When I grow up ...

Sept. 1, 2010
Remember when you were little?

Remember when you were little? I think we all had big dreams of what we would one day do; some dreamt of being a fireman, astronaut or policeman while others settled on becoming Superman or Spider-man. What a list our parents and friends would hear ... we would tell anybody that would listen.

I can almost assure you that nowhere in all of my thoughts did I consider “tool distributor” as a career choice (not that I knew what one was).

Don’t get me wrong, being a tool distributor is not a bad thing, it just didn’t have enough popularity I guess to carry that status that would draw kids in. With all of the role models and superheroes of our time, I guess there wasn’t a call for a “Super Socket” or a “Rapid Wrench” to save the world. Even though most everything superheroic included some sort of robot or space ship or awesome car, did you ever see the “Mobile Tool Superheroes” being called into action when one of them was blown apart?

When is the last time you heard “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” from a tech, shop owner, co-worker or yourself? I bet it was fairly recent for most of you!

Now I am not even close to understanding the human psyche, but I believe that this phrase was born from a desire to be in a different place in our lives. Is it less an actual phrase than a way of pacifying the mind or soul searching? Funny thing: You don’t hear it much on excellent days or during the weekends (as long as we’re not working) but rather on long days, bad days, stressful days, when we’re tired, feeling like we’re not making a difference, losing focus ... and worse.

Repetition in life (like becoming proficient in our jobs) has a way of desensitizing us, the end result is that it takes something away that can change who we are. In becoming desensitized, we lose that spark or driving fire, and the energy level drops below what it was in the beginning.

This happens to each of us at a different rate. It would only stand to reason that a person doing piece work in a manufacturing plant would be affected by this long before someone that is self-employed, a CEO, VP, head of marketing, etc. who has control over a lot of details; the “absorption rate” of the repetitiveness is much faster on the factory floor. This creates a loss of focus and creates a tunnel vision of who we are.

How can we change this? How do we bring back the excitement?

Thankfully, like most things that are lost, we can find the spark again if we look hard enough. Not every job out there is glamorous or frontline, but one thing is for certain — every job out there is as important as the next, each dependent upon the other.

What matters is the state of mind you have at that job which dictates who you are, and who you will become.

Starting tomorrow, take time during your day to change up your norm. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just different! Find an interest or an organization outside of your route to become involved with ... thinking about your new interest can help the hours fly by and even re-inspire you during the day. Doing this generally results in recognizing that what we do isn’t all that bad, breaks down the mundane and helps restore a sense of purpose.

Learn to control the absorption rate and keep your mind alive and well.

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