Have you ever had a job you hated? I have had a couple. (Thankfully it has been years since then.) You know the kind I am taking about don’t you? You dread Monday morning like the plague and long desperately for Friday at 5. The life is sucked out of you daily and you have very little joy. Anybody ever had one of these? I see those hands.

I made a decision years ago that I was going to do my best, even if I didn’t like where I was at that time. I tried every day to give my best effort and do the best work I could. I still felt like the life was being sucked out of me, but I knew that I was doing what was right. I found a small comfort in that. The easy thing to do would be do just enough to get by. Just enough to not get fired. To some people this makes it easier. I think that is a horrible way to go. Let me explain.

What happens when we do just enough to get by? We lower our standards. We make a conscious choice to be mediocre. Suddenly, scraping by at work turns into a behavior that can seep into other areas of life. Our defense against the misery at work ends up eroding our foundation. What we do today affects what we are able to do tomorrow. There is a great quote by Winston Churchill that speaks to this:

To every person there comes in their lifetime that special moment when you are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to you and your talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds you unprepared or unqualified for work which could have been your finest hour. – Sir Winston Churchill

Every day we have the chance to build a better tomorrow through our choices. We can prepare ourselves for the future with excellence today. I look at my decision to do my best with the job I didn’t like and know that it is one of the key things that helped me secure the job I do like. Had I not been doing everything I could to better myself in the bad circumstances, I may not have found myself in the good ones.

Have you found yourself in this situations? How are you responding to the negative work environment?


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