Hilary Parker

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Stop job hunting and start building your own factory

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

 

 

I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t try:

Seth’s Blog: The forever recession (and the coming revolution)

Born Again American: How Losing My Job Rekindled My Spirit

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are focused on what’s wrong with America. We’re “occupying” Wall Street and voting for politicians who promise you can both have and eat your cake, so long as we stick it to someone else. Blame is the new black. “Mine!” is the new “allow me.” Whining is not only acceptable, it’s practically encouraged. And we have no one to thank but ourselves for this mess, no matter how good it feels to point out others’ faults or go scapegoat hunting.

Is this the America we want? What happened to the pioneering spirit this great nation was founded on? America was once the land of plenty. It was a place of hope, of opportunity. America has always been more than our GDP or our credit rating for one reason: Because Americans were people who strove, who dared, who dreamed big.

Sure enough, somewhere along the line, all this striving and daring and dreaming paid off. And strangely, that’s where things went wrong. We got comfortable. Really comfortable. We replaced working with owning, and replaced paying for items with charging them on our credit cards. Where once an expectation of sacrifice existed, a sense of entitlement crept in. I know. I was right there, too.

Then I lost my job just over two years ago, and had to totally rebuild my life. And you know something? It has been an amazing experience — one that I would repeat again and again. Turns out I didn’t really appreciate the money I had been bringing in. No matter how much we made, it seemed to go right back out the door… We spent it on things, not experiences. On stuff, not making memories. We had attained the American dream. And you know what? It was no good. It didn’t bring happiness. Because what brings happiness is the pursuit of it, not its attainment. (Huh. Go figure, right?)

Now, in these troubled times, the American dream can be born again. If necessity is the mother of invention, then we should have some very pregnant minds out there. Don’t forget that Steve Jobs and Apple Computers came of age in the 1970s, another period of terrible economic conditions. Didn’t matter: They knew what they wanted the future to look like, and they weren’t going to let the present get in the way.

Here’s what I learned over the past two years: Bringing your dream to life will be harder than anything you’ve tried before. It will be terrifying, and also way more rewarding. And it will make you more grateful for and generous with your success than you were when it was practically handed to you.

So instead of bemoaning the present, let’s turn our attention to the future. Ask yourself: What is the trajectory of the path I am on? What are the consequences of the choices I’m making? Am I sacrificing my long-term goals for short-term wins? What am I passionate about, and am I bringing that passion to my work each and every day?

In the end, we are the only ones who can bring meaning to our lives. Politicians can’t. Corporations can’t. We don’t want them in charge, anyway. But that means each of us has to step up and take responsibility for him or herself and face these trying times head-on.

I have a feeling it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But I say bring it… a little strife is good for us. It’s certainly been good for me.