blogging gobbledygook and such

The School of Hard Knocks

You know, I never understood how some people actually choose to go through difficult moments in life. One instance that comes to mind is an older friend who told me that she used to be an accountant, or something along those lines, with pittance for pay and worked from 7 in the morning till midnight, six days a week! What the hell? And if I remember correctly, she worked at that job for about a year.

I’m a believer of: if you don’t like the situation you’re in, do something about it. Problem is, what I usually do is that I get out of it. It’s a form of doing something, but I’m not really doing anything to the situation – I’m simply eliminating it.

I’m not justifying my behaviour, but my rationale behind it is that: I am in charge of my own happiness or wellbeing. Therefore, I have the power to change, to seek, to do whatever it takes to get there. I may not make the right choices all the time, but the power is mine.

And that’s why I’m baffled when people like my older friend stay in such horrible situations for so long! She had the power to quit, but she stayed in that job for longer than anyone should, in my opinion. Her rationale is that the experience was terrible but it had made her a stronger person.

I personally don’t buy into that sort of thinking. Yes, bad things in life can make you become stronger, but it’s something that happens to you because life happens, not because you choose that life. As in, you become a stronger person after suffering the loss of a loved one, or surviving a natural disaster or some horrific car crash. You don’t seek to be in a difficult position, it was just thrust upon you like how life does.

But then again, if you view hardships in life the way I do, it’s not exactly the right way either. I keep running away because it’s easier than staying in a situation which I know I have the power to remove myself from. If I had the commitment to stay in a place I’m unhappy in, I might find happiness in it some day, though I suppose it’ll take longer than I’d like that to happen. Of course, there isn’t any guarantee that the happiness I hope will come will indeed come. It may never happen.

How do you view hardships in life? Something you willingly go through to emerge a better person as a result of the experience, or something you have the power to change if you choose to?

Comments on: "The School of Hard Knocks" (18)

  1. I am a bit like you in many ways. If I can do something to change the thing that is bothering me then I will often do it. I say often… because there are sometimes stumbling blocks that I cannot get over. I have a situation in my personal life at the moment and I know I should do something about it, but I can’t. Because there isn’t an easy or straightforward solution I am totally seized by inertia and I am still doing nothing, desperately hoping it will magically resolve itself. (It won’t and I know it – but I still keep hoping!)
    Pain and suffering can be good though, it does make you stronger and you appreciate the good stuff so much more once you’ve had to wade through a sea of crap to get to it!
    I am going to hazard a guess that this about your job? If it is that awful, get looking for something else. You don’t have to just quit, you can find something better and move on. If you hate it now – is it really going to improve with time? I’ve been in jobs that sucked. I did my six months (the minimum that you can get away with on a CV in England without it looking bad) and then just handed in my notice and went elsewhere…

    sulz: like mess in the house, huh?πŸ™‚

    yup, it’s good but not necessarily pleasant! that’s why i don’t understand people who willingly go through a situation, knowing that they have the power to change it.

    it’s partly about my job, but it’s mostly to do with how i deal with issues in life. i have the same approach with friendships and relationships and that’s not good.

    i’m not even 3 months into the job, lol!

  2. It’s a difficult question. How do you deal with the hardships in your life? I don’t know. Actually I guess I try escaping them at first. And if they’re inescapable, I crib through them but I’ve never really learned any lesson from them.

    And as far as your attitude is concerned, I guess most people aren’t as confident as you are. Maybe your friend didn’t leave the job because she thought she might not get another one. At least she was getting some money here, even if it wasn’t worth the effort. I think it’s the same in relationships. There are quite a few people who deal with violent and unreasonable partners just because they think this is the best they could manage. There’s not gonna be anyone else so they have to be with this person. Whatcha think?

    sulz: i guess i’m doing the same in life!πŸ˜† on the contrary, i think i do this because i’m insecure! i don’t believe i have what it takes to weather through the storm. not that i want to as well…

    as for relationships, yeah i don’t get these people too. but i suppose i’m the extreme opposite of them – while they’re willing to stay in an unhappy relationship, hoping it will be better if they stick it out, i see rough patches in relationships as a sign that things are not going to get better and i want to quit before i invested too much. although i quit with the insecure feeling that nobody else is going to want me too, i feel as if i rather be alone than be with someone and unhappy to be with that person.

    hope college life is treating you well, ish!πŸ™‚ thanks for dropping by.

  3. This is very thought-provoking. I think it’s not a good idea to run away from everything, but if you’re in a situation that doesn’t really help anybody and causes you nothing but misery, like your friend’s accountancy job, the best thing to do is to get out of that situation as soon as possible. I don’t believe there is any long term benefit of making life that difficult for oneself; in fact the opposite can be the case.

    That said, we do learn from our experience, and perseverence is generally a virtue, providing you know when to quit. Sometimes it’s best just to endure whatever life throws at us, and I think we do emerge as stronger people after that.

    sulz: thanks, i think i’m getting my blogging groove back!πŸ˜€ as for hardships, it’s difficult to know when i should stick it out or when i should stop. i suppose in the end that’s up for us to decide because we’re going through it ourselves, not other people! in which case, my older friend was right in staying in that job for so long, because she wanted to.

