Killer Complacency

Dreams. We all have dreams. But, some people may be slower to actualize them. Life is short, be purposeful about how you live it, and in the end, happiness trumps all!

“The lesson I cherish the most, is how important it is to LOVE what you do. If you love what you do, and it’s making you happy, all the hard work and perseverance will pay off. You can’t stop people from trying to limit your dreams, but you can stop it from becoming your reality. Your dreams are up to you! I encourage you to always be curious, always seek out things you love, and always work hard when you find it.” – Kobe Bryant

Dreams. We all have dreams. But, some people may be slower to actualize them.

I was recently reminded of this notion. During a routine visit to my doctor for my son, a doctor who I have known my entire life, he reaffirmed what it’s like to be truly happy and passionate about what you do. We got through my son’s health checkup and had a catch up ourselves.  

I’m curious by nature and asked what the next chapter of his life was going to look like, since his schedule was smaller than normal.

He very intentionally answered, “I love what I do, I love my patients, I will be doing this for as long as I can. After so many years of this practice, I do however have a deeper appreciation for time, my time is valuable, and I use my down time with the people I love. It’s a balance between what I love doing, and who I love being around.”  

I left the appointment feeling further inspired, and excited for my own life and career, thinking about all that is yet to come for me. I share that same excitement and passion, I am blessed to have realized what it is I love, and I know who I am. I live my purpose every day.

My day was followed by a visit to the pharmacy. Immediately upon my arrival, there was a very different vibe and energy. This pharmacist was clearly not having a good day, which is completely normal, we all have these experiences from time to time.  

I made an effort to engage with him, I said hello and asked about his day. He was not happy, in fact, he seemed miserable, he was short and stoic.  I persisted, I really wanted to change this man’s day, I wanted to get a smile on his face. Those who know me, know that I am very driven by making people and places happier, and in that moment, I wanted to make the effort to bring some brightness into his day.

Some time passed, and I was called up to collect my son’s prescription. He spent time asking me questions and took me through the proper dosage. Sensing his deep unhappiness, I said, “how are you, you seem a bit preoccupied?”

Surprisingly, he was very forthright, he revealed to me, the magnitude of his discontent, he was miserable at work, he felt cheated by his boss, and felt deeply wronged. He started to vent and went into detail as to why he was wronged, how is boss was a crude man, unapproachable and selfish.  I was taken aback by his openness to share this with me.  It made me think, people want to be heard, people liked being asked how they are doing.  I was very happy in that moment, that a stranger felt they could share their feelings with me.  

I’ll admit, I couldn’t believe my ears, this, coming from a professional, a pharmacist.

Naturally, I asked him, “If you are so unhappy, why do you stay? Why don’t you do something about it? There are a lot of pharmacies out there, find something better that suits you, and aligns with your values.”

He paused and said, “I really don’t know.” He pondered, you could sense his feeling of being powerless, almost as if he had no choice.

Through my own life experiences, I have learned that successful people, happy people, and people with a passion, realize every day, that they have choices in life and tend to live life intentionally.

People who put themselves in difficult positions in order to maintain a lifestyle they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like, or to buy things they don’t require are chasing the wrong things.

Do what you love, be intentional with your time on earth, it would be an incredible tragedy to live a life that wasn’t yours.  Don’t be stuck!

My final thought for you reading this is:

Don’t normalize workplace misery. The worse thing is to become complacent with your happiness. You deserve better, you have a choice to make changes, only you are in control of your happiness.

In the end, I shared a startling statistic to the pharmacist. “Over 80% of people hate their jobs.” I further shared that life doesn’t have to be that way.  I reminded him that he has infinite choice and if his goal in life is happiness, he should be intentional in making the changes necessary to align with a happy life…. Even if it means leaving your current job!

Life is short, be purposeful about how you live it, and in the end, happiness trumps all!

Work will occupy a large portion of your day, week, year and life – I urge you to share this with someone who needs to hear that they have the choice to be intentional about their happiness; especially at work!

Tony Gareri

CEO & Culture Enthusiast

Drawing from firsthand experiences, Tony addresses how a culture evolution can lead to improved business results and happier work environments.

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