Wanna know how you know that absolutely nothing in the world makes sense?
For the last 2.5 years, I’ve had an entry level job without a single promotion, even though I tried relentlessly to move up.
For the last six months, I got just slightly under 2 million views on the internet, officially labeled a Top Writer, was unofficially labeled as a Thought Leader in Business Strategy, Marketing, Dating and Relationships, Startup Strategy and Advice, and Business by a well respected reviewer, then was ranked the #83rd most followed Top Writer on Quora.
All I wanted from life was a nice, secure, well paying job with my current employer earning $50-$60k a year, for the next forty years of my life. All I wanted was for my job to pick me, to pick me and promote me to a higher position, then to eventually promote me into middle management. All I wanted to do was prove to my employer that I could do the tasks that they assigned to me and that I could shine and improve their business for the better. All I wanted to do was stay loyal and grow with my company.
For the last 2.5 years, all I did was outperform my department in all the stats. I stayed loyal and did everything I could to move forward. I expressed my gratitude. But instead of being promoted, others who had been at the company for a shorter period than I had were moving up the ranks. They would get promoted over and over, while I stayed in the exact same position I started in.
Instead of being promoted, management would look at me and call me cocky and arrogant.
Because I would wear a suit to work. Because I would walk with my back straight. Because I would carry myself well and not make friends so easily. Why did I carry myself this way? Because I came from a management background where I ran companies as either the #2 or #3 person in charge. Also because I have a lot of confidence in myself.
What did I do when the rumors spread? I dressed down. I started making friends. I started being more open. Did that change the preconceived notions that were already placed upon me?
It’s 2.5 years later and I’ve done everything I was told to do. I dressed down. I became more friendly. I went back to school. However, I’m in the exact same place I was when I began.
When I was first hired, I told myself I was done. This was it. I was going to stick with this job and only this job. This was all I would do for the rest of my life. I’m going to be as loyal as I can to my employer and move up the ranks. I’m done with trying to make something from nothing. I’m done with trying to get rich. I just want stability.
So, after careful reflection, I came to realize that no matter how hard I try, I will never be appreciated by my employer, even though I gave them my heart and soul. I was just hoping for someone to Choose Me. Yet, no one did. I waved my hand around everywhere. I sent over a hundred resumes to different positions in my own company. But at the end of the day, I got absolutely nowhere at all.
From past experience, I thought I was doing all the right things. I thought that I would be able to move up. I thought that my dream of just being ordinary would come true. I had the same dreams as Pinocchio . I just wanted to be ordinary.
But I finally understood that no matter how hard I tried, if I just waited for someone to pick me, I wouldn’t ever get anywhere in life. Then, much like James Altucher states in his book, I made a decision. I decided to Choose Myself. I gathered up the courage to write. I gathered up the courage to share my failures. I gathered up the courage to help others.
Coincidentally, my life has changed. All due to one small tiny decision. The decision to Choose Myself.
I suggest going to Amazon, looking up the book Choose Yourself by James Altucher, then following his advice, word for word. I’m more than certain that much like my life has changed, yours will as well.
Originally posted on Quora.
Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like