Have you ever been stuck in a dead end job? Stuck in an environment you don’t like, around people you wouldn’t choose to be with, doing work that sucks your soul out slowly day after day? I know what this is like. It is the life I lived for several years. I was miserable. I was comfortable in my misery. It was awful. 

I used to come home from work and think, “Now I can live my life. Now I can be me.” But, as it always does, morning would come again and I would be off to do the responsible thing…paying bills is a good thing to do. At the end of each day I would lay down in bed and dream of winning the lottery, or striking it rich some other way, so I could get away from having to work…which I was sure was the problem. 

Somewhere in the midst of the misery though, I came in contact with a different current of thought. Maybe I didn’t have to be comfortably miserable. Maybe there really was a way to break out of the cage that I had found myself in.  I started to believe that things could change.

When I was 5 years old I wanted to be a policeman just like my dad. Just like most other boys I knew, my dad was my hero and I wanted to be just like him. He was the toughest, coolest, most awesome policeman I knew. That sounded like the job for me. So, imagine my surprise when I grew up and low and behold I didn’t want to become a policeman. And my further surprise, when I realized I worked in a job I hated, and didn’t know how to get out. This was not the future I had envisioned. What happened to being just like my dad? What happened to following in his noble footsteps? How did I find myself at a job I hated with no way out?

I realized that the path I was on wasn’t one anyone else had walked. There is only one me. The path that I have to take is my own. So, I decided that I would lean in and do the best I could in that dead end job…even if I didn’t like the work or who I worked for.

Where did that take me? Immediately I took back my sense of control. When you are in control you are no longer a victim to circumstance or whatever else. I was only controlling my own attitude and the quality of the work I was doing, but it was a start. It helped tremendously. My attitude and my environment improved. When the time came and a new opportunity presented itself, I was ready.

Had I not had that epiphany, I may have stayed comfortably miserable in that same job. I may not have gotten the call for my next job. I may not be where I am today if not for that moment of choosing to do my best where I was. Who knows?

Do you identify with this? Are you happy with the work you do? Are you just getting by? Make the decision today. Take control of you. Walk the path that only you can walk. I don’t know where it will lead…but is there a chance it could be better than where you are now?

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