That exciting adventure called life

“Today is life, make the most of today. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you.” — Dale Carnegie

“I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.” My guess is that many of you have seen this bumper sticker at one time or another. Or how about: “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” The sad truth is that these messages so strongly speak to the attitude of way too many people. These are the folks who literally live for the weekend because Monday through Friday is shear, but necessary, drudgery.

Many years ago, I was a restaurant manager working 70–80 hours per week, and honestly, that was also my attitude at the time. Through a series of events, which included losing my job, I found myself in an interview for a position in commercial real estate. Toward the end of the interview, the interviewer hit me with a surprise, out-of-the-blue question. She just asked: “If you could do anything you wanted and get compensated well, what would you be doing?” Without much hesitation, but with a lot of surprise to me, I told her I would be in business for myself. The interview ended shortly after that response and I did not get the job.

However, within two months, I had established my own advertising agency. Within another year, I also started teaching training courses for Dale Carnegie Training part time. I tell people that the day I left the restaurant business and started working for myself is literally the day I stopped “working” and truly, 100 percent, started to live that exciting adventure called life! There is something that is absolutely invigorating about waking up every day and saying, “Good morning, Lord!” The sad flipside of this approach is: “O Lord, it’s morning!”

So, what is the message here? If you are stuck in a job and going through the same unhappy paces every day, look in the mirror and wake yourself up! Quit repeating yesterday, especially if yesterday sucked! It amazes me how many people live their life this way. Be your own best friend versus your own worst enemy and put a powerful combination together. That combination is ENTHUSIASM and DIRECTION!

To start, it is critical that you have a positive, almost magnetic, picture of where you see yourself in the future — DIRECTION. It could be a one-year, five-year, or long-term vison. With that vison in your sights, sit back and determine what steps it will take to get you there. If you have an exciting, magnetic vision, life itself immediately starts to get pretty darned exciting, as well.

A few years ago, I advised a young man who had the direction but not the enthusiasm and positive energy needed to get to where he wanted to go. To get to where he wanted, he needed a bachelor’s degree but he just could not find the time or energy to go through the effort. After a few coaching sessions, he made the move and enrolled in an online university program. Right now, he is within a year of getting that degree. On his journey the past few years, with a full-time job and a family and almost a full university load, he has never been happier! His ENTHUSIASM is contagious! Once he gets that degree and gets even closer to his vision, I can hardly imagine his excitement!

So, if you are stuck in a dead end or keep repeating a less-than-positive yesterday, pull yourself out. Figure out that vision. Make it magnetic and powerful! Then figure out what you need to do to get there. Make it that exciting adventure called life! I can’t wait till tomorrow because I keep getting better every day!

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