“The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.” Ellen Glasgo
Which of todays planned actions or this week’s will lift your spirit, boost your energy, inspire positive change, get you moving, supercharge your enthusiasm, expand your self awareness, advance your goals, stimulate your senses, drive you forward, turn your dreams into reality and provide a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment?
I was waiting in the reception area for my annual review. Usually conducted by my boss but somehow I was about to face the irascible, irritable and impatient CEO. I was certainly nervous but quietly confident. I was 25, an innovative and a productive powerhouse, an accomplished trainer and the head of a department that received consistently high marks.
I was at the top of my game, admittedly somewhat arrogant, with a smart mouth and a sarcastic edge that did not always make friends.
“My job,” the CEO began, “Is to make sure every employee in this company has the ability, the encouragement and the resources to realize their full potential.”
So far so good – but something didn’t feel right.
“Congratulations,” he continued, “Over the past year you have met or exceeded every measure we have set for you. The management team is delighted, as I am also.
However, when I compare your accomplishment to your potential, you are failing badly!”
“Son, this is too easy for you. You’re coasting. You’re in a rut. It’s a “Velvet Lined Rut” and very comfortable, but it’s still a rut!
While we are grateful for your work, we are taking advantage of your naivety and exploiting your complacency and we are certainly not doing what’s best for you!
My recommendation is to seek an organization with a position that will stretch you to the limit, and reveal to you what you are capable of becoming.”
I sat in stunned silence listening to my heart pounding.
“Go home. Talk this through with your wife. Discuss your professional rut dilemma to see if it extends into your personal life?
All I could think of was that famous quote about driving country roads. “Choose your rut carefully, you’ll be in it for the next 60 miles!”
I will be forever grateful to that insightful CEO. It was exactly the kick-in-the-ass my family and I needed.
Ten Years later I was President and owner of a High Tech Company, we had relocated from England, to Germany and then on to Massachusetts, and my professional, personal and family life were immeasurably better.
Wherever you are, in a Velvet Lined Rut or not, if it is your fully conscious and fully aware choice then sit back and enjoy your life.
But if like me you are endlessly curious, eager to climb and look over the next hill, and committed to wrestling with becoming the best person you can be, there is little choice.
“But there was a difference between being stuck and choosing to stay.
Between being found and finding yourself.” Martina Boone
The world outside my rut is restless, relentless, constantly changing, challenging, profound, inspiring, disturbing, fascinating and endlessly rewarding.
In turn I became a CEO and I can only hope I had the foresight and the courage of the man who changed my life forever.
“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden” –Johann von Goethe
Are you in a rut?
Do you dream of a better life?
Working with a Coach can help you gain a perspective on where you are, where you can go, and how you can get there from here!