Are attitude and opportunity really so closely related?

I am going to establish a comparison between two people and will introduce an specific situation in which we will observe both of these people react, then I will properly elaborate on the generals and particulars of the current point to review:

On one side we have “A”, 30 years of age, lives with his girlfriend (they both work), some pets, no kids: “A” has bills to pay, he rents, has a loan, typical grown people obligations.

On the other side we have “B”, in her 30’s, lives with her boyfriend (she has a steady job, he’s constantly in and out of it) and two kids (1 year and 9-10 months), one pet, mother-in-law lives with them (she offers no financial aid whatsoever), they have a house in the Caribbean, have a car, family near said house, one pet, house is still being paid,they rent in the city,  have loans, credit card debts,etc.

“A” and “B” work in the same company, they are friends, actually most of their department know each other; this is a 30-35 people department and 1 manager, this is a good job: fairly well paid, amazing benefits, weekends off, home office 80%-90% of the time.

“A” and “B” don’t really feel all that excited about their job anymore… the company is in no way related to their careers”

“A” and “B” don’t really feel all that excited about their job anymore but this is related to the tasks they perform, they don’t feel challenged anymore, they are not learning anything new; in reality “A” is a Graphic Designer and “B” studied Advertising but for a great number of particular situations ended up working in the same place; the company is in no way related to their careers so it is understandable that at some point they feel frustrated, trapped and all sorts of negative thoughts invade their minds.

One day they are all summon back to the office, home office has been cancelled, this lasts a week and then except for the manager and one collaborator, the entire department gets fired, the general reaction of course is shock, sadness, stress, uncertainty, common reactions to a situation like this however “A” is happy, “B”… not so much.

“A” is happy because he feels he wouldn’t have left the company soon enough and now he can do other things he loves, he knows his girlfriend won’t be all that excited about the news but he remains calmed, “B” immediately reacts with sarcasm as a coping mechanism to hide her frustration.

They get a full compensation, an unusual fact since nowadays most companies will only compensate their workers for 60%-70% tops, the company even offers a chance to apply once again within the next 3 months for any position available and promises to give them preference.

“A” starts planning how to make the most out of this money, how to use it for what he is choosing to do next … “B” is running around in circles thinking how to make the most out of this money to pay her debts”

“A” starts planning how to make the most out of this money, how to use it for what he is choosing to do next, “B” is running around in circles thinking how to make the most out of this money to pay her (and her boyfriend’s provoked) debts, support her children and fulfill her day to day financial obligations, the rest of the team starts planning some vacation time and the places where they will be applying for a position next.

Everybody advices “B” to move to the Caribbean, setup her house, find a job, after all, it is a place with high tourism traffic so finding a job when you speak english in a place like that is not all that complicated, “B” simply agrees with everybody which “A” knows is her way to ignore them.

“A” decides to invest his money on some certifications that will help him find better opportunities doing what he loves: Fitness, he also buys equipment he will be needing to do so and to properly train people, buys a bicycle to move around the city to save money on public transportation, buys stock for his clothing company, saves some money for 2-3 months worth of expenses, prints business cards to promote his services, starts designing his website, continues boosting his social networks to attract new customers, he even takes a moment to write to a friend in the Caribbean that might be able to get a job for “B” and her boyfriend, his friend says it is a given, he tells “B” about it, she just needs to mail her CV and her boyfriend’s.

“B” decides to pay a part of her debts and stay in town blowing off the job “A” had helped her get, she is continuously texting her ex teammates to ask if they already found a job,  everybody tags her in offers, she continuously dismisses every single one of them: “they’re too far”, “I need home office to take care of my children”, “the salary is too low”, “days off are not on the weekend” and so forth, quickly everybody stops trying to help her.

“Within a month, month and a half most of the guys find job… “B” is still on the look.”

Within a month, month and a half most of the guys find job; a friend of “A” ‘s tagged him on a job offer and he decided he would give it a try in spite having no proper experience in that sort of selection process or work environment and he is now finishing his selection process and is informed he only needs to take some paperwork to RH to get hired, “B” is still on the look.

What do you think has happened?

