Archive for August, 2014

Continuing through the SWEAT pledge, today I will be touching on numbers two and three (If you missed it, you should check out the first one).

Funny enough I actually have already written about number two in a previous post before I even knew about this pledge so you could say I am on board with this next one.

2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

Since I have touched on it I won’t belabor the point, but I will say that I am in full agreement that there is a definite difference.  Freedom to pursue my happiness implies that I have given thought as to what makes me happy.  It also means that I have given time to understand at least the next step to move toward turning that vision into reality.  It does not mean that vision doesn’t change with time, but it also doesn’t mean there are no obstacles.  When you work toward something it has deeper meaning.  I remember when I was a kid I wanted a good bike.  So I scraped together money from birthdays, a small allowance, and odd jobs and bought the pieces to the bike I wanted.  I started with the frame and then the wheels and so on.  It took a year or so and was painful watching other kids on their bikes, but when it was finished and I got on it the first time it was amazing.  Not only did I learn a ton in putting it together (including spray painting), it was completely my bike.  So much so it still hangs in the garage some 30 years later.  Didn’t I deserve the bike I wanted immediately?  Shouldn’t my parents have just given it to me?  I cannot look back at that and say they should have.  It would not have meant the same.  Because of that and other experiences like that, when I look around at what people say is a “right” it saddens me.
3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.
This next one is interesting because while I do think you can have a bad job, I understand the sentiment.  What I take from this is that even if you hate what you are doing there will always be something you can take away from it.  Whether it is getting your body in shape or getting time to reflect while you do repetitive type work, it is possible to either think about the next step in your life or learn a new skill that will help you get that next job.  For myself I worked in retail and fast food while I was going through community college.  I enjoyed the people (at least in one of those) and it helped keep me focused on (nearly) finishing my degree.  It has certainly provided incentive for me to not go back.  I also learned how to take pride in making a flawless burger and getting that last box into the rack.
I have enjoyed Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs for a number of years.  After the show I lost track of him, but two things brought him back to my attention.  First a friend of my daughter got a scholarship through his foundation and second an interview of his was on the Reason YouTube channel.
During the interview he mentioned the sweat pledge so I had to look it up.  I was very surprised at how it closely fit with my world view and really is helping to bring in focus the mission statement I have been puzzling over myself while going through the 7 Habits from Steven Covey.
There are twelve tenets so to speak, so I was going through them one at at a time to make them personal and I figured I would post them as well.  At the end I might throw out my finished “mission statement” as an accountability thing as well as a way to easily periodically review.  Surprisingly, I will start with the first one.
1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.
I love this because it starts with the baseline for everyone, you are alive.  Regardless of anything else it recognizes that you are here and attempting to understand this thing we call life.  This is great because it reinforces that “hey you are here”, so what are you going to do with that opportunity.
Geography aside, that last sentence is harder to digest.  Like anything in my life, I get used to things as they are and even the most amazing things become mundane when they are there every day.  Being grateful is difficult and is normally brought back into focus only when something unusual happens, usually a tragedy of some sort.  I want to recognize that I have so much to be grateful for and give a voice to that even if something doesn’t kick down the blinders. It does not mean I have not worked for what I have but that I show appreciation for what and who are around me.
[Update 10/04/2014: Added all the parts here to make it easier to follow.]