Bottom Line Up Front: The economy is changing. This is a consistent Authentic Masculinity theme and we will continue to hammer it often. Even if you are in a challenging job you enjoy, odds are your employer is looking for ways to move you out. That day—the day you get laid off or fired-- may never come, but the prudent man prepares for it nonetheless. Others depend on you and you had better be thinking 3 steps ahead all the time. One of the best ways to prepare is to plot your escape— plotting an escape is invigorating-- while continuing to perform well at your job. That way if you are asked to move on you will be ready to take on the new economy.
The happy, savage reality:
Taxes are rising indefinitely, the value of the US dollar is sinking and liberty is calling you.
If you are in a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) count your blessings. This is a tough economy. Having a J.O.B. is a privilege. It’s good for us and provides us with stability, but we are foolish in the extreme to think it will last forever. We, as men, do what we have to do for those we love. However, it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. If you’re in a J.O.B., you are trading time for money, which is a losing game and bad for our animal instincts. We are in an inflationary national economy linked to an increasingly competitive tech-driven global economy. Taxes will continue to go up, the value of our paychecks will continue to go down. No employer can (or should be expected to) keep your standard of living up in times like these and these times are here to stay.
So, write this down as your new mantra: A job is a short term solution to a long term problem.
The follow-on: A long-term solution is being employable rather than employed and ultimately self-sufficient. We will explore the long term solution in a later blog post.
Be a man. Embrace reality with vigor.
So, how do you strengthen your position in your J.O.B. while you prepare to be let go? One way is to lay low, strengthen yourself and bide your time.
Laying low is not as sneaky as it sounds. The essentials of laying low: be a quiet, competent professional, bring value every day, cultivate a respectful sense of humor and learn the skills of your job. All while committing to a difficult and demanding philosophy:
Never criticize, condemn or complain and argue with no one. Ever.
Doing this brings value (we can assume you are reasonably competent), earns you the friendship and respect of your colleagues and makes you a better man. It’s tough and requires discipline and diligence. The way to cultivate a respectful sense of humor? Try this the next time you want to be funny: no joke, quip or witticism is funny unless everyone laughs. No victim humor, no put downs, no sarcasm.
Once you’re doing these things…
Strengthening yourself means investing in yourself. Do this while being a model employee bringing value every day to your job no matter how much or little you love that job. Resources to strengthen yourself: Tim Ferriss’s books, Robert Kyosaki’s books, James Altucher’s blog posts and podcasts, the Great Jim Rohn’s YouTube videos. Anything by Tony Robbins. Commit to lifelong learning, become a student and improve yourself, which means you’re humble.
We need humility because pride destroys our lives and kills us.
So while you work at a difficult task and become a humble self-strengthening student, focus on the future and the intoxicating air of liberty. Now, you would be wise to plot your escape.
A daring. Daylight. Escape.
Try to take as many men with you as you can by setting the example and inspiring them.
To do that requires you yourself be inspired, have a vision, and be disciplined, resourceful, resilient, diligent. All this makes you attractive to your employer. See how it starts to work? By preparing for the worst you make it less scary, less likely and you improve your situation.
But you are ready.
Inspiration is the spark that lights a fire in you. Inspiration is what tells you to take action. Sometimes it’s a soft, nagging, quiet little voice that whispers in your ear, “You deserve better.” Sometimes inspiration is a claxon-like, clarion call that says, “Wake up! You’re on a sinking life and it’s going to take you down with it. Get out, get in that cold water, fix your life and get it up and moving forward again.”
It has been said in many other places that without vision you will perish.
Here’s the question—do you have the courage, to envision a different life for yourself?
If so, good. If not, why not? If not for yourself, then for the ones who rely on you. What did your wife expect the day she married you?
Write that vision down. This is so important. Write down the vision you have of your future when you’re feeling the most motivated and hungry for success.
A brain like a dried up peach.
Let’s face it-- most jobs are a daily grind of soul-crushing, ambition crushing, and mind numbing boredom surrounded by people who are petty and miserable. The reason is that economically a J.O.B. is a dead end. You’re trading time for money, your employer is scrambling to find efficiencies and you’re earning the lowest quality of money (earned income) being taxed at the highest rate. Inflation and taxes alone are going to eat you alive.
As an employee you are shielded from reality. You have very few decisions to make and not making decisions over time causes your brain to atrophy.
When we are employees our brains tend/tend to become like dried up peaches.
But now you are different. You have a vision. Armed with your vision and encouraged by even a little spark of inspiration, now you have to focus on your daily discipline.
Four kinds of discipline.
Mental Discipline, Physical Discipline, Discipline to Do and Discipline Not to Do.
Mental discipline is where it all starts. Mental toughness drives physical toughness because mental toughness is what it takes to control your emotions. Men, we have to make our own weather every day. We dare not rely on anyone else to get us in the right mental framework to seize our fortunes.
Physical discipline drives your body to do what it does not want when it doesn’t want to do it. It’s doing what your mentally disciplined mind tells it to do. Get out of bed on time, don’t complain, make your bed. It takes emotional and mental discipline to lay low in a J.O.B. and consistently turn in good, solid, cheerful results that exceed the standard.
Discipline to DO is saving money, for example.
Discipline NOT to do is not spending. Two different skills, both important. You’ll think of other examples.
Life, like golf, is a game of inches. You will have to do what you can with what you have where you are. Sometimes that means taking the resources you’re given and using them in different ways.
You’ll know what we mean when the time comes. Write us when it does. You will be proud of what you do when the chips are down because you are a resourceful man.
Being resilient means bouncing back. Think like a small tree in a stiff wind. It is blown and it bends, It knows it can bounce back. So can you.
Because standing up on your own two feet is going to take time. You will encounter setbacks. You will doubt yourself and you will fall down as you learn. You must always get back up and get back in the game. If you do not quit you will never fail.
Bide your time.
Biding your time means you are making a conscious decision to wait and watch. It can be called a Strategic Pause. It can be called Developing the Situation. In combat it’s when your lead elements take fire and as the commander you resist the temptation to have them fire back reactively. You exercise restraint while you observe, discern and weigh your options. Then, you act on your own terms.
It’s very tough to do and very wise.
Decide now how much your own freedom and dignity are worth and what you are willing to do to achieve them. Remember the five words of success? “Get started and don’t stop.”
You are a man and I believe in you. You deserve better. Now, fight to earn the freedom you deserve.
If you’d like to be coached through this process—no matter where you are on the employee chain, very, very high or very, very low—consider Authentic Masculinity coaching. To learn more, sign up!