field, their boss, or their perceived (or real) lack of opportunity for advancement?
How many times have we seen these same people pick themselves up, go off and find a new and supposedly “better” job, only to start the same series of complaints, or different complaints that are just as bitter, within weeks or months of starting this new position?
How many times have we seen people study and train for a whole new career in a whole new industry, only to dislike it just as much as the one they disgustedly left?
From the outside looking in, it’s so easy to see that the issue is something inside the unhappy person -- some innate behavior or character trait. But when one is knee-deep in the middle of it, when your hopes or expectations have not been fulfilled (whether they were realistic or not), when you feel trapped by things and circumstances around you, it’s not so easy to see that the problem actually resides inside of you. Is it?
The Forbes article proposes 10 specific questions to ask yourself before you decide to jump ship and find a better job.
But I believe there is a step even before looking at those questions. It is the step you must take from blaming things other than yourself, to personal accountability.
I believe so strongly in personal accountability, for one’s career and other aspects of life, that I’ve written an entire book on it, and continue to write blog posts about this critical topic.
The switch from victim to accountable for my own career, my results, my happiness is a major internal change. It starts with a good, hard look at one’s own attitudes with the knowledge of -- and understanding -- of what true accountability is.
Accountability means accepting responsibility for your attitude, performance, behavior & the results they yield. It is a powerful motivator, a powerful agent of change, and a powerful and fulfilling way to live your life.
Do you see a gap? If you read about accountability, do the concepts appeal to you? If so, then perhaps you are ready to make this all important first step -- the step that just might place you in the minority of American workers today: Someone who is genuinely happy and fulfilled at work.