The illusion of security

My buddy Jake just can’t catch a break.

Last year he was crippled with diverticulitis and lost most of the year recovering from multiple surgeries and infections.

This year looked better, promising, and even had a glimmer of hope that all the bad things where behind him.

Last week, Jake had to go under the knife one last time to remove some scar tissue along with a hernia that had developed mysteriously during his recovery. Things were finally looking up.

Until today.

Today was his first day back from that surgery. He wasn’t released by the doctor to return to work – he had to go back because he was out of vacation & sick days and with a house payment and a brand new baby – he couldn’t afford to spend time recovering without pay.

His boss welcomed back in a loving manner by telling him that he would be let go in May due to downsizing.

He wasn’t the only one who was getting that horrible news.

Sadly, it’s becoming all too common.

He told me “Tim, I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

I can’t blame him – he bought into the security belief and it continues to bite him in the ass.

You know the belief – the one that tells you to find a company, work hard, stick with it, and in 45 years you’ll retire from there with a nice fake gold watch for your troubles.

The corporate mantra: come in early, commute daily, work through lunch, forget vacation, always answer your cell phone, and come in on the weekends if possible.

He asked me for advice and here is my advice for him and for you.

I use to believe in the illusion of security. I tried government jobs, big corporate jobs, non-profits, small mom and pop shops and they all taught me an important lesson.

You’re foolish to rely on anyone else but you, yourself, and you again when it comes to making it in this life.

How many times are you going to have the rug pulled out from under you to realize the illusion of security is just that?

No matter how hard you work, no matter how much to save or earn the company – you’re only one step away from the unemployment line.

The only person that is going to look out for you – is you.

Now is the perfect time to change the direction of your ship.

Get another job for the time being if you must BUT let this be the driving force in your life to change.

To start something.

Start small at first and don’t spend a lot of money to get it off the ground.

Then give it time, energy, and focus and then watch it grow.

Build your safety net, increase your reach, and do everything in your power to take control over you and your life once and for all.

I know it’s hard to do that when you’re neck deep in debt, working for someone else just to pay the bills and barely able to save a dollar here and there.

Today is your chance to start changing that.

It won’t be easy and it won’t be overnight.

It takes time – just like anything of value in your life does (relationships, friendships, etc) but it’s worth it.

Take the pain, anger, and frustration out on your new venture.

Pour yourself into your new project. Kiss you wife goodnight and then get to work.

Miss sleep, work during lunch, and skip a game once in a while.

Do this not because you need to, but because you want to.

Do this because you’re on to their game and you’ve finally figured out the secret – that you are the only one who really cares and your success and failure.

You might upset some people in your pursuit, you might even lose some people in your life along your journey.

Fuck them.

They weren’t meant to be there anyway.

Most likely your success reminds them of their failure and if there is one thing losers can’t stand – is success.

So today’s the day.

The first day of your new life.

The first day of you taking complete and total responsibility for your success, income, and existence.

You’ve tried it their way for way too long – now it’s time to do it your way.

And guess what, if in a couple of months (give it at least 6 months of solid honest hard work) it doesn’t work out – don’t worry, they’ll be someone who will hire you.

But you know what, take the shot why you can, so you’re not on your death bed asking yourself “what if”.

Today is your day, pick yourself up, answer the bell, and get to work.

Your children’s children will thank you.

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