It's All About the Journey


This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.  You can find it and follow me here:

So I know what you're probably thinking:

"Oh jeez. Another clichéd LinkedIn article."

And, that's fine. You're allowed to think that and no one is forcing you to keep reading. But, if you're reading this, it's too late. Okay, that was a Drake cliché, but that is neither here nor there.

So, back to the title:

It's All About the Journey.

I have been thinking a lot about this statement lately. Currently, I am working at my third company since graduating from college back in 2012. From Information Technology Sales to Marketing, Publicity, Customer-Service, Restaurant Management and more, it's been quite the ride. I've met a lot of amazing individuals, learned some tough lessons along the way, negotiated pay and salary, worked in an office with 30 people and an office with two, waited tables and tended the bar six nights a week, and so much more. Often, I try to focus on the present, while preparing for the future. However, I do believe it is important to take a look back every once in awhile, just to see how far you've come.

Think about that first job you had out of college, or that first internship. Remember how nervous you were? How many skills you felt you had, but actually lacked? How tired you were those first few weeks? I'm not sure I've been that tired since. Actually, that is a lie, but I was pretty darn tired. Fast forward to today. Think about how much more prepared you come into the office every day. Or, how much better you are at speaking with your manager, standing up for yourself, and navigating the trajectory of your own career and life. And, think about how long you have to go.

It's a little scary, isn't it?

Now, I want you to think about all of the self-help and business books circulating the globe today. Some are written marvelously, as the writer understands the importance of the struggle and knows how to share in the essence of those emotions. Others are a little more difficult for me to enjoy. The writer has no idea how to share the struggle or journey of their career and life with their readers. They seem to compartmentalize the two, and it is always difficult for me to really feel the authenticity of their work. Life happens. Or, in layman's terms, s*^$ happens. This stuff is all a major component of the journey, and often, successful people forget to mention just how hard it is to become successful. The ups and downs are all a major component of the ride and this is something I'm really trying to keep in perspective lately.

As I work through my career and the ups and downs of my career and life, I have started to notice some things along the way. Maybe they'll help you out, maybe they won't. But, my hope is that they get you thinking and putting things into perspective. You never know.

  1. Money comes and goes.

Some weeks and months you're feeling good, and others, not so much. It's just the reality of the situation, but it might be the hardest one to accept.

2. You must define your own success.

Seriously. Turn off your phone. Delete your Instagram. Block out the noise. Focus on what you deem successful. What do you want your future life to look like?

3. Life has a lot of ups and downs.

This one is always hard to accept. It's not all unicorns and rainbows. Would you really want it to be though? Sometimes, I say yes, but when I really think about it, the struggle is always worth it.

4. Don't be so hard on yourself.

This is the hardest one for me. I get so down on myself sometimes. Maybe we all do but it's something I've been working on for a long time. Just think about the ways in which we speak to ourselves. Are you happy with your tone and how you make yourself feel? I think this is something we can all work on.

5. Time is scary and hard and scary. Did I mention it was scary?

Time is a flat circle. Some days, you don't have enough. Other days, you feel like the world is moving in slow motion. It only speeds up, it only gets tougher to balance (in my opinion) and it sure as hell ain't slowing down for you. Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, listen to great music, stop checking your watch every 15 minutes and just breath. It'll all work out.

6. Never give up.

Maybe that job isn't a fit anymore, but in the grand scheme of things, never lose sight of your vision and where you want to be. Don't let the roller coaster of life stop you from achieving what you want to achieve.