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If you’re trying to find your bliss in the work you do, you’re looking in the wrong place

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For the last few decades, there’s been a certain breed of sanctimonious would-be life coaches out there spreading this idea that the key to professional happiness is to “follow your bliss,” that if you “do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I get the feeling this quote was written by someone who literally never worked a day in their life, at least not at a real job. Nevertheless, it has been a very popular saying among people who like to present themselves as wise in a wind-chime tinkling, “embrace the universal energy” metaphysical kind of way.

But, as Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion teaches us, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And for every herbal tea-sipping spiritual healer type, there’s a coffee-swilling cynic hell-bent on bringing the conversation back down to Earth. Ironically, at least in this situation, a lot of us gravitate to journalism.

In recent years there’s been growing pushback in the form of counterarguments to the “Do what you love” concept. First of all, it just isn’t practical. Many jobs – check that – most jobs aren’t anyone’s idea of a good time, but they have to get done. That’s why people get paid to do them.

And even if you did find something you really enjoy that you can get paid to do, once it’s your job obligations get attached, as well as standards, rules and deadlines. You can’t always do things the way you want; you have to answer to other people. Soon that thing you love doing isn’t the thing you love doing. Oh, you still may enjoy doing it compared to a thousand other kinds of drudgery, and at least you have that going for you, but don’t kid yourself. When you’re doing it for a living, it’s work.

But for a long time now, we’ve been fed this idea that self-fulfillment should be part of the compensation package for any “good” job. And if it isn’t, then there’s something inferior about that job. The social implication is that to work a job where you aren’t experiencing bliss is to be a failure.

This attitude had caused a lot of people to have a hard time handling the frustrations of the working world. I see a lot of that among truckers.

Recently, while doing my job, I’ve met a couple of drivers, Dave and David (yeah, that’s their real names) and when I compare my impressions of the two it brought the issue to mind. I interviewed Dave as he ate at a truck stop before heading out on an overnight drive. He drives at night because there are fewer hassles. I spoke with David in a morning phone interview while he was still basking in the glow of an award he’d won a few days earlier.

David has been a truck driver since the mid-’70s, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way. Dave started driving 10 years ago out of necessity when his business went belly-up. He does it because it’s the best paycheck he can make, plain and simple.

They seem to live on opposite ends of the occupational bliss scale. But they are more alike than you might think. They’re both grandfathers – in fact they have the same number of grandchildren. And on any given day if you gave either one a choice of being on the road or hanging out with the grandkids, you’d find their truck keys would be hanging on a nail somewhere.

They both came up in an era when people were taught work was for making a living, not to make life worth living. Relative job contentment aside, they both know the real happiness in their lives lies elsewhere.

You know, interviewing people can feel like happy hour with an old friend or like a nightmare blind date. I can honestly say I’m glad to have met both Dave and David. They gave me something to think about, and that’s one of the pleasures of this job.

 

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The Truck Boss Show – The Benefits of Trucking Associations

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Truck Boss team discusses the journey of the U.S Capital Christmas Tree, Women in Trucking Bipartisan Bill, as well as demonstrate some simple and easy to use RoadPro products. Isela also dives into the benefits of being a part of your local trucking association with Oklahoma Trucking Association CEO, Jim Newport.

Courtesy: The Truck Boss Show

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Viewpoint – The Art of Losing

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The Art of Losing

Young adults today (millennials) grew up in an “everyone gets a trophy” society; one most agree is absurdly useless. How can you ever appreciate winning if you never lose? How can you know what to work harder on if you never come up short?

I’m a competitive person. A really competitive person. I actually thought I hid this fairly well but…apparently not. As my friends are apt to point out. So I like to win, I do. And when I had a son, I knew he’d be an athlete. I hoped he’d be a good one but either way, he would play sports. I was a big believer in keeping boys occupied with good activities to prevent them from seeking to fill time with bad ones.

So Chase started playing soccer at the age of 4. He had a short-lived baseball career when he was 8 (too slow of a game). He played some flag football for the fun of it. He moved into lacrosse when he was 10. Granted, I put him into soccer—which he loved right away—but the rest of the sports were at his request. When he asked to play hockey I drew the line, telling him he was outfitted to play four sports. We were not adding another one. Particularly one that expensive.

Interestingly, when he played baseball is where we first encountered the “we don’t keep score” mentality. I didn’t even understand the words the coach said. No score? How do you know who wins? “Everyone wins here,” he said, although I could tell even he choked on the words. “We want the kids to learn and have fun without the pressure to win.” Really? That implies that working to win is negative. Or that losing even if you worked hard is negative. Not in my mind—this is how you get better. It’s what makes you a stronger character: lose with dignity, be gracious in winning. But you cannot do those things if you don’t keep score.

So, we kept score. Not just me, not just my husband. Evvvvvvveryone at the field kept score. Including the kids. And when they won, we taught the boys to rejoice but don’t be obnoxious. If you lose, think about, talk about, and work on weaknesses. But doing all that doesn’t automatically mean you win the next time. Sometimes you have to lose and work on a lot before the winning comes.

But guess what that did? It taught Chase and his friends not only how to lose a game and not fall to pieces but how to cope with failing a test, with getting turned down for a date, not getting the job, not being accepted to your school of choice, and more.

Life is full of letdowns. Character is how you handle them. It’s also full of successes—when you work to achieve.

When Chase was a sophomore in high school, he was the only starting sophomore player on his HS lacrosse team. They were good and were expected to win the State Championship. They played and won game after game. They dominated lesser teams, they scraped by powerhouses, but they always won. As the playoffs approached, we started hearing murmurs of not only going the distance but doing so undefeated. It would be an incredible season, quite the feather in their caps on top of a championship and a ring. But they had a few more games of regular season to play and one of them was against their hometown rival, a good team but nowhere near the caliber of my son’s this particular year. And when we played them, we lost. Horribly. We were the better team but had the crappier attitude. Arrogance got the better of us. They pulled out of their shock at losing by the 4th quarter and rallied but it was too late and in the end, we lost by 3.

The team was stunned but humbled. They reined in the attitudes and got back on track, going on to win the rest of the regular season and the State Championship. It was an amazing experience for us all but if you ask Chase to this day, he’ll tell you that he firmly believes they would not have won the Championship had they not lost that one rivalry game. It was the reality check they needed to actually pull off their goal. Better to have happened then than at that final game had they entered it overconfident from an undefeated season.

Losing is never fun but there’s an art to it—a way to take it and let it motivate and propel you to ultimately win a bigger prize. Believe it.

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Tips when you’re driving on black ice – Bleach and Kitty Litter

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Christopher and the Trucking Review Channel are back on the road, this time on I-80 in Wyoming with some tips for driving on black ice.

Courtesy: The Trucking Review Channel

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