It’s been about seven months since I left my last job — which I hated and resented and spent an awful lot of time churning about — and now I realize that there was hidden gold in that experience. And I totally missed an opportunity that was right in front of me.
That missed opportunity was the 45+ minutes I had, while driving in each direction, to listen to motivational and self-improvement podcasts and get my act together mentally, so I could succeed, no matter what.
There I was, in the car for nearly 2 hours each day, away from the rest of the world (except that I was driving), able to listen to podcasts and audio recordings of instructors who could tell me important things about how to better live my life. I could have even listened to video, because half the time, they’re just talking heads standing there talking about something I want to hear.
Listening to motivational podcasts now, and running up against time constraints… because I can only do one thing at a time, and if I’m doing something else while I’m listening, it’s hard for me to hear and understand… it pains me to think how much time I lost to just listening to music.
But there it is. Lesson learned.
Actually, looking back, I realize that the state I was in pretty much prevented me from making use of that opportunity. Bottom line — I was tired. All the time. I was depleted from anger and resentment and frustration… and marinating in an environment of angry and resentful frustration with people all around me. The changes that took place at my old job were NOT handled well — it’s like they wanted to get rid of us, so they make it as hostile as humanly possible.
Well, it worked. A lot of us left. And the ones left behind are not all that happy, from what I hear.
It’s hard to take advantage of opportunities when you’re tired and angry and depleted. So, not listening to motivational podcasts while commuting probably wouldn’t have been all that easy, even if I had thought of doing it.
Being rested and clear and well-exercised is a huge help. And that’s where I am now. And instead of listening while driving, I’m listening and also reading while I’m riding my exercise bike in the mornings. It’s a great use of my time and it combines two things I desperately need — 5 miles of bike riding and some serious motivation and food for thought, first thing in the morning. It works out really well, I have to say. Really well indeed. And with all the people doing success and motivational podcasting and publishing, these days, I never run out of things to listen to. Some of the folks I listen to are obviously selling something, but if you can look (or listen) past that, there’s good to be found there.
So long as you don’t go broke following their pricey advice 😉
Anyway, that missed opportunity tells me this — each situation, no matter how challenging and defeating, may have something you can use for the better. I’ve heard it said that from our parents we inherit the traits that allow us to survive them. The ways they make us crazy, even harm us, are usually matched by some character trait we inherit that lets us get through — and eventually past — all the mistakes they made. I think life is the same way. It throws all sorts of crap at us — brain injuries, pain, suffering, isolation… the works. And in those experiences are opportunities to grow stronger and better as a result.
Am I glad I got clunked on the head all those times and got my “wiring” scrambled up over and over again? Not exactly. But if it had to happen, I might as well get something from it.