Sunday, December 12, 2010
Your Career and You: "Count Your Blessings"
Every once in a while, I get whacked up side the head (a "southernism") with the realization that I wouldn't be where I am today had it not been for the belief that a legion of friends and colleagues had and/or still have in my abilities as a public relations professional and now as a public relations professor.
The foundation of this support is Margaret, my amazing wife of more years than she will allow me to publicly herald, who seems to be convinced that my casually strolling across Lake Superior is not only imminently do-able, but probably is going to happen some day soon.
Other believers include professional colleagues, many of whom I have known for better than a quarter of a century, family members scattered from here to Georgia and the Far East, and students whose paths have crossed mine and who have become inextricably tangled in my web.
And I'm not alone in this happy situation. I would offer that you are in exactly the same place, whether it be through family or friends or both.
We all have a tendency to beat ourselves up psychologically from time to time...it's part (or so I believe) of taking responsibility for our own actions...of "growing up."
But it's not really necessary. If you find yourself slip-sliding into that dark abyss called "self-pity," put on the brakes and take a minute to reflect...on the encouragement that you got from a colleague for a job well done...on the thank-you note that you got from someone who you spent some time chatting with about careers in public relations...on the good feeling you got when you slipped a dollar into the Salvation Army kettle when you were leaving the grocery store.
I've heard from a couple of Curry College and Regis College students over the past week thanking me for making this past semester a fun learning experience. My response to them was "thank you for giving me a reason to get up in the morning."
That is my "blessing" at this stage in my professional life...to be able to get up every day and go into the classroom where I can share my own knowledge and experience with young future professionals eager to learn and willing to work hard in the process.
If you take a minute to reflect, you have these moments as well. Learn how to appreciate them. Take the time to bask in the warmth of a laugh shared with a friend or the comfort of a quietly-spoken "I understand."
Linus has his blanket. These moments can be yours. Enjoy them. Revel in them. Count your blessings!
"For this I bless you most:
You give much and know not that you give at all.
Verily the kindness that gazes upon itself in a mirror turns to stone,
And a good deed that calls itself by tender names becomes the parent to a curse."
Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet"