Climbing The Corporate Ladder - The Secret To Enjoying The Journey

By Steve Sheeren

It is extremely challenging in corporate America to climb to the top of the ladder of success. Really, how many people can fit on that top rung?? A frighteningly small number of positions that are wanted by a frighteningly large group of people. Clearly the higher one moves up the ladder, the more difficult it gets. Yet the messages constantly being communicated to us include "do whatever it takes to win", "winners never quit" and "beat out the competition". That puts tremendous pressured to move forward, move up and achieve those corporate goals. What is the reward when you do hit those goals ( which most likely were set for you by someone else )? "Stretch" goals for the next month/quarter/year! The fortunate few might get a promotion, though often that means even more pressure to achieve.

How is YOUR journey going? Do you find yourself saying any of the following?

"When the promotion comes, THEN I will be happier"

"Once I get that bump in salary, THEN I can spend more time with family and friends"

"If my team hits their goals, THEN I will be a lot easier to deal with"

"When I am in charge, THEN things will be a lot different"

If you said "yes" to any of the statements above, ask yourself this: Really?

Won't there be another raise to go after? Another target to achieve? Another set of stretch goals for your team to attempt to hit? The pressure to achieve will continue to ratchet higher. So how DOES one enjoy the journey up the ladder of success? We have little control over many things that influence our journey: the economy, the weather, other people's actions and decisions, industry trends, etc. One thing we DO control is our attitude, or how we react to our situation. If our focus is always on our yet-to-be-met goals or things we don't have, its extremely difficult to have a positive attitude since we are never "there". That doesn't mean just "don't worry, be happy" (apologies if that song is now stuck in your head!). Take the time to enjoy the scenery along your climb by focusing on what you DO have and what you HAVE accomplished. It is just this perspective of gratitude that most positively impacts our attitude...and in turn our actions. Take time right now to focus on what you have and what you have accomplished. If you are feeling challenged and find it difficult to come up with things, here is a bit of perspective:

* If you are reading this, you are literate. 20% of the people in the world cannot read or write.

* If you are reading this, you have your sense of sight. Forty million people do not have their sense of sight.

* If you are reading this, you have access to a computer. There are 5 BILLION people who have no access to the internet.

* If you are reading this, there is a great likelihood that you have at least some "free time" that is not being spent foraging for your next meal. Eight hundred MILLION people suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

With a bit of practice, you will discover it becomes easier to find things in your life for which you are grateful. Focusing on and appreciating what you have, and have accomplished, will shift how you feel about your journey. Your attitude WILL be positively impacted and that positive shift in attitude will result in positive change. Side note: do not be surprised when the people around you notice this change as well. And if you truly cannot find enough things to appreciate on your climb up the corporate ladder of success, maybe its time to step off the ladder and discover a different path. - 31520

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