Back in September 2010 I decided to start a series of blog posts called “Dave’s Diary.” In the beginning I wasn’t sure if the idea was going to gain any traction – to be honest it was pretty much just another task I had taken on at work (whose blog at that time was a bit of a dead zone). If someone had told me that I would still be writing that blog almost four years later, I wouldn’t have believed them!
Nonetheless, here I am. And being that today marks the end of a significant chapter in my professional life, and that endings are wonderful opportunities for reflection, I thought it might be fun to revisit some of my favourite articles from the past four-ish years, with a brief excerpt from each. I hope you get as much out of remembering them as I have!
You’re just not able to set out and hunt down that ONE job that, for you, soars above all others. That ONE job for which you wake up in the morning excited to go to work. That ONE job that never feels like work, regardless of the number of hours you put in. I believe that whatever your efforts, trying to find that job, for those reasons, is a venture that is doomed to failure from the start.
“To acknowledge oneself” brings to mind connotations of integrity, honesty, and self-affirmation. There is no argument or attempt to convince anybody of anything, rather a simple recognition of what you’re bringing to the table. A confident assertion made after a self-reflective process that says, “I know that I have value. These are some of the ways I think I could be of value to you.” This kind of attitude masks no insecurities, it is immune to counter-argument (because no argument is being made), and it sounds collaborative.
I’ve learned that there are many things that I enjoy and would love doing, and that an attitude of acceptance and ‘going with the flow’ of life makes it more likely that I’ll be able to do just that: enjoy life. I’ve learned that worrying too much about the future doesn’t make me feel good in the present, so I try not to as much as possible. I’ve also learned that there’s way more to a career than what you do to earn a paycheck. I think these are all things that stem from my dad’s cautionary tale of the profession of law.
First we have to acknowledge that “self” is a fluid, evolving construct – it changes over time, it changes according to how we look at it, it changes according to our surrounding environment. In a word, it depends…. This means that our stories – the ones we tell ourselves about ourselves – are open to re-authoring. All of these different selves are sort of floating around the ether, and we recognize different elements of them at different times, depending on the perspective we take during the moment of reflection.
Your personality is a movie, and assessment results are merely photographs. Your level of extroversion and introversion varies within a range of values, depending on your internal and external contexts at any given time.
What use would imagination be, if we only wondered about the most likely? The safest? The easiest? The most ‘realistic’? The reason that imagination is so great is that it has precisely no limitations…. It doesn’t matter a whit if what you imagine comes to pass or not – because that’s not the point of imagination.
Here’s an idea: thoughts don’t change physical reality, actions do. If certain thoughts make taking helpful actions more likely, and those actions lead to a positive change, that’s fantastic! But that in no way implies that the thought itself caused the change.
The good news about hope is that it’s resilient. Hope can exist even in the most desolate of situations. Hope depends on nothing. Hope is the last of our human freedoms. As famous psychotherapist and holocaust prison camps survivor Viktor Frankl put it, “everything can be taken from a man [sic] but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”