  4. Interesting post. There are times when obligations in life are greater than one’s happiness at the moment. Opportunity is important here. For e.g, perhaps at that time, the job market was not enticing. I am sure your friend, willingly, wouldn’t preferred to continue the job given the circumstances. There are many instances in life that requires a whole lot of perseverance. This incident is one such example.

    I also believe we shouldn’t always turn our back against challenges. Life throws lemons, make lemonade out of it. And if you don’t like lemonade, try sharing/selling itπŸ˜€

    sulz: hmm, true, i haven’t give those aspects a thought and of course, i don’t fully know what were the circumstances of her situation then.

    selling lemonades is like quitting, isn’t it? in that case, i’d most likely do that.πŸ˜›

  5. lovelyloey said:

    About getting out of a job etc, it’s not simply about leaving the company. Some people prefer to have a certain sense of certainty that if they do leave, there’s another job for them, especially in a competitive job market in Singapore.
    And being responsible for oneself only, it’s only good when we’re single. Married people would have to consider the well-being of their spouse and children when making big decisions like quitting a job or migrating somewhere. So the bottomline, stay single. HAHAHA.
    My attitude is always, what doesn’t kill you, will try again, but eventually it’d make you stronger. Sometimes I’m masochistic like that, haha.

    sulz: of course i’d only leave when i have another job secured. if i do leave, that is… yeah, i’m definitely glad to be single at the moment, though i’m not without responsibilities as i do give my parents money since they are semi-retired.

    let’s see how masochistic you’d be in your first job!πŸ˜†

  6. I think your friend is 100 per cent right, unless some really terrific situ turns up. When you keep walking away you are only putting yourself back at the beginning and that without the encouraging knowledge that you suceeded before. just my opine

    sulz: you have a point there for sure!πŸ™‚

  7. Sometimes Sulz, there is just no choice. People outside the situation can see a lot, the person involved really does know what it is. She weighs a lot of criteria in before opting for the choice she makes. So, in your friend’s case, you might not really know what are the factors that drives her to endure the job.

    As for challenging/tough situations, I guess they come back to you as much as you run away from them one way or the other! Escapism helps you only that much!! Face everything head on is my take. Some times, when you do that, you still might be helpless in changing things for the better…face that too. (Like me, but hey…I can crib to all my blog buddiesπŸ˜‰ )

    sulz: i think in not making a choice that is a choice in itself. but it’s true that people have a lot of advice for someone in a situation but it’s not easy to make it when you are that someone!

  8. I am in some ways very much like your friend. I would stay in the situation and try to make the best of it. I would need to rant and get some things out of my system, but once that is done I usually am up to taking the challenge of the situation all over again.

    In most cases I believe I am looking for the situation to solve, I am ready to put in what would be required, but I want things to be solved as I usually get very comfortable with things very quickly and then when problems seem to magically arise, I try to acclimatize or else solve them.

    I end up throwing my hands up only after some rounds of rants and tries.

    sulz: hmm, perhaps i’m doing it like you? rant and threaten to quit but in the end i’m not.πŸ˜€

  9. sulz, i think there must have been some problem which made your friend continue with that job……..and think about it who wouldnt like to quit such a job ?
    besides if my personal view on facing hardship is concerned ..i feel its better to face it than avoid it. life is like an ongoing lesson. what makes the difference is whether you would like to swallow it and continue feeling pukish, or you learn it by heart and actually enjoy and understand it or you escape from it fearing that you may never get it. and who said all lessons are easy? everything cant be a cake walk. i had choose the second option than any other. and might be your friend also views it the same way….. πŸ˜› πŸ™‚
    ps- the moon is rising ….but cant become full otherwise the face will go into hidingπŸ˜€

    sulz: i was close to that friend then and i did ask why she stayed for so long. she didn’t really give me an answer to that, hence my disbelief – i’m assuming that if she had a good reason to stay that long she’d have said it and because she didn’t, i’m assuming it’s because she doesn’t have one! but you know what they say about assume…πŸ˜›

    i don’t know if i can face difficulty head on like you, but i know i should stop running away from it too. sigh, life! why can’t it just be endless buffets and siestas?πŸ˜†

  10. Wish it was just the house being a mess! But that has become normality at the moment.
    My relationship with my husband is going through a very rough patch. I’ve chatted a little about it on my blog but not in massive detail. I am trying very hard to see if it is worth saving. Part of me thinks the relationship will end sooner or later, but the problem avoidance part of me keeps on thinking “Give it another 6 months and see if it gets better” I doubt very much it will , but I keep on trying. I think inertia sums up my situation very well. At some point though, if things don’t change I will have to act, how long do you let the pain continue when you know you could stop it? It’s a question without an answer in my opinion…

    sulz: i’m so sorry to hear about you and your husband. but if you married your husband and had kids, of course you’re thinking it’s for life isn’t it? don’t give up so soon! i’m sure he doesn’t want to lose you like this…

    i think the way you do and that’s how many of my friendships are lost. i don’t particularly miss some because i was never close to begin with, but it’s a destructive habit and it may make me lose people i care a lot about. i don’t want that to happen!

