“I just want to get out of here”
– Getting to the next level requires maximizing your current position
I can remember it like it was yesterday….I was in PT school (yes, 20+ years ago). I was saying to another student about how I couldn’t wait to be done with the semester and how I couldn’t wait to get out of PT school. She turned to me and said with a sweet southern drawl, “Phiiiillllll, don’t wish the day away.” Those words hit me hard (obviously since I still remember them like they were yesterday). I am typically a very optimistic person and this cut me like a knife. I wish I could tell you that I cleaned up my act and lived in the moment from then on. But that has not been case. I have spent a good portion of my career (more than I would like to admit) always looking toward the next thing and not enjoying where I am currently at, regardless about how I feel about it.
When we obsess about what is next and bemoan where we are currently at, we miss what we are supposed to do and learn now, we sacrifice our future goals because we are always looking toward the future while being dissatisfied with our present. This is the huge trap that ambitious people fall into. Yet, this trap is a defining characteristic of ambition— looking to a goal in the future, but you also need to ask yourself…
What is my role right now?
What can I do with excellence right now?
Those who are ultimately successful, KNOW their current role, ACCEPT their current role, and MAXIMIZE the present. When they put their best into the the present and get everything out of the current moment, they set themselves up for the next level. They ultimately get to where they want to be.
It is really about shifting your mindset toward your current situation. I know that is easier said than done. But I promise, I have seen it time and time again, those who are able to change their mindset toward their current situation are the ones who are ultimately able to have the life and career they love.
“Your circumstances won’t change until your mindset does”
So how do you do this? Here is a concrete way to act. These actions will change your mindset.
In this article, baseball GM Theo Epstein, who led the Red Sox and Cubs to World Series Championships, shares the 20% rule. He attributes getting ahead in your career to this 20% rule. Theo’s career advice is to figure out what your boss doesn’t like to do and do it for them. You will gain unbelievable experience and you’ll make them happy, improve their quality of life and their work experience.
Go ahead, try it for four weeks. Watch how your mindset changes. You will have to be intentional everyday day about writing down what you are going to do for your manager or coworkers to make their day easier (hint: it will probably make your life harder)
So what can you do this week to make your manager’s or coworkers’ lives easier?
As for me, I am going to give a presentation that one of my leaders asked me to give. While I am not really excited about it, I will give it and shift my mindset. When I have done that in the past, my reluctance has always been met with improvement. These experiences have made me a better researcher, clinician, and speaker. Now here is your turn to be brave, post below what you are going to do. This will help hold you accountable.