Do you feel like you are stuck? Do you feel like you are in the same spot as you were years ago and there is nothing you can do about it? Do you feel as though you are stuck in the same spot and it will be that way no matter what you do? If so, the insight I recently came across regarding West Virginia coal miners might help.
In a show about the coal miners, they were talking about the way of life in West Virginia. The area is quite big where coal is mined. This is the main job of individuals who live in the state. There is not much in the state except coal. Of course, there are doctors and nurses, or McDonald's. There is not a lot of job opportunity in that region.
All of the coal miners were saying 'that's just how it's going to be'. Basically, everyone would be a coal miner or work for McDonald's. �The coal miners would be willing to risk their lives every day, on the job, because they do not have anything else available to them in the area where they live.
I realize that their situation is different from my own and probably yours as well. There are several factors to consider, such as upbringing, experience and education level. However, what I am about to share with you, should universally apply to anyone in some form or fashion.
Conceding to One's Fate
One of the things the coal miners discussed during the documentary is the fact that the coal miners would get black lung, no matter what they do. Basically, accepting that fact that they would be getting black lung. In the documentary, the miner describing black lung was not wearing a mask. His father was actually dying from black lung and here he is accepting the same fate.
Inhaling the coal dust is what causes black lung. Common sense dictates that if you wear a mask, you are protecting yourself. The miner describes how he doesn't wear a mask and accepted that there is nothing he can do and that he will be getting black lung regardless.
Basically, he is conceding to his fate, based on what he thinks will happen. I see this mentality in so many situations and industries. It drives me crazy. People are not taking action for themselves and simply think that because they cannot think of a way out of the situation or its too much work, they aren't going to do anything, basically copping out.
It's the same as saying 'I don't have time', a way for the individual to feel that there is nothing they can do about it, so they don't have to do anything. Everything in life, in your career, family life, etc., can change. There is always something you can do to make your life better.
Making Changes for a Better Life
As individuals, we have the power to make changes to make our lives better, be it small or big changes. We can all make changes to set ourselves on a better path. The mentality like those coal miners in West Virginia is toxic. That rollover mentality that they surrender and there is nothing they can do about it and just roll with the punches, letting life roll over them.
A really good quote I read one time talked about how there is going to be a decision that you make in life that will see you either make the decision or life will decide for you. Too many people let others make their decisions, especially involving their career, essentially giving up. They do not take control of their life.
Like the coal miners, they are letting the black lung come because they expect it, so they don't' wear a mask.
Personally, I have experienced this path myself. In the past I was working as an IT pro, hopping from job to job to be able to earn more money. I thought I could earn more by moving from job to job. I would stay on a job for about a year or two and then move on. Eventually, it came to a point when I thought that I was experiencing a mentality that I would be in this one job position and not move forward, being an admin, in the same state.
I never thought that I would be able to be in a position where I could quit a high paying job. You get into a certain routine or mindset and cannot consider that you can make a huge change in your life. You may not consider that you are capable of more and can react differently to life than you normally do. In most cases, one does not take any initiative because it would be a huge change.
I was basically settled, liking my job and feeling like I was doing just fine. I never even dreamed that I could find a better opportunity, working for myself and creating my own company. I feel that a lot of people have this same mindset and do not dream big.
It's important to ask yourself what you want in life and to dream big. When asked, most people would say they dream of making more money in the position they are in or possibly working for a bigger company in the same position, such as Google or Microsoft. While this is all well and good, you should be dreaming bigger, looking outside of what you are currently doing and asking yourself what will make you truly happy.
Ask yourself what you want to do. What makes you happy? If there were no obstacles, what would you do with your career? Without any remorse, think crazy and wild. Over time, you will realize that your dreams could actually become a reality. Your brain will latch on to the idea and you can begin to create a plan of action.
As an example, let's say you want to be an astronaut. Of course, this may sound like a crazy idea, but it could happen. Think about what it takes to be an astronaut. What would you need to do to make this dream a reality? By thinking in this mindset, you are able to make decisions to reach your goals.
Making tactical decisions and goals based on what you want to do will help you to realize what you want to do. With this example, you could go to work for NASA or find another path within your career to be involved with the space program.
By having just an inch of belief, you can then make incremental actions to begin to make your goal a reality. As you start to move up to your goal, you will earn a win, which will help to inspire you to see that your dream 'may be possible'. As you complete steps towards your goal, you will begin to get excited and realize that you can reach your end goal.
In my opinion, being successful is equal to thinking better. Believe that you can change anything you want, just by taking small steps to get started. Avoid getting into the mindset that you are just stuck. When you do, you will find that you can achieve anything.
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