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The Danger in Getting Everything You Want


by Glenn Shepard
September 20, 2016
Category:  Professional Development



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In a survey by Robert Half, managers were asked what their biggest employee problems are. Their answers:

60% - Finding skilled workers

19% - Maintaining employee morale and productivity

8% - Managing difficult employees

7% -Retaining staff

6% - Other

I got my first apartment when I was a senior at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, which I shared it with three roommates.

Our coffee table was a wooden cable spool, and our shelving was cinder blocks and wood boards.

We had vehicles, but wanted something better. For one roommate, it was a red Porsche. For another, it was a Harley. For another, it was a Volvo sedan (he was the weird one). For me, it was a yellow Corvette.

We lost track of each other after graduation. That sounds strange in today’s world where everybody is connected, but this was the norm before social media.

When came out years later, and then LinkedIn and Facebook, we reconnected.

Everyone had achieved a respectable level of success, and gone through some version of buying the dream vehicle, getting married, having kids, trading the dream car for a mini-van or SUV, and so on.

Everyone had nice homes with nice furniture, and the biggest goal for most was putting kids through college. A few more years went by, and the next subject of conversation was planning for retirement.

None of these should ever come as a surprise to anyone.

People get married and want to have families. When kids come along, they buy a house.

Now they have more space and start filling it with stuff. Then they buy a bigger house to hold the extra stuff. Then they buy more stuff to fill the bigger house. (This was a famous George Carlin skit named “A Place for My Stuff”).

Kids grow up and want to go to college. People spend 40 years working and want to retire. And so on.

Anyone with half a brain plans for (or at least thinks about) these events, because they’re predictable. But the one thing people never plan for is what they’ll do when they have everything they want, and have no ‘Next Stage’.

Most people are so busy chasing a dream that they never think about what they’ll do when they catch it.

Contentment is one of the most powerful de-motivators there is.

This is why well managed companies know that no matter how generous they are with commissions, sales reps won’t be motivated if they have a base salary that’s enough to get by on. They want their sales reps to stay hungry.

No matter where you are in your life, always have a plan for what you’ll do next. As odd as it sounds, getting everything you want in life can be very dangerous.

To Your Success,

P.S. Last week marked 28 years since I bought my first business, and I never plan to retire. If you haven’t found work you love, start looking today. Life’s too short to waste doing anything less.

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