Pull up your sleeves…..we’re back to work

getting ready


by Kenneth Justice

~Okay, so its Monday and the weekend is over….how are you feeling this morning?

If there is any clearer difference between Western Culture and other societies it is the way we have subdivided our weekends from our work weeks.

For many people; they work all week to get to Friday

Is it healthy to live our lives as though they are entirely designed around weekend activity?

I have one particular client who gets the worst case of the Monday Morning Blues that I have ever seen in my life; he spends his weekends tending to his tree farm (a hobby of his) in Northern Michigan, but on Sunday night he travels back down to Metro-Detroit to work for the week…

By the time I see him each Monday afternoon you would think he just got back from a funeral; he hates having to be back to work

In the past month I have had no less than 3 thousand emails and comments from readers who are not happy with the current course of their life…..

–) Many want to change careers but aren’t sure how or what to do

–) Many simply want to earn more money to enable them to accomplish more with their life

–) Others enjoy their career but feel its time to move to the next level but don’t know how to make it happen

–) And others just want to quit altogether; they’ve worked for many years and are tired….but they need a source of income

Last week one particular comment led me to the following realization;

If you want something to change in your life…..your going to have to get it done all by yourself

Barring a few exceptions, for most of us…..we are on our own.

When I was younger I went through a lot of daily motions as though one day a cherry pie was going to fall from the sky and land in my hands unlocking the keys to all my dreams and desire……..

The cherry pie never came

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I came to turns with the stark truth: If I want change to come to my life…..I have to make it happen

It wasn’t easy for me to accept the truth, for some reason I stubbornly clung to the idea that if I just kept being faithful in my work, career, family, relationships……..that everything would work out in the end and I’d suddenly find myself living in my dream world.

Why did I grow up thinking that way?

I suspect there are a couple key factors

1) I was raised in a religious atmosphere that placed a lot of emphasis on hope

Hope is great…..hope is important……but hope doesn’t send cherry pies hurling through the sky packed with a million dollars

2) I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of novels

Movies and novels often portray fantasy and adventure stories that are just not realistic.

A Tom Cruise look-a-like spy is not going to walk to our cubicle and suddenly thrust us into a life of intrigue, mystery and action packed adventure.

If we want change to come to our lives…….we need to begin making changes to our lives

We must be proactive……instead of reactive

You see…..for most of my life I was reactive; I just responded to the daily elements of my life and muddled my way through

When I realized that I wanted change to occur…….I had to start being proactive; I had to start making conscious decisions toward change

It hasn’t been easy

I am still not quite where I want to be

But I feel like I am getting closer

Fortunately, I have had the nectar of the gods beside me on this adventure… which reminds me, I think I’ll have another cup of coffee.





Categories: Culture & Society

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19 replies

  1. I joined a spiritual fellowship at 47. I had a 12 and 14 year old daughter and I had decided to divorce after 20 years. I was scared shitless. These people said “God will do for you that which you can not do for yourself”. I did not know any God but I gave the philosophy a chance. I did everything I felt I could do to change for the better. I was given a back surgery and breast cancer. I began to pray like a MO FO. I am a long way off from Happy Joyous and Free but I am learning how to be centered during calamities. My sleeves are up ready to help the next stumbling Agnostic that wants to hear a miraculous story.

  2. wow.

    you just gave words to my experience that i didn’t know i needed:

    my faith that sustained me and messed with me all at the same time was totally reactive. to make sense of the hurt and pain, i chose to believe that life happens, god is good, and my job is to simply respond well to the shit.

    i still think that’s true, but i’m learning to practice participating as well! it’s mind blowing.

    so, thank you.

    plus, i love this: Hope is great…..hope is important……but hope doesn’t send cherry pies hurling through the sky packed with a million dollars

  3. always interesting reading your posts… you brought up your faith and unrealistic movies influencing you… have you thought of the common fairy-tale… if you look back to fairy-tales of Grimm and Aesop you will notice that they didn’t always have happy endings and often served to teach a lesson. Modern day fairy tales might still contain a moral message but they no longer bare consequence. For example in the Boy Who Cried Wolf, there were rather serious repercussions for the boy’s prank juxtapose that against a modern Disney fairy-tale (or insert favorite modern fairy tale teller.) the consequence in modern fairy tales seems to take place at the beginning if at all… for my modern example I will use a fairy tale I like in Cinderella… what are the consequences of her being an imposter and not being who she claimed to be…she go to marry a prince. In real life that just wouldn’t be so…we have all been deceived by people pretending to be who they weren’t and in reality we are not as forgiving of this behaviour. It is our early youth when we are most open and influenced by the world around us. It is in our youth that we are sold our rose colored glasses and that cherry pie in the sky.

    • Tj,

      your example of the fairy tale is right on target.

