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"Lying on a Nail"

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I hope that Spark People will allow this Blog. I received this eMail in 2006. I had saved it and look back on it from time to time. This was from Nan S. Russell from her "Winning at Working." I believe her words will hold true for a lot of us.

"Lying on a Nail"

"Once there was a young woman who didn't like her job. Everyday when she came home from work, she told her husband how terrible her day had been, how tiring the work and how unreasonable her boss. "Leave that job," her husband told her.
"Oh I will" she said. "But not yet. I have too many friends there for me to leave just yet." And so she complained until the days became years and her family grew to five. "Leave that job," her children told her. "Oh I will" she said. "But not yet. I have seniority and four weeks vacation I can spend with you. I'm not ready to start over just yet.
And so she remained unhappy at work until the years became decades and her children had children. "Leave that job," her grandchildren told her. "Oh I will," she said. "But not yet. There's only seven more years until I reach thirty years of service and can retire. So I can't just yet."
I know this woman. And scores like her. People who settle for where they are, what they're doing, and how they're doing it. People who have planted their feet in status quo cement, lacking the courage to move from what is to what could be. People experiencing work like a four letter word and doing nothing to change it.
They remind me of the story about an old dog half-asleep on the porch of the general store, moaning and groaning in the sun. "Why is your dog acting that way?" a customer asked the store owner. "Oh," answered the man, "he's lying on a nail." "Well, why doesn't he move?" "Because it's not hurting him bad enough."
That's true for people, too. We convince ourselves the pain is not bad enough to leave the workplace we know. But we're wrong. Prolonged work pain is damaging. Some damages our self-esteem, kills our passion or destroys our dreams. Some emerges when we compromise our values, quiet our voice or hide our talent. Some happens when we're seduced by power or believe our own myths of importance and significance. Some occurs when we look the other way, say yes when we mean no or forfeit the promises we made to ourselves.
Wilbur Wright, of the Wright brothers fame, once commented, "We could hardly wait to get up in the morning." I know that exhilarating feeling of being so passionate about something I was working on that I couldn't wait to get back to work. And people who are winning at working know that kind of passion, too.
They get excited about work. They thrive offering their unique gifts and talents. And when things change as they sometimes will, they refuse to let a soul-depleting boss or environment hijack their self-esteem, passion or dreams. When work becomes work, they stop lying on a nail and do something about it."

© 2006 Nan S. Russell. All Rights Reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nan Russell has spent twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a columnist, writer and speaker.
ABOUT THIS BIWEEKLY eCOLUMN: Sign up to receive it by visiting: www.winningatworking.com, or send an email to ecolumns@nanrussell.com, with the subject line, subscribe ecolumn_waw@nanrussell.com.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    wow. great read!
    2203 days ago
    2210 days ago
    emoticon emoticon This is so true...I left a job that paid good money, yet I was miserable. My family thought I was crazy. Not once I have regretted leaving that job. I actually ended up a lot more money.
    2214 days ago
    So true! I once had a job where I would cry every morning before going in to work. Have to circle the block numerous times before I could even pull in the parking lot. It took me 6 years to finally leave. When people ask about my time at that company it is like a bad dream or a weird book that I read, not something I actually experienced. I have been infinately happier since leaving and wonder why I waited so long. My life truly began when I left there and I've never looked back.

    Great blog (and I hope SP doesn't take this one down!)
    2214 days ago
    If you want to sail the ocean, you have to push your boat away from the shore.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2215 days ago
    emoticon Thanks for sharing.
    I have to admit, I was once a whiner. The best thing I did was retire after 25 years. (& I got divorced after 30 years) No one can say I'm a quitter. emoticon
    I was young enough to start over. I have been single for 10 years & in my 2nd career for 8. I wake up every morning feeling blessed & excited about the day.

    You become like the 5 people you are around the most. Be careful who you hang with. If they are whiners, chances are, so are you. If they are winners, you are a winner too!!
    emoticon emoticon
    2215 days ago
    What a great story! And how true. Thank you for sharing it.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2215 days ago
    So true. emoticon
    2215 days ago
    this is so true I do not always like my jom but most of the time I do look forward to going to work

    thank you for posting this
    2215 days ago
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