There is no class, while getting your career degree, for handling unemployment, underemployment, or looking for work. That’s not important to them. It is almost guaranteed that throughout a contemporary career, you will be out of work at least once. That isn’t a failure on your part. You are not a bad person. Your skills still have value. You have value. Just be persistent, positive, proactive, preoccupied, and keep believing in yourself, now and always!
You sometimes might not realize how much the grime that’s accumulated in your system is affecting you until you start dislodging it. The stresses of life build up innocently. Too many days without getting enough sleep, not eating well, not drinking enough water, or not taking care of yourself can, like my rowing machine’s chain, generally lead to a build-up of gunk that probably slowed down my rowing stats for years… let’s compare next week?
I have this quote hanging out with my writing tablet: “A day I have not written, is a day I have wasted.” I’ve wasted many days in the past. ‘I’ll get around to it tomorrow.’ ‘I don’t have enough time to write, row, or do what I want to do.’ ‘If I put time into doing anything, I’ll be tired tomorrow.’ All’s true. It’s all about understanding one’s limits and breaking them without breaking yourself.
Maintaining my rowing machine has become a fun hobby for me. While I’ve known about some metric and standard/American sizes for a while now, it’s a fun tidbit to know that the seat, shown in the upper part of the picture below, is in metric whereas the rest of the machine is in standard. Concept2 must have outsourced that part of the production. If only we could maintain our bodies as easily as our machines.
I was in athletic shape once. I worked hard for months, rigorously studying fitness, until stopping for years. Careers are similar. You get the degree and perhaps opportunity, until you stop trying. Maybe you don’t get fired, laid off, or underemployed. Maybe it’s just you get disenfranchised. The nice thing about being a contractor, workin’ “the gig life,” is that your career fitness is always in athletic shape. You’re always fit and ready to work.
As soon as I realized my current goal, writing “The Story,” things fell into place. I stopped wasting time with things I didn’t care about. I reinvested in my health. Your goals don’t have to be lofty! Let’s revisit last week’s Dr. Mindbender, photographed below. His goal is just to play this Pac-Man arcade cabinet. While playing, he might notice people laughing at him. He doesn’t care. He’s focused on his goals!
Focus on yours!
Don’t run from your pain! Whether it’s a something physical like an injury or something mental like ennui, learn to embrace that pain. Pain will remind you of your motivations more than the seduction of any numbing pleasure. Pain will be with you always. Pleasure is fleeting and addicting. Pleasure will leave you in both your darkest hours and when everything seems wonderful, whereas when disciplined properly, pain will be motivation toward achieving your goals.