  11. Depends on the situation, really. If it’s a small enough matter, then it’s the highway for me.

    But yes, I do believe to some extent of deliberately putting myself through something I’d consider hard to remind myself that life isn’t supposed to be free and easygoing all the time. It’s like giving myself reality checks :-s

    I put myself through this in *hopes* of emerging a stronger person. When that proves unfruitful, it’s time to move on eventually because I do agree with you that you control your own happiness as well.

    sulz: so basically it’s a “try first” motto for anything and everything lah? yeah, a friend told me once “you only fail if you don’t try”… i think i’ve used that saying to justify every time i decide to do something, and that includes running away.πŸ˜•

  12. thebeadden said:

    Both. The job situation. Well, it isn’t good to have too many short positions on record because it reflects badly when you go for another one. And for some, jobs may be scarce. And it is a pay coming every week or however you get paid.

    If something was really bad, you bet I’d walk. Sure everything we do in life is our own making and choice but sometimes we have to suck up the bad stuff for a while.

    sulz: i know, but it can be quite tempting to start a new job again… it’s like making a fresh new start. although i hate change, lol.

  13. soooper interesting blog. If i was in your place then i would do the same thing… just quit doing what i dont like. i guess your friend had become too complacent and she got used to the hardships… which isnt correct cuz there should be nothing that should make you complacent…

    i guess i love the way you think… its the voice of a strong and an independent thinker…

    keep blogging… me loves itπŸ˜€

    added u on my roll…

    sulz: thank you! and welcome!πŸ™‚ hah, i’m far from strong and independent… i think i’m not exactly ready to do just that yet. i don’t wanna grow up so fast!πŸ˜› gonna check your blog soon, just came back from a party and i’m pooped!

  14. backandtothefuture said:

    A lot of people are afraid of change, and worry subconsciously that a bad situation is a reflection of themselves, and don’t recognise that they have a ”get out”.

    Thank you again for the comment!πŸ™‚

    sulz: i’m afraid of change, but i keep feeling like running away, believing there’s a better place if i run fast and far enough! i suppose people who stay longer than they should in a situation just have a higher limit of tolerance? eventually it will come to a point, just like my friend.

    it was an interesting story with a happy personal-growth ending, yours!πŸ˜‰

  15. Hardships are just another lesson of life. How you handle it is as much a part of the lesson as the assumed hardship. There is no set way to handle any one of lessons life. When it comes to a job (or anything else) becoming a hardship, first honestly ask yourself – Is it the job that is causing the hardship or something about myself that causes the job to become a hardship. You have to be careful to not fool yourself when you are examining the situation, lest you miss the opportunity to learn something about life and your path along its winding road.

    sulz: seems like it all boils down to perspective. as you say, there is no set way to handle life’s lessons. someone who wants to see a situation as causing hardship will see it like that, and someone who refuse to see it like that believes it’s all about what sort of attitude s/he chooses to have. is that person right or wrong? depends on which perspective you are more inclined to!πŸ™‚ i think there’s always a lesson behind whatever decision one makes about a difficult situation, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantees you won’t repeat the mistake.

  16. That is true – there are no guarantees in life. I have said this before but it bears re[eating when dealing with job history. When a prospective employee hands a resume to Mr./Ms./Mrs. Manager at a place they person wants to work for–> One of the first think the Manager will look at is job history. If a prospective employee is a job hopper (a history that shows short term employment at several different companies) then the application will probably get shoved into the do not hire pile of applications. I cannot say what the cost is in your region but here where I live we figure it takes at least $7000 to replace an employee. As a manager when you look at a job hopper that cost outweighs most other attributes. We tend to toss applications from job hoppers unless we are real desperate.

    sulz: it’s the same here, really. but what do you mean it takes 7k to replace an employee?πŸ˜•

  17. 7K is the estimated hidden loss figure after you calculate the time it takes to refill the position. The amount of employee overtime or managerial time spent filling in for the vacated position. The amount lost in revenue. The amount lost in retraining a new employee. The amount of time it takes to bring a new employee’s work up to company standards. Plus I am sure there are other hidden costs of replacing a new employee that I am forgetting. That is why job hopper resumes usually wind up in the trash can. To replace some employees the cost is astronomical. That is why the higher up on the corporate food chain an employee is, the more likely a company is to make special arrangements to keep that employee.

    sulz: wow… it’ll cost less in malaysia i think but our revenue is lesser too. i’ve got so much to learn in the working world! thanks for the answer.πŸ™‚

  18. I like to comment on your blog, but I honestly don’t know what to say to this one.πŸ˜• I just feel like repeating something trite like “Do what feels best to do”. But, a) duh! and b) boring!
    I guess I’ll answer your last question, though…”How do you view hardships in life?”
    I’m not being smug, or pretentious here, really, but…I choose not to have them.😎

    sulz: haha, don’t cha know it!πŸ˜‰ when you say you choose not to have them, it really means that you don’t see whatever you go through as hardship though it could be considered so?

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