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Life’s Too Short

Life’s Too Short

Is Work Worth Dying For?

Is your job killing you? Perhaps. If you’re working in a stressful environment it’s likely your life expectancy will diminish and you’ll devote more time and resources addressing personal medical needs. Many anecdotal examples exist that underscore the physical and emotional damages resulting from ongoing stressful situations. However, there is also ample empirical evidence, presented in data collected spanning dozens of studies conducted over the past half century, describing the personal risks associated with stressors.

Life’s Too Short

My father, a wise octogenarian, didn’t coin the phrase “Life’s too short.” However, my dad certainly adopted it and made those words part of the fabric of my life. My dad’s use of those three short words often become part of any conversation when something has gone wrong with relationships, employment, and plans; as well as the appearance of unexpected issues, situations, and needs. He firmly believes relationships are too valuable to squander because “Life’s too short.” For the same reason, he contends that no job, regardless of the number of zeros, is worth unacceptable stress, worry, or disappointment. He believes a person is better off happily poor, than wealthy and miserable.

His continual use of the expression, and its meaning, has become increasingly tangible to me as time passes. Those words are also extremely relevant as I consider them in the context of my experiences with a company that negatively impacted my well-being.

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Toxicity in the Workplace

I very much wish I’d taken my dad’s admonishments to heart during the time I was associated with that dysfunctional, self-aggrandizing corporate entity. My decision to remain with the company because of my friendship with the majority owner, and the handsome paycheck, was a huge error. The resulting issues were wholly unpredictable to me.

It was a toxic work environment where narcissistic manipulation was commonplace and “energy vampires” were everywhere. Truth and comity were often absent. Few took responsibility for their actions. Passive aggression at the highest levels destroyed self-confidence and hampered both production and trust. More than a few empire builders on staff were willing to destroy others in their selfish ladder-climbing quests for power and prestige. Two such individuals, with serious insecurity issues, made my life particularly miserable. One was a towering tree who carried a gun and threatened me on multiple occasions. On one such occasion he threatened me with his firearm.

Where was the business owner during those years? Present, but disconnected. An appeaser who chose to ignore underlying issues and ongoing victimization. That added to workplace stress.

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In retrospect? “Life’s too short.” My health and peace of mind would have been served well if I’d extricated myself from that untenable situation far sooner.

The Lesson

We should all consider the wisdom and love behind the reminder that “Life’s too short,” when those words are shared by loved ones or close friends who truly care about our well-being. Indeed, life is too short.

Workplace stressors can undermine emotional stability, aggravate existing physical and mental issues, result in cardiovascular damage and digestive disorders; as well as create relationship issues outside the workplace. Dietary changes will often occur and many turn to alcohol and other mind numbing escapes. Eating disorders and financial problems will often follow.

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Stressors can be associated with temperature, lighting, sound, smells, proximity to others, etc…  Physical and mental stresses: Influences involving harmful chemicals, drugs, and alcohol.

Steps to Solving Stress Problems

The first logical step is to extricate oneself, where and when possible, from stress inducing people, places, and things.

Second, seek spiritual relief.

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Third, seek direction from trusted family, friends, and associates.

Finally, become familiar with options to better your life. Doing these steps will help you to discover a better life path to follow.

Featured photo credit: Josue Bieri via unsplash.com

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Steve Fowler

Entrepreneur

Life’s Too Short

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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