Islam: Day 29 – The Company Staff Meeting Revisited

During my Stoicism month, I wrote about how being cynical at your job is your own fault. For me, the feeling of cynicism was especially strong at our quarterly staff meeting.

My company had out second quarterly staff meeting yesterday and it was more or less the same as the one before: a presentation on company financials, strategic priorities, etc.

However, I handled this one better than I did last time. While much of the material was just as cheesy and I still had that instinctual response to criticize whatever the company president was saying, I was able to take a step back and put it all into context.

It’s impressive that the company was able to start as a small 1-2 person shop and grow into a 100-person company. I have never achieved this, and I likely never will.

It’s impressive that the individuals in the company have managed to deal with the frustration of being a government consulting company (inefficient bureaucracy, difficult business development processes, etc.).

It’s humbling to realize that fundamentally, the company consists of people, who all have worries and hopes and normal life stuff common to everyone.

Instead of letting my cynicism grow, taking the time to think about those things I mentioned allowed me to calm down, to avoid the despair of feeling like I’m in a BS job.

Keep in mind I’m not “cured” of my cynicism, it’s still an ongoing battle between my desire to be humble and my desire to look down on my employer.

But it’s nice to have the “try to be humble” tool in your toolbox when combatting job cynicism. Most of the lifestyle design bloggers revert to “quit your job immediately!” or “build a side business so you can quit your job in 6 months!” While those may be appropriate solutions in some case, it’s limiting. It cuts off the possibility of you learning to manage your feelings at your current job.

“Small heroes master their enemies. Big heroes master themselves.” – Rumi

The small hero quits his job as soon as it is frustrating. The big hero manages their feelings about their job, and methodically takes action to improve his circumstances.