Friday, 13 March 2015

Taking Things to Heart

This too shall pass.

You’ll find throughout your career that you have good moments and bad moments.

(I know! I was surprised too.)

Consistency is of course a good thing to strive for but it is never going to be a reality. You are human after all (I hope). So there will be highs and lows, great successes and the odd abject failure. And of course everyone around you is human too, so even if it’s only a minor failure in real terms you can find that it is treated by others as piss in their coffee.

Here’s my point:

Don’t take it to heart.

Neither the good nor the bad. Enjoy the praise and the accolades when you get them. Learn from the mistakes and the blame. But don’t dwell, don’t be complacent, don’t think of your character as being comprised of these moments.

You’re not defined by the past but by the present. Jumping for joy over last week’s performance review can lead you to fall right into a pit. And obsessing over an error-strewn Excel sheet can blind you to a new opportunity waiting for you. So look forward, not back.

Don’t misunderstand me – it’s natural and normal to feel down when things go badly, and to feel invincible when things go well. But be mindful, because scientists have found that the leading cause of 78% of screw ups is the belief that you finally know what you’re doing.

A career is a winding road of ups and downs. Just have the patience to see that nothing is permanent, good or bad. The sooner you can adjust to that, the faster you can react and respond, and avoid the traps of complacency or dejection.

Defeat and victory are both impostors. The true goal is just to keep learning.

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