For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of musical theatre. There's something amazing about the communication of thematic ideas that happens via song from the stage. That's the magic of theatre - A message can hit you in a much deeper way because, perhaps, you're not expecting it.
So I give you this message from the show Legally Blond for the new year:
"With the chance you've been given, why are you not driven as hell?"
I wonder about this often when is watch people treading water in their career. They're unhappy with their station at work, but they refuse to toughen up and push forward. Perhaps it's because it's easier for them to hate life than to improve life. Perhaps it's because complaining is more fun than executing achievement plans. Perhaps it's because while they don't like where they are, they're scared to venture in to a place they don't know.
Whatever it is, it's time to make a decision to do something. Now, I know... "But Heather, you don't know my current career situation. You don't know about my monster boss. You don't know about the family issues I'm dealing with right now. You don't know about the aliens that landed in my back yard last night." You're right. I don't know about those specifics of your life. But if there's one thing I know, it's that for every hill in life, you can find 50 reasons not to try to climb it.
Get over your excuses and get a productive chip on your shoulder. It's time. Ask yourself why you're not driven...and be ready to accept the answer as it is, no matter how much it hurts, because it could come down to the fact that you're placing your focus in other areas of your life, that you need to shake things up, or that you're lazy. What ever the honest reason is, don't hate the truth - work with it.
And if you don't think that the chance you've been given is worth being driven as hell over, consider the following - You have been given the chance to grow a career in an industry:
Where no matter who you are and what skills you bring to the table, you are valuable
Where your ideas are encouraged
Where smart risks can be permitted and are often encouraged
Where friendships and support networks can be built that will last you through every stage of your career
Where the growth potential of your career is only limited by your own actions and desires
Where you can choose to grow through your career at your own pace
Where the people around you, and I mean the MAJORITY of people around you, actually care about your success and growth.
If that doesn't bring out the desire to fight for your career and give it a, "Hey Punk, Let's Dance!" then I don't know what will. If you want ANYTHING in this world, you have to learn to fight for it the right way. No one is going to hand it to you, and if you fight for it in a dirty way, you may get what you want... but it won't last because you'll be so worried about someone cutting your throat to take it that you won't be able to make the most of it. Improve your career, and do it the right and ethical way. You're going to work harder than you ever have before but, as the song says, "Though I can't take the day off, I just think of the payoff." And that payoff will be there, I promise you.
The chip on your shoulder will make you smarter and bolder. As Elle says, "No more whining or blaming, [You] are reclaiming your pride!" Find what that chip is for you, and make keeping it on your shoulder a priority for you in the coming year.
What's the "chip on your shoulder?" What drives you? I want to know!