What's up Wednesday: The sharpening

“The things you think about determine the quality of your mind.”

Marcus Aurelius

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Wouldn't it be nice if there was a device that we could stick our heads into, twist it around a bit, and have it come out better than when it went in: Less stressed, less scattered, more settled...Sharper. A pencil sharpener for the head, but one that isn't too painful.

It would make things much easier than the old fashioned way of having to take ownership, responsibility then action to achieve improvement. Ah yes, the easy option. Alas, there's rarely an easy option; I've learned that over years and I've done the hard-yards - Taken ownership and action to make things happen; it works for me generally as I'm a reward for effort sort of guy and am not afraid of some hard work. I'm uncompromising; no quarter asked and none given. [Except to the special people.]

Working hard to be ok

I've had to work hard in life; nothing came easily or with low effort.

Whether it's been to acquire skills and knowledge, better health, emotional intelligence, understanding, physical endeavours, better relationships and even to be the best version of myself generally I've had to work hard to make it happen, to be ok.

I'm lucky to have been, and still be, better than ok in many aspects of life but sometimes I'm not. There's times I feel so broken that it seems I'll never pull it back together, that the pieces of me are so scattered they seemed lost forever; many feel the same, maybe even some of you. It's human, and it's ok to not be ok sometimes. I think so anyway.

The thing I've found over the years is that my life is very much dictated to by my mind: thoughts, attitudes, feelings, understandings, opinions and so on. No surprises there I think. It makes sense that what I think about, and what surrounds me, dictates the quality of my mind and lately - being honest - it's been of a declining quality. I have seen it happening and acknowledge why it's happening; I've just not dealt with it for various reasons much to my disappointment.

The need to sharpen up

There's a few people here who know I've been feeling a little disenchanted with my current job; I don't want to go into detail, let's just say toxic environments don't work well for me. I've had to operate in them in the past through necessity however these days it's not something I'm overly inclined to accept, no matter how much I get paid. Let's lump toxic people in there as well because I can't stand them either.

Unfortunately I've been tolerating that situation and it's blunted me, worn me down to the nub so to speak I guess. It's not a good situation and what makes it worse is that I've chosen to do nothing about it; change can be difficult even for one such as I who typically embraces change; seeks in indeed. Hmm, I'm human after all.

Yesterday I arrived home from work and pulled on my hiking boots for a brutal hike of almost four hours. It was 20:30 when I finally arrived home completely fatigued as I had pushed incredibly hard; it was a purge of energy as such, negative energy. Half of the hike was done by the light of a head-torch as it was night time...I didn't mind though...I just needed time to think, I mean really think, and the expenditure of energy helped me do so.

Over a hasty dinner of left-over soup and heavily buttered toasted olive rye bread I continued the thinking process but by then I pretty much knew where my head was at. I had to sharpen up my act. That means be a better version of myself, be self-honest and to put myself first - I think I deserve that right? All that means taking the ownership and action I'd failed to deploy.

I decided that spiralling downwards in attitude and mindset any further is unacceptable as is the rather negative feelings I'm experiencing brought on by the toxicity and negativity around me at work. Not acceptable.

Action and reaction

I'm not one to come to decisions without careful thought and consideration of the possible implications. I'm strategic and calculating then decisive when I move forward. Continuously seeking my best version of life and self is important and in doing so I've led a life I would say has been fulfilled...I'm careful, but motivated to take action but there's times I delay for whatever reason like in this case but...Today I crushed indecision, tolerance and inactivity and took action.

I resigned from my job today; emailed the obligatory four weeks notice of resignation letter as my workplace agreement dictates. It felt good; it was an immediate feeling of good too. Instantaneous. It probably didn't feel so good for the company but that's their problem; life will go on for them, everyone is replaceable.

Taking action gave me the emotional reaction I'd expected. I felt much better about myself straight away; taking action seems always to have that effect. It actually brought clarity, sharpened my mind up a little by removing the fog of my as is position and also took a good deal of weight off my shoulders.

I didn't get such a great reaction from my team although they'll push on without me; I have trained and mentored them to be able to do so. They're a little sad though I guess; I value them and respect them and I believe they feel I'm a good boss. They're good people who I will miss no doubt. They won't miss the daily beatings I liberally administered though. [Just kidding, I didn't beat them daily, just weekly.]

Today I resigned from a position I've held for five years in an industry I've worked in for around twenty years; I don't have a job to go to, not even the prospect of one, but I feel ok. I am ok. Better than ok I guess really.

I'm not sure what the future holds. Another job for sure [maybe] but in the same industry? Maybe a different sector of the industry. Possibly something completely different. Who knows? I sent a few text messages out and have had some conversations so something will come up. I'm not too concerned really, I'm more focused on myself right now, on being fucken awesome again. Why not right?

What excites me the most is the way I feel.

I've always believed that when a door closes one finds oneself in a hallway full of doors; some closed and locked, others wide open, some ajar or simply closed but not locked at all. I'll turn a few handles I suppose, kick a few in and see what's inside. <y life is a journey, it's always been that way, and I've just embarked on another stage which will take me...Wherever. What I'm excited about is that I feel energised, motivated and more like the me I like to be, the sharper version of me I deserve to be.

That's what's up this Wednesday y'all.


“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Ernest Hemingway


Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind

Discord: galenkp#9209

Image is my own.

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