Lets compare “A” and “B”‘s reactions:

  • While “B” saw the lay off as a failure and an extra reason to stress about “A” saw it as an opportunity to actually get closer to one of his all time goals: Becoming a Fitness Coach, he seized the moment and turned it into a positive way to start moving!
  • While “B” continued running around in circles checking what everybody else was doing “A” started “moving his chips” in silence, focused only on what he had to do to get closer to the short term goals he had set for himself
  • While “B” continued dismissing possible job opportunities “A” took  a leap out of his comfort zone and decided to take a chance into the unknown
  • While “B” is simply trying to find ONE source of fixed income “A” has 3 different projects that managed properly will report him greater earnings

“…Companies are not interested in hiring people with attitude issues, they are seeking for people that have a hands on approach…”

If we read these points (We don’t even need to read them all that carefully) we can realize that, YES, OPPORTUNITIES ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO ATTITUDE, you cannot expect to be given all the opportunities you wish for if you go around life with a crappy attitude, because it says so much about you as a person and it says lots about your character; truth be told, companies are not interested in hiring people with attitude issues, they are seeking for people that have a hands on approach, people that proves to work well with others, goal oriented, laid back, optimistic, hard working.

Don’t make the mistake to stress over things that are not even within your control, it is a recipe for failure, focus on what YOU CAN DO to make the best out of every situation, stop looking at what everybody else is doing if it’s not to learn and apply to your own, take a time to actually be honestly happy for others success, don’t be afraid to try and fail, we are only humans and be sure that the fall will teach you more than simply getting your way.

 

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“I have no control over my own time”?

So I was on my way over to deliver my paperwork to finally get my degree and I took the subway, I was sitting reading my Kindle, minding my own business when I noticed a woman sat next to me and her boyfriend was there standing in front of her, all of the sudden the woman tells her boyfriend:

“I’m just going to ask you something, please don’t ever say we have plans again, just don’t say we have any plans whatsoever because nothing ever happens, we had plans for today, we had plans yesterday, plans Sunday, plans Saturday… we had plans since Friday…”

She said this in the most calmed manner so it shocked me even more, the man just replied: “So this is all my fault then, just my fault”, the woman said: “yes” and they were silent for a few minutes, after that she quietly asked him to hand her over some Kleenex, I turned my head a little bit and realized she was crying but you couldn’t tell by her voice because it never broke.

After this the woman said:

“Don’t worry I already understood that from the hundred things you have I am the two hundred…It is not even fair to my mom, I could have spend all morning with her but instead I left her alone, I am not treating her the way she deserves to be treated”

So the man replied:

“I am not like that, I don’t plan my days, I don’t plan everything I am going to do, I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER MY OWN TIME”

Wait… WHAT?!, OK, lets elaborate on this remarkably shocking affirmation:

  1. What do you mean you don’t have control over your own time?, do you wake up every day sit on your bed and wait for a phone call?, a mail?, a letter? Do you wait for somebody else to provide you with specific instructions on how you’re going to spend your days, weeks, months?
  2. I strongly believe this affirmation is a coward way out, this is one of the stupidest and easiest way to try and just strip yourself from any responsibility, it is a way to say “I just don’t care”, “It’s none of my business”; it is also a way to make the other person feel responsible for how the dynamics of the relationship is going to be and it is definitely not fair since it makes the other person stress over situations that fall totally outside of their circle of influence.
  3. When you say “I have no control over my own time” you are also saying you have no direction in life, a person with no control over their own time is a person that has no plans, no goals, no dreams and no path, this person has no idea where they’re standing or where they want to go nor how to get there, so what you’re really saying is “I have absolutely nothing to offer because I have no idea who I am”.

I had recently read an article by Calvin Sun in which he stated the following:

I don’t have time” really means “It’s not a priority”

“I am too busy” is a euphemism for “I don’t manage my time effectively”.

“I have too much going on”, “I’m overwhelmed”, and “My schedule is crazy” probably means “I need to learn to say NO”.

He nailed it!, didn’t he?, although the context is definitely not the same I believe these behaviors are closely related, as is everything in life; the attitude you take towards your personal life definitely affects your professional life and vice versa, it affects your relationships, wether these are romantic, familiar or work related so, next time you feel compelled to state something in the line of “I don’t have control over my own time” please take a few seconds to think about the veracity of that statement, if you find it to be true then change your approach and truly try to get to know yourself and your motivations, there is nothing sadder than watching people full of potential wasting it all away because they haven’t realized they have everything to succeed at the reach of their hands.