September 29, 2008

Perception

Posted in Life tagged , , , at 9:25 pm by Andrew McMillen

I’ve mentioned reframing before. It’s powerful, but difficult to keep in mind. Seth’s post is a timely reminder, though – bolding is mine:

How much of your day is spent doing things you have to do (as opposed to the things you get to do.)? In my experience, as people become successful and happier (the subset that are both) I find that the percentage shifts. 

You’d think that this happens because their success permits them to skip or delegate the have to tasks. And to some extent, this is true. But far more than that, these people redefine what they do all day. They view the tasks as opportunities instead of drudge work.

I don’t buy into the notion that we can’t enjoy what we do all day. That any personal satisfaction achieved in the workplace should be met with self-depricating humour and subsequently buried. That each working week should be considered a battle toward Friday and a weekend of excess, at the cost of health. 

When did this pervasive ideology take root?

Rarely do I witness people – in any field of experience, professional or otherwise – take pride in what they do for a living. 

I see it as a choice – mediocrity, or excellence. Doing enough to get by – the bare minimum – or excelling, extending, exceeding.

I’m starting to remind myself of a character from Office Space, so I’ll give it a rest.

It’s just one of those little rules you create for yourself, though. If only a few people notice the positive choices you make, there’s a good chance that those few are the ones who hold the keys to further opportunities.

Perception is the key concept here. Have to do versus get to do.

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3 Comments

  1. This Devil's Workday said,

    It’s interesting you bring this up since I’m struggling with a little bit of motivation today, when I probably need it most right (reaching the end of uni semester). I blamed it on a late night to bed.

    I have two friends at uni, one whose results are almost perfect, the other whose results are dismal. The first one gets shit done early and never ends up having to stress about anything, and would never have any late nights. The second leaves everything to the last minute and considers getting stuff done early “sacrificing real life for something that doesn’t really mean much”.

    So yeah, definitely a perception, and I sure as hell would rather be the first guy than the second (he’s the one with all the job offers after all).

  2. It’s funny you should mention uni – I still choose to leave assessment for the few classes I have remaining until the last minute, so to speak, due to my decision to focus on work and writing commitments.

    I don’t stress; I’ve become adept at achieving the minimum effort required to pass courses.

    You’d be absolutely right to call me a hypocrite for admitting this after my advocation of the virtues of excellence above. But to me, it’s a case of prioritising my activities – the few remaining classes I have are of minimal importance in comparison.

    Thanks for the comment, and for reminding me that it’s been a while since I’ve written about university. Is it time for me to revisit?

  3. This Devil's Workday said,

    Yeah I know what you mean. If you’re already working then there’s not a whole lot of point if you’re merely working up the credit points.


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