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Work Causing You to Drink?

I used to dread the entire day ahead – groveling from bed while cycling through a stream of lies that might get me off the hook for work. After enough dead-ends, I’d sigh and get ready; usually in a panic because I was late again. This wasn’t only typical but actually pretty impressive most mornings, the others I’d add hungover to the mix. I don’t miss the headaches. I look back now and can’t believe that’s how I chose to start my day. I didn’t know it then, but I was coping and drinking as an escape. You know, because I'd have to go celebrate a couple upcoming days off by boozin’ the night away. I also lived in Chicago back then where drinking is considered a hobby. By the time I got through yet another crappy day, I'd be craving a few beers and two-tree shots. I figured I suffered enough frustration, anger, and annoyance throughout the week that I earned it. It was a reward for putting up with a job I had no problem hating. The real problem was that my job wasn’t all that bad. I worked in luxury retail and through a recession. I still had a job, great benefits, steady pay, easy commute, an hour lunch, and great vacation time. I worked with mostly good folks and was right there in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. I miss those summer lunch breaks. I didn’t “see” much of that back then, or maybe it got pretty blurry after the thrill of a new gig dulled. We all know when that happens… right when we start getting pretty darn picky about how our day should go. But why couldn’t I be a glass half-full, kinda fella? It was my mindset cursing any opportunity to flourish. I was looking for fault… every. single. day. Yup, like an addict I was itchy for it, craving the perceived flaws like breadcrumbs leading to a big score. I had to convince myself that my job sucked – otherwise how could I prove I was too good for it? I told everybody I could and nobody makes a liar outta me, especially myself. (tobacco spit banking off a spittoon) I’d complain over any old grievance, show up late as often as possible, stretch out my lunch breaks, and get thirsty just around closin’ time. Clients irritated me and my co-workers weren’t much better. I wasn’t only looking for fault, I was causing it. I’d expect others to be okay with my sh*t then blow-up when they weren’t. And I wasn't the only one either. Every other co-worker was NOT happy about being there, especially one in particular. It was an immensely toxic environment and it wasn't to anybody's surprise that the business wasn't thriving. I knew it then; that “special” individual was like a vortex sucking up all the positivity and fun. Like a virus, their toxicity triggered our own. I don’t know what they were going through but it had to be pretty damn scary for them to act like that. Of course I didn’t consider such things back then, I had my “what about me” blinders on. And I definitely had no idea how to manage such a compelling force, it crippled me. Myself and the other colleagues went drinking together, blowing off the day’s steam while talking made sh*t about our crazy coworker. It wasn’t pretty.

Suzy and I celebrating a new milestone!

Señor Toxicity eventually moved on, and holy guacamole things got better… for a little bit. But I felt tainted, like a slimy residue was slicked over the surface of my experience. Eventually, I too moved on, happy to be free of the prison and ready for new horizons. I gained a bit of momentum in my new career, medical device sales, before suffering a major personal blow. My wife was diagnosed with lung cancer. Through a hopeful healing journey, we lost her in 2014. After traveling the world, volunteering, soul-searching, and healing for years to come, I learned how mindset and perspective determine one’s experience. I started getting a pretty good handle on my own and it’s made all the difference in my life since then. I look back at those days of hating my job, succumbing to toxic forces, drinking to cope, and I figured something out. I didn’t know any better back then – it took the utter destruction of everything I valued followed by years of mental, emotional, and spiritual expansion in order to do so. This is what I learned… We’re going to find what we’re looking for; whether it’s fault or appreciation, problems or solutions, it's our right. The tricky part is discovering that you have a choice – then learning how to make that choice – then doing what it takes to make it last. Once you’ve gained some traction, things get a bit easier and a whole lot prettier. And once you’ve normalized this kind of believing, thinking, perceiving, and feeling… well then I believe that calls for a proper celebration, toasting your success by raising a beverage of your choosing. It’s not easy and not for the faint of heart, but transforming your mind is the best investment you can ever make. It’s like going from black and white to color, everything you experience comes alive. I don't look for fault anymore and now I see that my life is brimming with abundance. If you learn how to train your mind you can find that same abundance in yours too. It's all a matter of knowing how. Here's some help to get started. If you’re in a bit of a rut at work, give this practice a bit of time to experience a helpful shift into a better mental & emotional state.

  1. Grab a pen and paper and list out 5-10 reasons why you’re grateful for your job and where you find the value. Also find 5-10 new daily experiences at work which bring about fulfillment, joy, or just peace. This may seem cliché but remember; we’re shifting our perspective from fault to appreciation and this is a vital step.

  2. Then ask yourself to think about what other colleagues may be struggling through and challenge yourself to make the workplace a better environment for them. When we take the focus off ourselves and put compassion for others as the central focus, we immediately elevate the energy of the environment.

  3. Before work set an intention to be: composed, calm, confident & compassionate to others and yourself while maintaining your value. After work, recall those grateful experiences and find pride and value in a great day’s work!

If you’re interested in retraining your perception and mindset, then you’re in the right place. I can help you and your entire team through a Workplace Wellness Workshop or we can focus on your personal growth through my 1:1 Mentoring Program. I promise this will be one of if not thee best investment you've made in your mental & emotional well-being as well as the realization of your dreams. If you're ready to say goodbye to: stress, anxiety, depression, lack of purpose, a sense of emptiness, self-loathing, and doubt then now is the time. Click below to get started. Learn more about Joe's Workplace Wellness Workshop Apply for the 1:1 Mentorship Program I'm grateful for you, Joe

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