I’m going to call him Jake.You probably know a Jake, too.
So, Jake is young and ambitious and has plans to find a job that will make a big difference in the world. He’s mentioned the UN. He wants to feel that his life has made a difference. And certainly he’s smart and efficient and hard-working.
And very unpopular.
The problem is that Jake is difficult – he always wants to get his own way in any situation and he can be unpleasant if he doesn’t. He doesn’t tolerate what he perceives as failings in others and he works his own agenda. And people catch on to this and they don’t like it.
I spent some time musing over Jake after my last encounter with him when he more or less totally ignored me. [In Jake’s worldview I’m a) too old to count and b) he doesn’t see how I can help him 🙂 He has no idea of any of the things I do or have done because he’s not interested in finding out.] And he was fairly dismissive of others there too.
The thing is that Jake is missing the point – he’s waiting for the right time/right job and consequently he doesn’t notice the golden opportunities right under his nose.
I’d like to suggest to Jake that making a difference to the world could start right here, right now. He could help his co-workers, he could be polite and friendly, he could perform random acts of kindness as he goes about his daily business. If he did this, he would be immediately improving the lives of people rather than waiting until he has been offered his ideal position. And it may be harsh but I’m not sure he’d get it, if I did say anything.
If I am honest, I think I suffer from moments of ‘Jakeness’, although it may not come out in the same way.
Life is all about dealing with what is happening at the moment. It’s about making the most of what is in front of you and doing the absolute best you can. Not only does this increase your personal abilities and capacity, which makes you more effective, it also shows that you have a great attitude and people will notice it. Basically, by doing this you are creating a strong foundation that you can build on.
When it comes to your goals the best way to start is to do what needs doing first and then do the next thing and the next and so on. It doesn’t matter if you just take baby steps each time – it all adds up and it inexorably takes you towards the completion of your goal.