Scheduled maintenance and your career

The scheduled maintenance light came on, what do I do?

As we enter December, which is the end of our calendar year, I thought of my wife’s comments above.  She freaks out every time a light flashes.  My reply was it is time for the scheduled maintenance.  I went online and with a few clicks arranged to drop it off, get her a loaner car and it was done.  Every auto manual lays out a timeline normally based on miles what needs to be done in order for your car to work optimally.

Design your owner’s manual

My thoughts were that this is the perfect metaphor for careers and life.  However we do not get an owner’s manual for our lives.  As we close out 2013 what does your fictional owner’s manual say needs to be done. 

This is not about a new year’s resolution, which we have all been doing for years but with a horrible success rate.  Your career strategy should be more in-depth in that it is a live document which outlines the top goal and your scheduled maintenance.  If you follow these steps in your car maintenance you are pretty much assured that you will have a vehicle that will provide you flawless service over the years.

The same holds true for where your work life is headed.  However a lot of us procrastinate year in and year out and we can’t understand why we are not making progress.  Sure there will always be detours along the way, but if you do not have a plan you do not know what directions to go.

Don’t live life without it

Imagine driving a car and over the years you never change the oil/filter, tires, tune up etc.  It would be only a matter of time before it does not start and if you want it running again, it will cost you a great sum of money.  However if you handled the maintenance during those intervals, these problems for the most part would not be there.  And the cost would be spread out because you followed the plan in the owner’s manual.

Albert Einstein said “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” is the definition of insanity.  This is the way however a lot of us have run our lives.  We want stellar results but as we bumble along we do not make adjustments.  This owner’s manual concept will work and it have proven time and again that it will.

Mapping success

I am a big fan of autobiographies, in that I love the amount of obstacles that these people faced.  The vast majority of folks would have found it easier to just give up.  However, they preserved and in the end it worked out.  They had a plan and they followed a plan.  They created their own users manual and lived, breathed and slept it.  In the end they succeeded.

You and I are no different.  There are no short cuts.  A short cut to success is short lived.  The jails and courts are full of people that tried to circumvent the system on their way to whatever their success quest is.

There are a whole host of reasons for our complacency.  No matter how much and how easy it appears to be, some will not make the effort.

Root cause of inaction

You must be willing to take action.  You must be willing to sit and draw our own manual.  Post it your goals everywhere so that you are constantly reminded of it each and every day.  My post spots are my bathroom mirror, the dashboard on my car, the desk at work.  I can’t live my life without seeing the reminders.  Some days I hate to look at it but for the most part it keeps me focused on the destination.

Distraction is another major cause of inaction.  If we spent as much time on our careers as we do on Facebook or other distractions, we would easily be on our way.4.  The internet is another time suck.  I have friends that sit around and mindlessly google search every available things that you can think of.  If you want it you must channel your emotions, behavior and desires towards attaining whatever it is that you desire.

It takes self-discipline to persevere amidst all the distractions that face us today.  Living a life of self-discipline is powerful and a whole less painful in the long run than regretting “what might have been.”

Sure you will always have the big D called DOUBT.  It will eat away your ability to succeed if you do not remain confident in your vision and plan.  The thing that I have noticed about doubt is that if at the time of the most doubt; channel that into working on your project. Review, readjust and realign when you feel it coming on and like a fog the doubt will eventually go away.

One thing you should always remember and keep paramount in your thoughts that you are in charge of your owner’s manual.  You design it, you live and you will relish the results.  Success can be had.

As they say, it is not brain surgery.

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