Get Off the Beaten Path!

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope you’re having a fantastic day!

As we head into the weekend, some of us are planning a couple of days of rest and recreation. For others, it’s two days to catch up on everything that got neglected around the house because of the “real” job. And, depending on your job, this could be the busiest two days of the week.

Over the years, I’ve worked a lot of side jobs. When I was in the Navy, I spent my evenings and weekends on the receiving end of a 40-lane bowling alley. Have you ever wondered who that is in the shadows back there, taking care of pin jams and ball returns? That would be me.

!f just a few minutes. I ran back and forth all night and then collapsed in exhaustion.

I’ve had other side jobs – pizza delivery, standup comedy, running my own businesses. You see, I learned early in life that, once you negotiate your starting pay on most jobs, that’s about as good as it gets. You may get a promotion here and there. But for the most part, the best you can hope for is a cost-of-living increase that’ll let you keep living exactly the way you did last year.

If you want anything extra along the way, you have to do a little extra to get it. So, we put in a little overtime, take a side job, sell some old belongings, or turn off the cable TV and eat Cheerios for a month. Whatever it takes. Because the fact remains, whatever you made on your job last year is about what you can expect to make this year.

I’ve met lots of people who had some pretty demanding jobs on the side. I once worked with a project manager who spent almost every evening in a theme park, cooking hundreds of pizzas until closing time. And every morning, he was back on the job. I’d be lying if I said you could never tell. He mumbled every word and walked like the living dead.

It goes without saying that we can only keep up a pace like that for a certain amount of time before it catches up with us. Yet, with just about any one of those people, if you were to suggest something a lot less stressful, maybe even enjoyable, that they can do from the comfort of their own home, they shake their head and move on. And the answer is always the same. “That’ll never work.”

We’ve been conditioned from the time we were children to believe hard work is the only way to succeed. If you’re not reaching your goals, you’re not working hard enough. Get a better education, find a better job. Put in some overtime and climb the corporate ladder. And the reward for all that is, you get to work even more.

At some point in history, somebody figured out you could move a large rock a lot easier if you roll it instead of trying to pick it up. It’s called working smarter. No matter what your goal, there are lots of ways to get there. But banging your head against a wall for 46 years will give you a headache. The key is finding an easier way to get the job done.

That means keeping your mind open to opportunities others can’t (or won’t) see. The well-trodden path is crowded and, if you keep following the same crowd, you’ll get to the same destination, behind every one of them. If you want to arrive at a different (hopefully better) destination, you have to get on a different path.

And that can be scary. It means taking a leap of faith into the unknown, going against conventional knowledge, and trying something you never saw yourself doing. And it may take a few tries to make any real progress. But if you keep at it, sooner or later you’ll find the path ahead is a lot shorter and more open than what you left behind.

Try to find a little time to relax this weekend. And, in that time, open your mind to possibilities you never really considered. Dream of not where you are, but where you’d like to be. Then begin thinking about how you can get there. It’s possible you already know. The answer may be right there waiting for you to take the next step. There’s only one way to find out. That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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