Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All Stars

Once upon a time in America, people would get a job with a company and stay there a long time, maybe even until retirement. Some people really enjoyed their jobs and took pride in doing it well. In return, some companies showed their appreciation for employees by giving them raises, bonuses, parties at big holidays and benefits like insurance and pension plans. But that was a long time ago it seems.

Even in situations where a person might not stay with a company for a lifetime, there were still situations where a person might be really good at something, enjoy their work and stay for a number of years. Maybe they did not get all those benefits but they were paid well enough so that they could afford to take time off for vacations and buy their own health insurance. But those types of situations are getting harder to find unless you are in a very specialized profession that still has a lot of slots to fill.

So how is a person to cope with this changing landscape?

With the way business is going these days, it is almost like we all need to be stars in whatever we do. It looks as though major corporations have decided to view those who work for them as parts to be swapped out whenever convenient, which doesn't inspire a person to do more and better things to contribute to the company or be loyal or regard it as any kind of extended family. Organizations that choose to operate that way are very short sighted because those who have experience and knowledge will only contribute so much if they do not feel appreciated.

So the solution for the motivated individual is to seek satisfaction by starting your own business, and if you don't really want to do that, take up a hobby or activity that you can really put your energy into. We need to feel our energy being put to good use or at least put into action in a way that makes us happy. One way or another, we have to apply our energy in a way that stimulates our life energy for the better. In that way we can create associations with others who share our joys, visions, goals and loves.

Being happy will help boost your immune system and keep your sense of humor intact. There used to be corporations where you could count on being part of the corporate family for a long time as long as you did a good job, and lots of people got pride and satisfaction from that. But as that outlet diminishes in today's world, we have to become stars in our own world.

This reordering of priorities is simply a necessary survival skill. If you haven't been thinking that far outside the box, take a little reflective time every morning and give it some thought. Mull over your dreams. Take a walk. Enjoy just being alive and looking around. We have to be the stars in our own lives, and that means we write the play and cast the characters. Life is not a rehearsal for what comes next. This is it. Enjoy it. Be the star in your own production.

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