maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: The Suck Factor and the Rule of 3

It sucks when you have a job that you hate. I get that. I have had some pretty crappy jobs in my life.

It sucks when your boss is an ass. I get that too. I have had some bad bosses.

It sucks when you work in a negative and emotionally toxic environment. Been there and done that too.

If you checked off any, or all of the above boxes as your life right now that sucks. The reality however, is that you only have three choices when the Suck Factor strikes:

  1. Change your Job.
  2. Change your Attitude - Embrace the Suck, Look for the Good and Dare to Be Great.
  3. Choose to be Miserable. (Yes it is a choice.)

Right now some of you are thinking (or screaming out loud), “Brian. You don’t understand.”

I get that a lot and, yes I do understand.

Remember Simple versus Easy. Simple is lack of complexity. Easy is lack of effort. Your choices are Simple, not Easy.

As nice as it would be for everyone in the world to, “Find a job you love so you never have to work another day in your life.”, that is not the reality for most people. Until you find a job that you love, try finding things to love about your job. Stop bitching, moaning and complaining and look for the good in the job, the pay, the benefits, the people you work with or the people you serve. Look for how you can contribute to the organization or to some part of the world through what you do. The job exists for a reason. You provide some type of service or benefit to someone. What is that? Find a way to contribute and make a difference in the organization. If you cannot do that, go back and decide on option #1 or #3.

You cannot change your boss. If your boss is an ass, that sucks. Find a way to Embrace the Suck. Start by reading The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton. Take time to reflect on what you love about your job and your work. Choose not to let the boss take that from you. Instead of battling your boss, try asking what you can do to help him or her. Let them know that you understand he or she is under a lot of pressure and has a lot of demands that you are likely unaware of and ask what you can do to help them and better serve them. If you cannot do that, go back and decide on option #1 or #3.

It is tough working with energy vampires, dream stealers and whining, snivelling, malcontents.  It can suck the life out of you, if you let it. Start by stepping back and asking, “What piece of this do I own? How am I contributing to the negativity in the workplace? Am I someone whose attitude others complain about?”  Go on the offensive and work to change the culture. Start to talk about what’s right with the workplace and the world instead of what’s wrong. Start looking for the good in others and acknowledge what they do well. Praise for effort and process, not outcome. Focus on shifting from being problem identifiers to problem solvers. Find one other positive person and start going for coffee or lunch with them. Then recruit a 3rd for your coffee / lunch group and build from there. Go for a walk on your breaks or go find a quiet place to read a good book.  If you cannot do that, go back and decide on option #1 or #3.

Life is not fair. You are going to run into the suck factor. Find a way to Embrace the Suck, Look for the Good and Dare to Be Great.

Take care.

Brian Willis


Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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