Profits, Loss and Potential

“There are more ways than one to measure profits and losses.” — Randy Pausch

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When I do my staff evaluations, I like to ask them four questions before I hand them their written evaluation:

  1. How do YOU think you’re doing?
  2. What do you LIKE about your job?
  3. If you could CHANGE anything about your job, what would it be? . . and
  4. If you could do any job in the world you wanted, what would it be?

The evaluation is already written and signed by me.  It is sitting on the table or the desk in front of us and I will not add or subtract from what I have already written. This (I hope) lets them know I want and value their feedback to help our team function better.

The last question is my favorite and I actually like to ask anyone and everyone that question.  Call it a personal-hobby-sociology-experiment if you’d like.  If we aren’t doing the job we dream of doing, it leads to more questions.  Why aren’t you doing that job? What would it take to be able to do that job? How bad do you want to do that job? How can I help you find ways to work towards that dream job?

As a supervisor, part of my role is to mentor, guide, support and teach the nursing staff under me.  I take that role very seriously.  There are plenty of people out there in our lives who either A) don’t care about our dreams, or B) don’t believe we can achieve our dreams.  Without meaning to, these people, be it friends, family or acquaintances, have the power with their words to either build us up or tear us down.

Expectations are rampant in society.  We are expected to go to school, go to college or get a job, achieve a level of pay as high as possible to advance in life to a level of comfort and/or acceptance.  Work for the promotion, work for the raise.  Make a profit.  But at what loss? Is it better to disappoint our parents, our friends or family,  or live with the self-disappointment that comes when we meet everyone’s expectations around us EXCEPT OUR OWN.

Everyone has the potential to be happy, the choice is individual.   The happiness potential is not necessarily tied to the earnings potential.  If you feel stuck in a job or a career that has great earnings potential,  yet you are miserable . . . you dread going to work, you have no sense of purpose other than timing in and out to achieve the paycheck . . . is the earnings potential worth it? Is it okay to put happiness on the back burner?

This is a recent quandary in which I have found myself.  Follow along to see how it is resolving.

Share your experiences below — are you living your dream? Did you have to forfeit anything to achieve that dream? If so, how did your friends and family react?

One thought on “Profits, Loss and Potential

  1. I would say I’m living as close to my dream as I can at this moment. Professionally I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I love my career. The sacrifice is security and stability. My position is Grant driven and not a guarantee from year to year. Personally there are few things I would change if I could. Unfortunately I can’t change them because the obstacles are out of my control completely. One part of my personal life is sacrificed to time,distance and circumstance, while yet another is sacrificed to insecurity,jealousy and the need for a person to have his ego stroked. These in my opinion are insignificant sacrifices as I am as happy personally as I have been in years


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