“How is it that, every single time I see you, you’re smiling?”, asks a colleague of mine as soon as I get to work.
“Am I now? I was not aware of that and I’m quite sure that, from time to time, I’m glowering.” I replied.
“Maybe so but, as far as I recall, you are always smiling.
How is that possible, especially here?”, she carried on.
She was referring to workplace and the competitive environment that you usually encounter there.
If you do not enjoy what you are doing for a living, but you need to pay the bills, you need, at the very least, to be able to put food on the table and have a roof over your head, you have to suck it up.
That’s life, right?
So, you must endure what it feels like hardship and, therefore, your first day of the week (may it be Monday or any another day) is when you start that very special clock: A countdown clock to your days off!
Passion slowly fades away from your life and turns into bitterness and resignation.
If you’re working from Monday to Friday, Sunday evening is when you generally start feeling sick: It’s when anxiety kicks in.
So, in those cases competitive environment is actually a euphemism. It can easily stand for hostility, envy and rudeness.
In a nutshell, a place full of negative energy and where your dreams go to die.
While at work you think about spending time with the ones you love, you are eagerly looking for Friday to come, wishing for vacations and first and foremost you dream of winning the lottery.
Of course you put on a smile at the workplace once in a while but, it is mostly a fake one.
It means that you are player and perfectly understand the rules of the game.
After the last global economic crisis, that started back in 2007, things have gotten worse.
On top of that, nowadays we just need to go online, turn on the TV or listen to the radio to get an abundance of negative thinking and gloomy portraits of society and the world.
Given all that, it is very easy to go down the rabbit hole.
“Let my take a wild guess, my dearest friend, and say that you do not enjoy what you’re doing.
Workplace means disappointment, frustration and it is full of people that you do not fancy that much.
It is the last place, on dear old planet Earth, where you would like to be and, therefore, you are not happy.
Am I right so far?
I let you in on a little secret: Most of the people that you see here they feel exactly the same way!
Particularly those that seem to be angry the all freaking time, the ill-tempered, the ones that tend to get on your nerves!
I’ll bet you they are the first ones in line, when it comes to getting the hell out of here!”
She starts to laugh.
“That’s it right there!”, I said with enthusiasm.
“I try my very best to greet people with a smile, expecting nothing else but a smile in return.
Chances are it may be not happen right away, or on that day or week even.
But, eventually it will. And when it happens it is quite fulfilling.
Especially if you are feeling blue.
Just like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s not easy but it’s totally worth it!
Your laughter fills me with great joy. Thank you kindly my friend.
It’s a great way to start the day at the office and I’m truly grateful for that.”
She starts to ponder.
“There is more of course!”, I carry on.
“I have a different perspective on things: I wanted to come and live in Greece and this job gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
Furthermore, I do not give up on my dreams. That means that I have to keep on fighting, no matter what.
From time to time I will fall, and you know what?
I just need to pick up myself on those occasions and get back on track. That is part of being alive!
I also have that special someone with whom I share precious moments, something to be grateful for as well.
Last but not least, I have a hobby that helps me balance out all that is not so positive: I write.
I’m fully aware of the fact that I suck at it, but I keep doing it anyway: It’s for my own good.”
Her smile gets bigger.
We wish each other a wonderful day.
That was the end of what it felt like a long week and I was feeling tired.
That precise moment… that was the needle in the haystack!
A reminder that one has to keep on searching, despite the prevailing circumstances, one day at a time.
It is effortless to be a pessimist.
It requires a great deal of determination, passion and resilience to be optimistic.
The journey continues…