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“Why did you choose to be a project manager?”

The client couldn’t recall why, as he was having a really hard time at work and was managing a project that wasn’t going well. 

While a fabulous manager, he didn’t yet have the breadth of project experience to make pulling this project out of the mire an intuitive endeavor, as it was his first gig as a project manager.

Feeling like his back was against the wall, he wasn’t sure why he was a project manager. He doesn’t know what succeeding in this role can provide him. Knowing he had survived was good.

When the project is finished, he said he wouldn’t take on another project as he didn’t like it.

There’s no such thing as “liking” the work when you are still learning how to do it. It’s hard, demanding, or taxing because it needs constant learning, especially when it’s new. 

learning a new skill is hard work

A toddler learning how to walk knows that it’s a lot of trial and error before slowly working out how to walk.

This is what it is like whenever a new skill is learned, but as we get older, we expect the learning experience to get easier.

If it’s a completely new skill, like learning to manage a project, it can be messy. You may need to get feedback, reflect, recalibrate, and most likely it’s going to be uncomfortable. 

It is at this stage that many people give up. Resistance is interpreted as saying it wasn’t meant to be. But by persisting and following through, steps for improvement are taken.

It’s not about the pain of being at work, it’s about the discomfort of learning something new.

know your why

If the pain of being at work lets you experience your values, then it is worth the discomfort to master your skill. But if the work doesn’t fulfill and feed the soul, it’s not why you’re putting yourself through the pain of learning something new.

Knowing what learning and mastering a new skill means on a deeply personal level helps to understand if going through the experience of learning is worth the uncertainty.

If the skill will ultimately bring joy, use that knowledge as motivation through the tough times. If the cost of mastering a new skill won’t bring any closer to living an authentically joyful life, then find something that will fill the soul.  

We go through life thinking we have time to do all the things we really want to do but sometimes we don’t.

What have you decided to do with each and every breath and second? Every sunrise and every sunset?  Would you take a job for the money? Would you stick with it, pretending it was the one, hoping tomorrow would be better?

Consider this an invitation to live your best life in your most favoured terms. Make this a life worth living.