Today I finished a two week training session with two new college students joining our staff. Boy do I recall my first weeks in the Newspaper business, such a naive belief in myself. As I sat at lunch today with one of the new sales people I recalled a story that probably represents my career and this blog fairly well.
I was in my sixth or seventh year in the newspaper, and at this point in my career I was probably considered by some extremely cocky. This was truly a symptom of the success I had been able to accomplish to this point. This Cockiness I carried at that point allowed me to push the boundaries without fear. Fear of failure, retribution or even being fired. As I look back that might be the most confident I have ever been in life, the freedom I felt and the since of being bullet proof to what the world could possibly do to my path made me very aggressive and free of boundaries. My manager at the time was new to our team and had ideas about change that needed to take place, I tried hard to learn his ways and found that I did find great levels of success. However I pushed the boundaries on an idea I had and did not ask permission, why would I since I had always been a leader in sales on the team. Needless to say he was not happy and began to try and put me in my place, unfortunately for him I had reached that place of freedom that allowed me to challenge his tactics. That could have been the end of my career in this industry if this employer had been fast to anger and quick to fire. Lucky for me and hopefully my future employers, he was not, and instead we found a balance in that argument, where we could both be confident in the relationship moving forward. The point is I was very confident and the thought or fear of losing my employment allowed me to speak freely and honestly in the face of conflict.
The challenge I ponder today is how I help develop young people, sales staff and even my own boys, to that level of confidence. Not Cocky, but free from boundaries of fear. So much in life for me has changed over time. The world has landed several strong punches which seem to have shaken my path to life from time to time, but I still know that feeling.
Was that something that was taught to me? I had employers and supervisors that helped me find freedom in creation, I had teachers that believed in me and dared me to succeed, and my own family obviously gave me a foundation which made me feel confident in my place in the world. But what gave me the strength to stand up to fear? God? Wife? Family? Success?
This question might just be too hard to determine the right answer. I do hold strong to my faith that God will never give me more than I can handle, however I learned early in my faith to make sure your prayers don’t ask for an opportunity to be tested. And how do I train faith?
I guess if I had to leave my sons with a few words of wisdom it would be these:
- Hold Strong to your faith and your values in life. – These foundations will feed you confidence when you need them most.
- Never allow the fear of Money to be your ruler. – The fear of loss when it pertains to items in your possession and the fear of loss in employment have made the majority of the unhappy people in this world.
- Live your dream daily – It is one thing to set your goals and shoot for the stars but I would argue that the rocket scientist which built the rocket was having a blast just thinking of all the ways to get it done. Your employment can enrich your life if you allow it to be the tools and fuel which moves your dreams to reality.
- When in doubt go for it! – remember our maker will never give you more than you can handle. You were made for greatness and only your choice to turn away might be stopping you from achieving it!
- Remember your favorite things and do them often.