      It’s crazy how so many of the parables, fables, fairy tales, etc that we are raised with are tailored in such a way to give us an unrealistic view of life.

      Of course, that is why they are called fairy tales…..

      but nonetheless, how many kids grow up thinking, “i’m going to be a basketball star” or “I’m going to be a movie star” or “Rockstar” in relation to how many of them actually have a chance at doing those things!

    • I brought up the fairy tale because it has become a method of parenting, plop the kid in front of the tv and put on the Lion King for the 50th time… there is a lot of repetition in content akin to brainwashing. We protect children from the cold realities of the world in general and tell them they can be anything they want to be, but we seldom equip them with the tools to deal with the realities of following ones dreams. And then there are those children who exist on the other end of the spectrum that are discouraged early on told they would never amount to anything, while a lot of these children fall between the cracks the ones that don’t tend to be quite extraordinary examples of what hard work and determination can achieve.

    • spot on! there’s nothing wrong with kids wanting to be basketball stars, but as you said they’re not equipped with the knowledge that it takes a lot of hard work to get there- it doesn’t just happen. there are so many kids in some areas that are written off and then do nothing with their lives also. seems to be one extreme or the other – how unfortunate. it’s important to realize that life doesn’t live itself – you live it and to live it you must participate. im always advocating for being proactive and somehow along the way had forgotten that applies to life in general also. im trying hard now to be more proactive in my own life and get it where i want it to be. it’s been hard but im trying. kenneth – thanks for writing this! i totally relate completely. what you wrote is exactly the awakening i’ve been having for the last few months or so. i can only hope it’s not too late to change course.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post while I drank my morning coffee. I’m one of those who has worked for years and would at least like to pare back a bit.

  5. I resonated on being raised in an atmosphere where we relied on hope. In my case, the hope we cast forth rarely materialized in reality. Often I wanted to change and feel willing to do so, but I just don’t see the next step. But, little by little, I do seem to chisel out a reality I’m happier with as time passes. Small steps, perhaps that’s the key?

  6. Interesting read as always. I was pretty reactive up until last year when the realization that I might be able to retire in several years hit me. That’s single-digit years, not 10 or 15 or 20. Short enough to feel less stressed about the daily grind but long enough to make some solid, proactive plans for when I can get up on a Monday morning and sit down to work at my personal computer in my home, with a cup of coffee on the side :). Just need to stay healthy. Health is always the deal-breaker.

  7. For one thing – in order for us to have that magical cherry pie filled with the perfect job and money to land on us from above, we have to actually imagine where it is coming from and exactly what it looks like. Who threw it, and why did they?

    By seeing the details of this manifestation, we can start to put in place the many conditions necessary in order for this to happen.

    I have recently had a couple of wonderful cherry pies come to me – a free car, for instance. But first, I had to imagine who would have this extra car, and why would they want to give it to me. I needed it to help drive my mom on her errands, as my truck is too hard for her to get into. I put a notice out to that effect on my mailing list and lo and behold, someone who was retiring soon gave me their commuter car. Lots of miles but runs perfectly.

    I have also landed a couple of sweet jobs, but first I had to become the ideal worker – imaginative and creative. I needed to be there at the right time to say “yes” when the job was offered.

    Of course it is up to us – WE make things happen.

    Now, I think I will have a cup of coffee…. gee, it sure would be nice if someone brought it to me.

  8. I’m a bit depressed this Monday morning but only because Game of Thrones had me crying last night. It was devastating.

    But, I know that if I didn’t have to work, I most certainly wouldn’t. And it makes me sad to think that probably 99.9% of the population do not like their jobs.

    My favorite movie of all time? Office Space.

  9. As Belle and Sebastian say in one of their songs: Do something pretty while you can, don’t fall asleep…”

  10. Your post truly resonated with me today. Today, I started volunteering at a Legal firm. I was trying to apply for jobs pertaining to my degree but couldn’t get work as most of my experience was as a student working in retail. Instead of just sitting at home depressed, I finally started to take charge. They get free help and I get valuable work experience to put on my resume.

  11. your blog post was/is an echo of my own journey..was like you were in my head, writing down my thoughts.

  12. Your line, “Hope is great…..hope is important……but hope doesn’t send cherry pies hurling through the sky packed with a million dollars,” is so true. I was raised in a very conservative Christian home, and I think I’ve only been able to understand that no cherry pie is going to ever just fall into my lap, within the last year. Great post 😉

  13. Being proactive – good advice. I like how you always end with coffee. 🙂

  14. Man isn’t always master of his fate. When my marriage broke up, I made 5-year-plans with everything mapped out as to how I was going to be in charge of my life. But fate or God or th celestial dice had other ideas and things worked out totally different – and probably better. It’s the unexamined life that is toxic!

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