Monday, June 22, 2009

Take Control

Earlier today I was kicked down a figurative stairwell by a verbal assault delivered to me by a Senior Director, Clinical Development Oncology of a major American pharmaceutical company.

I have some pretty ambitious, albeit lofty plans for how I want to make my mark in this world. They are more or less on the backburner. I think about them every now and then but I don't really have any even concrete goals. I admit, at first mention it doesn't look too promising.

It might at first sound a little counterintuitive, but actually it is all rather simple. I am not currently in any position to implement such said plans. I am not yet operating on anywhere near a global scale. I lack the resources, the abilities and the contacts to come anywhere near successful in pulling off the far fetched ideas that periodically occupy my cerebral cortex. More often they are previews and snippets of silent films shown only in the privacy of my own occipital lobe. I have bigger worries right now, like learning Slovak so that next time I need to cab home at 3:00am in the pouring rain with stolen beach chairs and bottles of wine I won't get hung up on four times in a row.

ASIDE: I now know what it feels like to be illiterate and it is awful. There is almost zero english signage. I buy things at the grocery store based on pictures and learning from bad experiences. Things are improving though, lessons help.

To make any big impact on humanity in the long term I am going to have to start taking some big steps in my day to day life. It is my firm belief, and I am going to do my best to implement it in my own life, that you need to change yourself before you change the world. The most obvious example is going to be at work, where I will have to persevere in the face of often immense frustration. Only with an indefatigable ethic will I enable myself, financially and professionally, to accomplish the lofty goals that brew in the depths of my subconscious mind. Listening to rap music helps.

More importantly though, I think the idea of incremental and perpetual improvement will have to be a lifestyle. I am willing to work hard now so that I can enjoy success later. As always, easier said than done but I think writing it down helps affirm it. And I have much fewer distractions on this side of the world than the one I've previously occupied for the 22 years prior.

Without actively trying to succeed on the day to day I don't think I will ever "make it big," so to speak. Fear complacency.

After getting chirped by the man leading genius researchers trying to cure cancer, my Sales manager, who observed the entire ordeal from my immediate left asked me why I didn't take control of the call. I was a little perplexed as to what he meant, but after some explanation and replaying the scenario approximately 294829 times in my head, I realize that it's up to us to make the most out of the situations we find ourselves in. There are things I could have said that might have been uncomfortable to orate but would have put me back in control of the situation.

Live and learn.

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