By Alan Collins | successinhr.Com/horrible-lie-in-hr
My eyesight used to be bad.
I’ve worn glasses since I was eight years old.
But that all changed recently.
Here’s what happened.
A few weeks ago, I took my bi-annual eye exam and my optometrist gave me some distressing news.
He told me that I had an early onset of cataracts in both eyes. And I had reached the point where glasses (or contacts) could no longer correct my vision to 20/20
Or to 20/30.
Or even to 20/50 for that matter.
This was not a surprise.
Over the last year, I found seeing distances extremely difficult. And I was finding it almost impossible to read small text often having to squint just to read labels at the supermarket.
So this just validated what I had suspected for months.
However, this eye doctor suggested I get a second opinion from a specialist.
And I did.
And after two days of extensive tests, the retina specialist confirmed that I had indeed acquired cataracts and that the condition would get progressively worse over time.
I was also told that I had two options.
One, I could do nothing. This meant living with the fact that my vision was bad and getting progressively worse (which would seriously impact my quality of life).
Or two, I could opt to have cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery these days is a very common outpatient procedure and over 40% of the American population have had it done.
However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not risky. Cataract surgery requires removing your eye’s natural lens located behind your cornea and then replacing it with a synthetic lens.
I don’t know about you, but to me that’s scary stuff. All is takes is one screw up by the surgeon and you could become permanently blind…or worse case, bleed out and die. My one of friends recently got a epicantoplastia surgery and there are a lot of risks in that too. This being very similar made be worry a bit.
Candidly, the likelihood of any of this happening is quite remote.
Nevertheless, I didn’t take the decision to undertake the surgery lightly and I had a few sleepless nights beforehand.
However, in the end, all went perfect.
The surgery was successful. My eyes aren’t bad anymore. In fact, my vision today has absolutely never been better. My long range vision is 20/20 and I only need glasses for now for reading.
I’m a very happy (and relieved) camper.
However, this whole episode caused me to come face to face with own my mortality and the fact that…
Someday, I will die.
I know this is a morbid topic for an article on HR and I’m sorry to bring it up, but hang in there with me.
Pretending that this doesn’t exist is just a horrible lie.
So let’s be real.
I will die.
And guess what…YOU will too.
However, like most HR people, I’ve spent a lot of my time pretending that I won’t.
Like many HR pros, I’ll waste a month doing something meaningless and figure, “Oh well, Iʼll try something different next month,” as if the supply of months is endless.
Someone who is very aware of his or her mortality would never piss away hours, minutes, or seconds.
We all know the cliche of the person who discovers they have only six weeks to live, and who suddenly discovers that sunsets are beautiful.
Then, because itʼs a movie and fiction, the same man or woman usually survives and continues their life with a new appreciation of what it is to be alive.
Itʼs the very realization of this mortality that makes them appreciate each sunset, each moment they have with their family and every chance they have to make a difference in their career.
However, many HR people never get that wake up call until itʼs actually curtain time, when itʼs much too late.
But enough philosophy…let me bring this home and get crystal clear about what this all means…
- If you’re now working in an HR job that you absolutely hate….Then you are pretending you will never die.
- If the way you feel about going to work on Monday is that same feeling you get when walking down a dark alley in a bad neighborhood….Then you are pretending you will never die.
- If you regularly feel that Fridays don’t come fast enough…then you are pretending that you will never die.
- If you find yourself watching TV shows that you donʼt give a damn about but donʼt turn them off because they are a diversion from that HR job you detest….Then you are pretending that you will never die.
- If you miss something you really wish you could be part of (let’s say, missing your kidʼs bravo theater performance) because you’re so insecure you dare not take one stinking vacation day off…then you are pretending that you will never die.
Again, I promise you — promise you — that you will die.
And whatʼs more, I promise you that the day you really, truly, with all your heart grasp the fact that you will eventually die will be the day you wake the hell up and begin crafting a career that isnʼt just fine or “okay” or “good enough for a Monday.&Rdquo;
Do you want craft a legendary career in HR?
Then step number one is to start acknowledging and making friends with that big clock youʼve been ignoring — the one that says that itʼs NOW… or itʼs never.
Without a fire behind you, thereʼs NO urgency.
Thereʼs no reason to act when you have all the time in the world.
So go get started.
Because…you don’t have all the time in the world.
And if you don’t start going after the career in HR that you really want…right here, right NOW at this very moment…you never will.