ARE YOU "HAPPY" OR "CONTENT"?
Where do we go from here? We look around around and see some of the most wonderfully, talented people out of work; people who could really make a positive difference for so many struggling radio stations. As a result, many of us are working even harder to take up the slack. The truth is though, that the product is not at the forefront of everyone's mind and we can't really blame anyone. Everyone is very much in the same situation; survival mode! I am about to tell you somethings you no doubt, already know, but do you keep them with you as life's trump card?
The stress levels in every area from programming to sales seem to be at an all time high and all are looking for a big miracle. We're even making deals with God. "Ok, Lord... we've learned our lesson and we promise to never allow ourselves to get in this terrible situation again... Now, will you please fix it for us?" I am a believer and I have strong faith. I also believe in miracles, but I believe that God gives us what we need rather than what we want and frankly, what we need this time is probably not what we want. What's needed just may be a good dose of reality!
No matter where in the world you live and work, we are all blessed, or "lucky" if you prefer. What we do tend to forget however, is that doesn't imply we have everything we want, nor does it suggest that we'll all be healthy, wealthy, and wise. It seems to me that we all must realize that being "content" isn't always synonymous with being "happy". I only learned recently to try being content with what I have, rather than what I don't have. No one says we have to like everything in life, either personally or professionally, but we can be "content" with it all. There are certainly lessons to be learned from our successes, as well as the trials. How we look at the place we are in life will help us learn and move to whatever is next.
My wife noted just a week ago, one evening when out to dinner, "When you were building your business, you seemed under such great stress. You were always on the road and disconnected from our family." She went on to add, "Today, when things are harder" (and it is harder for us too; perhaps even more so), "you seem more at ease and are leaning more on us then before." Wow! What an epiphany and what a blessing! Things were better professionally and business was very good - but the cost was a sacrifice for my family.
You have no doubt heard the following expressions... but do we live them?
"If there were no valleys there would be no beautiful mountains."
"If the rocks were smooth, we would never be able to climb them."
"If not for the rain, how would we appreciate the sunshine?"
(Ask San Diegans about that last one. We only get nine inches of rain a year, so when it comes, we love it!)
You get the point. While we sometimes find it so difficult to navigate through the tough times, it certainly gives us an appreciation for the good ones. Think back to the late 90's when we all experienced double-digit growth beyond what we thought possible? Did we learn from that and did anyone really think it would last forever? They called it all a bubble for a reason... they burst!
In the last several years, we have seen a good deal of thievery, deceit, lying, underhandedness, and shady business practices by many, only to fill their pockets, while good, honest people have paid a serious price. I heard someone recently say, "Money can't buy happiness, but it sure can help rent it for a while." I thought about that for a moment before realizing that this sort of thinking is what pulls us down the old rabbit hole. The truth is that money will never create happiness, nor even rent it for a short time. As trite as it sounds, happiness comes from within.
Are you content? I hope so, because of this I am certain... neither money, nor a flourishing business will make you happy. Your faith, your spouse, your children, your friends... only the relationships in your life will bring happiness. Liam Neeson was on the set of a new picture just Monday, for no doubt a proverbial boatload of money, when he rushed to be with his wife, actress Natasha Richardson. Sadly, she passed away Wednesday evening as a result of what at first, appeared to be a minor fall on a beginner skip slope in Canada. You can be sure that the academy award winning actor would gladly give it all up, if only...
I know we all do what we have to do. I'm not implying it should, or can be any other way. What I am suggesting is that it doesn't have to consume us and make us miserable. Ok - none of us probably have as much money as we had five years ago, or perhaps even a year ago, but we can still be content. No matter what, we will always have all the wonderful relationships and friendships that have been nurtured over a lifetime. It's only when we learn to be content, regardless of the prize in the end, that we can see the true reward of the blessings in all those things we already have.
Thanks to Bob for sharing. Definitely something to think about in these insane times. You can find out more about Bob and his company by clicking the link at the top of the post.