"You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking."
~ Maya Angelou

January 20, 2011

At The Crossroads

Many of us reach a point in our lives when we are asked " Are you willing to take that risk?"  "Are you willing to move forward with the courage and determination that have always inspired you, but at the same time challenged you to the core?"  Let me explain.  Roughly two years ago I was working for a very large complex system, one that has many goals and objectives in order to get their mission accomplished.  However, as this system is very complex, by nature it has created many obstacles and barriers that can really change the ability and reality in accomplishing these goals and objectives.

At the time of my departure from this workplace I felt it was broken, toxic, and one with a very apathetic culture.  It was hard to be a part of it as I have always been a positive soul, a hard worker with a dedicated and strong work ethic.  This has been given to me by the influence of wonderful role models, mentors, work experiences, learning through the eyes of others, volunteering, higher education, etc.  So, I  have always carried myself with the mindset of not settling for the bare minimum, the status quo, the survival mode when a job is just too hard to bare.  I have always maintained a professional approach that my work mattered, it may not always have been right (another learning opportunity) but I have always tried to give a quality of service that made a difference, and was all about doing the right thing!  What I realized along the way is that I would never be able to meet my goals and expectations (ones that I did not believe were too high or unrealistic) and the environments and culture I was exposed to were killing my spirit, and in turn it was killing me.  So, I walked away from a job that paid me quite well, one that also gave me roughly 2 1/2 months vacation a year and didn't look back.  I had no other employment waiting  for me.  I just needed to breathe and exhale.  I needed to stop running from what I ultimately knew would never change.  I just couldn't be a part of something that I didn't believe in, something that I felt was creating more negative than positive.  I was tired of convincing myself that there would be a better day when as far as I could tell there wasn't going to be.  I left with a positive work history and on my own terms.  I took the high road not making excuses or pointing fingers, and with the idea that I would eventually find another opportunity, one that I could take all of what I had learned (through difficult and challenging  times) and use this in a beneficial way.

I sit here writing away with no regrets of the decision I made.  The hardest part was the guilt I felt of letting down the many individuals who needed my help.  However, what I realized is that if I was not healthy I would be a disservice to those who needed my service.  This was a very difficult predicament to be in, but after much thought, counsel, and what I was witnessing as the effects and affects on my physical and mental well being there was no other choice, no other choice.  So, nearly two years later I have reclaimed a quality of life that has me back on the right path, one that has allowed me again to be present and mindful of the opportunities that await.

If I can give you any words of encouragement may I say that changing for the better is the hardest work that you will ever face.  It takes a tremendous level of commitment, sacrifice, risk, discipline, trust, and many other factors that are so needed in accomplishing this goal.  Furthermore, you can not put a time frame on when this change will happen.  To be well you must commit to every day for the rest of your days. There is no other option.  So, if you want to, you believe you can, and you are ready to commit than guess what?  What are you waiting for?  These words may seem foreign to you at this moment, but when you reach what I have just explained you will understand that that the rewards and opportunities that present themselves are wonderful, truly inspiring!!!

About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me?  External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing processMore about the man behind the mission ⇢

No comments:

Post a Comment