Making it easier to do great work. Hacking all things stupid.

2016: Pick Your Best Hardships

You should NOT be taking on many of the hardships shoved at you!

Adapted from my new book, Future Strong.

MOST hardships shoved at MOST employees are designed to benefit
the company, NOT you.
If you wish to be Future Strong throughout the
coming year, you will need to consciously, intentionally, choose which
hardships you will endure. Start examining which hardships and sacrifices
will help you because they will lead you toward your best future and
which ones will steal your future from you and should be avoided.

Most often, it’s a situational balancing act. Sometimes you’ll choose
a certain hardship — like working two or more jobs so your kid can go
to college — and other times the exact same hardship is just too much.
Like becoming totally stressed out because you must endure a pain-in-
the-ass boss at one of those jobs.

Here’s a simple exercise:
Two columns on a sheet of paper.

On one side, list all your current hardships and sacrifices which were
thrust upon you by your company or by the marketplace. (e.g., Dozens
of specific hardships that could fall under the heading “Do more with
less.”) Then, in the other column, list all those that YOU have chosen
to take on because it’s in your own best long-term interest. Like working
that second job for your kid’s college, or going back to college yourself
for further education. Compare the two columns. The ideal mix
for most people is in the neighborhood of 50/50:
Half thrust-upon
hardships —(let’s be realistic; that’s going to continue to happen)—
and half that you choose on your own, for your own future. If it’s
out of balance (like 65/35 in the company’s favor) you are either
Future Passive or Future Shackled — not a good position to be in!

The key is to be intentional: Choose the best hardships for
your best future.

Intentionally choose the best hardships…
That means there’s a difference between the hardships and sacrifices
that will help you on your journey to be Future Strong and those
that are Trojan horses — positioned as good for you and good for the
organization, but in reality are not.

If the Hardships are out of balance?
a) Negotiate with your manager about changing your project mix
b) If that’s not working (after at least three attempts), maybe it’s
time to move to a different company, or…
c) Start your own part-time business that balances out those
sacrifices, or…
d) Start your own firm completely

No matter what you choose, staying Future Passive or Future
Shackled is NOT an option!

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