child laying back in a hammock
Image by Daniela Dimitrova 

There’s no greater injustice than adopting the traditional mindset that “there is a better tomorrow.” We hope, we pray, that in the immediate future, something or someone will swoop into our lives and make things abundantly better. I, myself, have spent countless years at life’s mercy, wishing and waiting for some event or person who will be sent by the universe to change my life around. I waited and waited. It never happened.  

You can probably relate. People live for that one day when their problems will disappear, or life will suddenly be okay, tolerable, manageable. The one day their weight will fall off and they’ll suddenly squeeze into their high school jeans, or a company president will reach out and offer them their dream job.  

This false hope is not only unproductive but emotionally and physically draining. It’s a helpless feeling when we’re not in control, but rather are swaying whichever direction the wind takes us. This nonsense needs to stop before it sucks the life out of us!  

The Only Person Who Can Save You 

What do we do? First, realize that the only person who can save you…is the same person looking right back at you in the damn mirror. Only you can save you!  

Think about that statement for a minute. Once you say it to yourself, not only do you feel as if, “Shit, no one is coming to help me?” but at the same time you also feel empowered. Your dreams, aspirations, goals, and the life you want to live is within your control — not your employer’s, not your spouse or significant other’s, not your contact’s — rather, yours

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Once you believe in this type of mindset and truly live it every day, you become empowered. The way you approach challenges and difficulties changes. You no longer are waiting for that “magic pill,” because you’re your own magic pill! You seize control, you set goals, you take action, you take charge!  

Taking Control 

I’ve incorporated this mindset at my law firm. Let me give you a prime example of what taking control means. When it comes to evaluations or feedback at my firm, we hold conversations with employees throughout the year — not just during annual reviews at year-end.

From a development standpoint, I’ve found year-end reviews to be an utter waste. You’re sitting across from someone, recapping an entire year that’s already escaped your clutches, rehashing missed opportunities that can no longer be repossessed and discussing what you could have, should have, would have done. There’s no shot at corrective behavior, which only leads to resentment on all sides. Why wait until it’s too late to discuss how far off the mark the progress is?  

Instead, we discuss feedback every quarter so as to allow my attorneys and staff time to take control of progress through action. I probe, try to understand and learn about what’s going on with each team member — not just professionally but personally. Why? Because personal and professional lives spill into each other.  

Think about it. Imagine this: You want to own your own home. It’s been your dream for the longest time, and you’re tired of renting the apartment below Miss Agatha, who tap dances to American Idol every evening.

Your personal goal is to move the hell out and buy your own place, where you’re not tossing money down the trash receptacle every month paying rent. Your dream comes true, and you move into your own place. Are you going to come to work upset or pumped up? Are you going to be grouchy or excited when you sit at your desk sipping coffee?  

Personal  Goals and a Better Tomorrow

The thing about personal goals is when you achieve them, you start feeling better about yourself. You’re more positive, energetic, and empowered, which feeds into your productivity at work. Here’s the other thing: it’s rare to meet people who meet their metrics performance-wise but don’t make any meaningful strides in their personal lives. If you’re not making strides personally, you’ll stop making them professionally. And I don’t want that to happen with me or my associates.  

You do have a shot at a better tomorrow. There could be a brighter, better future ahead of you. The key to that future is setting realistic goals and expectations both personally and professionally. Once you start jumping on those goals, you’ll gain more control over your life. You’ll see better results. You will be rescued. But it will be all thanks to you, no one else.  

Understand that today (and by default, tomorrow) is a choice. You either choose to adapt and make it yours or you choose not to. What you choose is entirely your prerogative — and the subsequent results are also on you.  

Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Printed with permission of the author.

Book by this Author:

BOOK: Personal Business

Personal Business: Using the ASA Way to Build an Inspired, Purposeful Team
by Shuaib Ahmed

book cover of: Personal Business: Using the ASA Way to Build an Inspired, Purposeful Team by Shuaib AhmedWhen Shuaib Ahmed migrated from India to America at the age of six, he never imagined that internalizing the sage words and actions of his maternal grandmother, the woman who’d raised him, would help him build a thriving legal empire on two opposite coasts of the United States. In Personal Business, he debunks the myth of work-life balance based on lessons from his personal experiences, instead encouraging a new, revolutionary ideology: humans’ personal and professional lives are intertwined far more profoundly than we give acknowledge, which means our successes or failures in one can affect our achievements in the other. 

Through his tried-and-true approach, the ASA Way, Shuaib shares how individuals can embrace this truth to thrive and lead successful, meaningful lives filled with purpose and fulfillment in both aspects.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition and as an Audiobook.

photo of Shuaib AhmedAbout the Author

Shuaib Ahmed, a legal defense attorney, is owner and president of ASA Law Group, LLC, and ASA Law Group, Inc. He is the author of the book, Personal Business: Using the ASA Way to Build an Inspired, Purposeful Team (ForbesBooks, April 11, 2023), offering a tried-and-tested leadership approach that prioritizes the individual worker.

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