Reflections on “The Alchemist”

“But I’m afraid that it would all be a disappointment, so I prefer to just dream about it.”

How many people never live their dream?

Golden handcuffs, fear of failure, fear of success, letting others dictate your actions, lack of self confidence, lack of self awareness are all possible reasons why a person may avoid chasing a dream.

When I started at Palos Health, I asked as many people as possible if they loved their job.

Everyone loved aspects of the job, like the pay (which was slightly better than average), the retirement plan (which was slightly better than average), health insurance (which was much better than average), and vacation time (which was slightly better than average).

There were a lot of reasons to stay in that position, but no one said they loved the job itself.

I never wanted to be in a position because I couldn’t afford to leave. This was the case for many people that continued to work there.

This is the definition of golden handcuffs.

I think we all have fear of failure or rejection. Me included. Can we overcome that fear of action, also known as paralysis of analysis?

The answer is yes. Just jump!

Failure is a possibility. It’s always a possibility.

Sears was around forever…until it wasn’t.

Toys R Us was around forever…until it wasn’t.

Montgomery Wards, Woolworths, Cub Foods, arcades, etc.

Even the largest companies can fail.

Failure is something to plan for, because it’s a possibility. I am not saying it’s something to hope for. There always has to be an exit plan.

One way to create a constant exit plan is to always work with integrity, try to make everyone around you better, work more productively than everyone else on the team, and to be nice.

You’d be surprised how much integrity, teamwork, hard work and good spirits can lead to opportunities.

I say it to all my students and many of those that I interact with as a mentor. I am not special.

It’s unfortunate that in the modern times, just exhibiting those above traits makes one appear special.

It’s not hard to stand out from the crowd, you just have to put a little more in than the next guy or gal. Fortunately for me, the bar has always been set a little lower than my work ethic, which makes me seem like I stand out.

It’s that scene from any armed forces comedy. When the leader asks for one person to step forward and everyone else steps back, that leaves one person out in front.

That’s how I feel sometimes.

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