By Dan Miller
You know the term bulimia, the disorder where someone binges on food and then induces vomiting to compensate for it. As horrible as it sounds, I see people who very much display the same characteristics in their work.
Rob is a layout editor for the local newspaper. His cell phone never stops ringing: reporters are demanding deadlines that are impossible to meet, journalists are furious their stories have been bumped, a national news story breaks 15 minutes before press time, he knows his nagging chest pain is more than just indigestion, and once again he’s missed his son’s baseball game. But he sucks it up – knowing that in just 10 more days he can leave for his annual two week vacation. He’ll unwind and get rid of all this stress.
Or will he? We know that plan doesn’t really work. This bulimic way of handling stress – letting it build to a boiling point and then stopping work completely for several days – doesn’t work. It is dangerous and destructive.
That daily accumulation of stress doesn’t just go away in a few days of relaxation – it tears down in ways from which you will never recover. It clogs arteries, raises blood pressure, encourages grabbing junk food on the run, reduces concentration and creativity, and saps spiritual and emotional energy. The ongoing effects are that it makes us more vulnerable to colds and more serious diseases. It sets us up for weight gain, facial wrinkles, and strained relationships.
I actually had a physician mention recently that he had considered sticking his hand in a meat grinder, so he could collect disability and escape the daily demands of his position. It may have been said partly in jest, but the pressure felt is not uncommon among workers at all levels. Another gentleman told me he had an ultralight plane – and was prepared to make a socially acceptable exit from the life of stress he had created.
Here’s a better plan: learn to deal with the stress daily rather than letting it build up to a boiling point. When you feel tension building, take a deep breath, pull your shoulders back, take a walk around the block, drink a full glass of water, eat a couple of carrots, let your phone take messages, or spend 10 minutes in silent meditation. Drive a different way home tonight, check out getting an ergonomic chair, remove agitating music from your work area, and include small “Sabbath” times of positive reflection and anticipation into every day.
Over 50 and Re-inventing Myself
As you know I recently asked for stories for a Good Morning America segment on being over 50 and having to re-invent oneself. I am still scanning through the massive number of stories I’ve received – but they definitely fall into three major categories.
1. Here’s an example of the first category – Not sure what to do.
Dan.......sorry, but I am not one of the fortunate ones who have successfully figured out how to re-invent themselves after turning 50.....so, I'm one of those who needs to hear the success stories and try to understand the blueprint of how to get it done....I know it CAN be done.....my wife is going to Nursing School at age 52, so I know its "do-able"......just have never been able to figure it out for myself.......I'm very frustrated and tempted to simply give up......to quit dreaming and accept my plight......can you help me, please??
2. Here’s an example of the second category – The company, government, church, or spouse dumped me – what do I do now?
After 33 years, my husband is leaving me and I will be starting over from scratch. At 52 and never being in the work force, the thought of starting a career is very scary and intimidating. Some inspirational stories and advice from others who have gone through it will be a lot of help to me and many others in my situation. Thanks for all you do.
3. And here are just a couple of the many examples from the third category – It really can be done.
I'm 62, and I have just become a certified doula. I have been a technical writer and editor for an environmental engineering firm for the past 15 years. I've also worked as a certified administrative professional and secretary. As I began to prepare for retirement, I asked myself, "What would I do, even if I didn't get paid?" I knew immediately that I would assist women with childbirth. Since becoming certified as a doula, I have been receiving requests every week. Blessings in all your endeavors!
And another –
Dan, I am 57 and I worked 31 years in television advertising sales at one CBS Affiliate in South Bend, Indiana. I was working 70 to 90 hours a week. I was also elected chairman of the CBS Sales Advisory Council. A year ago I left my job of being sales manager, which I did for the past 20 years. A few months ago, I opened my new restaurant, Cafelicious in Plymouth, Indiana. My doctor couldn't believe how much my blood pressure went down (25 points diastolic and 25 points systolic). I spend much more time with my kids and relish every day. I recently coached my son's soccer team to a league championship. I have enjoyed reading your e-mails and books. Best regards.
I trust that hearing stories from those who have successfully re-invented themselves provides hope and inspiration for all of you who are needing a fresh, new direction.
