Some mornings, for no reason whatsoever, prompted by nothing, I'll go to my Pat Barker trilogy and read the first page from Regeneration (which is actually the Soldier's Declaration written by Siegfried Sassoon).
It makes me think about what I want to do with my life—reflect on whether or not I'm heading in the right direction or living life with courage.
Some days I think, yes—I am. I put on my helmet and ride my bike to work with a smile on my face.
Tonight: no, I don't really think I am.
It's easy for me to get really self-involved at work and feel like I'm not being appreciated or that I'm being undervalued. It's a tone people take with me, perhaps not meaning to, or the number of times in meetings I let myself get interrupted.
But if I'm being completely honest that's probably my own insecurity showing—the reason I feel people aren't taking me seriously is that I know I could be doing so much more than I am.
Driving to the airport with someone on my team recently, we talked about how refreshing it is to work on a team where everyone—every single person—is giving 100%. Nobody is phoning it in, nobody is spinning their tires or doing the bare minimum. We're all passionate and motivated and we all uplift each other.
Coming from the political world, that's never the case. You find a few work horses here and there—a few bright, young folks eager to prove themselves and work their way up, but you also find a great deal of laziness and self-promotion—a lot of cheating.
I was told by a coworker years ago not to leave the office until after the partners had left—even though we were all done with our work and it wasn't an election season.
"Well what should I do?"
"Do what we do... play on Facebook, g chat your friends... just wait them out."
They did this night after night—leaving the office at 7, 8, 9 p.m. or later and I finally thought to myself "this is ridiculous, I have a life to live—I'm leaving."
And so I would leave—at 6:00 p.m. every night.
And when it came time for my review I was penalized for not staying in the office as late as everyone else. The boys were given promotions and raises.
There's a lot wrong with the consulting class in DC... but that's a whole other thing.
I guess I'm just one of those people who hates feeling like I've left something in the tank. There is nothing worse than that feeling after a workout like "I have so much left" or coming home after a bike ride and wishing I'd taken the long way.
Also, I've got to stop letting people discourage me—and I've got to stop discouraging myself.
Also when Instapundit links your blog—don't read the comments.