Opportunity in Hard Places

Jon Acuff’s book “Quitter” is a great book about being caught in the tension between your day job and your dream job, and the steps you need to take in order to quit said day job to exceptionally succeed in your dream job.  I have to admit that there were some concepts in a couple of his earlier books that I have a hard time with… yet I’ve still read all his books and truly appreciate that he recognized some of the faults in his earlier writing and in his latest book “Finish”, has hit a home run!

For more of Jon Acuff’s writing, blog and his new podcast, visit https://acuff.me/ and follow his Twitter page and Instagram for some good laughs and great content

One of the concepts in Quitter that really stuck with me was the importance of finding the small joys in the daily grind of a job you need before moving to the job you want.  I understand this all to well, even though I had the “job” I wanted when I graduate from Massage Therapy and was beginning my practice, I certainly wasn’t finding joy in the daily grind.  I had to help make ends meet as a new husband, starting a career , and not being very busy.  I had to work various retail jobs, selling shoes and slinging coffees all the while trying to build a clientele.  I felt it imperative to do what was completely necessary in order to begin to feel accomplished and ultimately happy in a profession that certainly took a lot of work to build (especially in a female dominated service industry).  I won’t get into detail on the failures and follies I found myself in along my 14 year journey as a therapist…as there are a lot and they bring with them some heartache and anxiety…I’ll save that for the book in the works…

But here I find myself, 14years as a therapist and dealing with personal struggles that have caused some serious hard places.  I’m finally in a place with my business that I am happy with…I work with amazing people, in a great atmosphere and see a ton of potential for the future…but I’ve gone backwards personally.  So now I find I’m drawing parallel between the idea in ‘Quitter’ about finding small joys in the daily grind that will help me move forward in my career, now trying to implement into my personal daily life.

Call it the Business of Life…

Finding hope in the journey continues to resonate with me daily, likely because it seems so hard to do…even though I’ve written about it in several posts already, I still wrestle with it.

Finding opportunity in the hard places sounds easier said then done and I honestly think my struggle with this has been due to my entrepreneurial side; that part of me looking for that big business opportunity.  The giant eye opening, face melting, thunder punch to the solar-plexus kind of opportunity.  Because I have such a difficult time with self care, my mind and efforts go to my business, as this is the primary way in which I support and provide for my family.

I think I got it a little wrong… or a lot wrong.

I’m starting to think that by changing the focus from a tangible, material opportunity, I should start looking for the small personal opportunities to help guide through the hard places.  As much as it is important, and my goals, dreams and passion for the future of my business are legitimately worth some space in the daily meandering of my mind; if I’m personally not in a good place, but constantly feeling the weight of life’s difficulty, I won’t appreciate, honour and respect the business opportunities that come.  I understand that not all of you who are reading this are business owners, and may be sitting at your desk at the office right now, reading this…but I hope you can see that maybe the daily grind wouldn’t be so grinding, if, instead of focusing on the promotion or the need for the new cappuccino maker in the lunch room (that’s a big deal), that starting to focus on finding smaller opportunities to lift yourself out of the hard places can make the day seem bearable and worth it!?!

It might be as simple as taking five minutes and stepping outside to take a deep breath of fresh air and simply appreciating the opportunity to breathe… or sending a quick message to a friend just to say hi and appreciating the opportunity to be able to speak into someone’s day who may need it… or taking a coffee break (this one is more habitual for me, so more of an opportunity to feed my caffeine addiction then anything).

There is beauty in the misery (sounds like a great band name…some will get that reference).  So I guess I’ll challenge us with looking for the small opportunities in the hard places.  When life feels overwhelming and too difficult to find any hope in the difficulty or mundane mediocrity, appreciate the small opportunities, as rare and sparse as they may seem. I really think that once it becomes a part of our day to find a small moment to appreciate some opportunity we can create a small space for hope and a small reprieve.  It certainly doesn’t make the struggle go away, or that difficult co-worker or nagging boss, or broken coffee maker disappear, but maybe it will make them seem a little less heavy.

There is hope in the journey, you don’t travel alone!  as per usual, my thoughts are with you all, especially those that have shared a little of their story with me.  Thank you for your trust and allowing me to share my story as well.  My phone is always on, so text anytime friends 7058682616

Until next time, keep well.

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