Cure for the Common Cubicle
Need resources to help you re-invest yourself?
48 Days Radio
Each week I create a new online radio podcast that you can hear on Dans Online Radio Show.
Each week I create a new online radio podcast—that you can hear in iTunes or at the 48 Days Online Radio Show link below.
Lots of interesting questions were submitted this week—like these:
1. My dad recently retired from GM after 30 years. I got an idea from your podcast, so I created www.LifeAfterGM.com so he could stay in touch with old friends and discuss career ideas. What revenue generation ideas can I apply? Thanks!
2. I listened to a podcast of you recently and you spoke about your closed meeting you have with 11 other guys on Wednesday morning. May I ask what some of those books that you used for discussion were?
3. Dan, did you have any fears when you stepped out and found the work you love? What advice do you have for those of us who have fear of the unknown or no idea what we want to do because we've done what was expected--never making a plan to fulfill our dreams and desires? What steps can one even take to figure out one's dreams and desires? Help.
4. Hey, Dan. I am a software engineer making $57,000 a year. I am considering changing my career to becoming a fireman. The truth is I don’t belong in an office and I am passionate about helping people and being outdoors. My wife is not very happy about the option, since I would be making about $30,000 a year. She is a teacher and makes $35,000 a year. Should I stay where I am and just worry about providing for my family even if it means to hate going to work every day?
5. As a licensed architect/mother, I am interested in child development through “block play.” Playing with wooden blocks develops social skills, knowledge in the physical world, and introduction to math concepts. Could a business selling blocks and writing/illustrating children’s books (while developing seminars and articles on child development, driving traffic to my Web site) be a viable business?
6. Hi, Dan. I would love to start my own business, but I am painfully shy. So much that I am uncomfortable talking to people face to face or by phone. Are there small business opportunities for someone like me that involves little interaction with customers?
If you have a question, just click on this 48 Days Online Radio link and you can ask about starting your own business, getting a better job, or finding your purpose in life.
48 Days Recommends
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The Barefoot Executive™
Carrie Wilkerson is the voice of experience. From corporate life to teaching high school to direct sales, she has 'been there and done that' professionally and personally. An 'overnight mom' to two toddlers through adoption, her priorities instantly changed and so did her workplace. She's now built several businesses and coached others to do the same while overcoming extreme debt, losing 110 pounds, and having two more children, for a total of four, ages infant through 12!
As "The Barefoot Executive,” Carrie and her network of experts have quickly become the definitive resource for helping women achieve extra income and career goals while working from home. For free audio and written transcript of Carrie's live presentation "What is Your Why?" get the free motivational audio now!
Chuck Bowen Coaching - Financial, Career & Business
Need to do better (maybe a lot better?) with your personal finances? Is your business as profitable or enjoyable as you'd like it to be? Seeking your calling in your career? Contact Chuck Bowen Coaching. If you want to transform your life permanently for the better, he's your guy. Dave Ramsey trusts Chuck to train his financial coaches, and he serves as president of Dan Miller’s 212 Connection. What better proof is there? Contact Chuck Bowen Coaching now!
More Recommended Resources
Need direction to re-invent yourself?
The most popular product in the 48 Days arsenal continues to be the Computerized Personality Report. Before you begin seeking a better job or self-employment, you need to be sure you are pursuing opportunities that match your personality style and will fulfill and reward you for a lifetime!
Stay up to date, add your comments, and share your successes at my No More Mondays Blog.
You Might Need a Raise If...
- You take your paycheck to the bank and the teller bursts out in hysterical laughter and then passes it around for the other tellers to see.
- You work full time and still qualify for food stamps.
- You empty out your piggy bank and then cook the bank and serve it for your holiday ham.
- You file your income taxes and the IRS returns them stamped 'Charity Case - Return To Sender.'
- You’re caught re-cycling co-workers drink cans before they are finished drinking.
- You pay all your bills and can’t afford a Happy Meal with what is left over.
- You get arrested for taking coins 'out' of the fountain in the mall.
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Dan Miller is the bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and a renowned Life Coach specializing in career fulfillment. His weekly newsletter reaches 70,000 subscribers. Dan’s articles are featured here at CBN every Tuesday, and you can find out more about Dan at www.48days.com.
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