Sell a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, you'll be out of a job.

Everyone needs a mentor in life. It's one of those "theoretical" individuals that tells you the life lessons, before you have to "learn them the hard way," right?

In a world of countless occupational hazards, it can be a challenge to find your way. A deafening reality is that in the end, sure, there are philanthropic individuals out there willing to toss you a bone here or there.

But at the end of the day, you better do what makes sense, think it through, take a step back, and then reframe and approach with a renewed focus.

We all inherently have a desire to trust others, need a shoulder to cry on and a avidly pursue a philosophical foundation of truth and access to an overflowing fountain of wisdom that we have yet to discover.

And while the lessons learned the best are the hard way (so they say)...I must say- for the most part it is the ONLY way.

Keep these tips in mind when "finding your way" through the challenges of inevitable occupational hazards. We all have them- no one is without fault. But we can also observe the culture around us and make some very important observations that give us a "telescope" into the inner being of a company.

1. People have an inherent tendency to resist change.

One of the most damning themes amongst cultures is "this is the way it's always been done." Don't accept that as an answer. We all have different inputs, frames of reference and focus. But the minute you immediately negate input from others, you have put blinders on your company... And on your growth.

2. Look Around You.

Has your environment embraced the need to continue development and foster the growth of others? Or do they tend to hammer the iron fist which likely is hollow anyways...but is sure does sound scary, right?

3. Look within Yourself.

What environment do you thrive in? What type of people push you to be your best instead of forcing you into a "one size fits all" processed can of beans that should be sold on grocery store shelves (and I'm not talking about WholeFoods here).

4. What do you REALLY get fulfillment out of (not what you convince yourself of, or others have engrained in you). What is important. What gives you meaning.

What do you value? Where do you enjoy spending your time? These are all critical questions to guide you on finding the way to your self, but not only that to "your best self." After all, who wants a "kinda" engaged colleague? Who wants an employee who cares "enough."

The answer is simple- they don't thrive in their position or they don't embrace where they are, or they just aren't compatible with their company culture.

5. You Can't Force It.

You just... well, can't. I can only use the analogy of a well-meaning individual who has a drunken rendezvous with a love from the past- who was subpar to begin with.

It was bad the first time, and worse the second time. And came with the baggage and guilt of "wash, rinse, repeat, disappoint."

People are reliable, situations are predictable. If it didn't "click" the first time around, why keep coming around to try to change a resistant force?

6. Know when to Trust Your Judgment.

Not to negate the fact the no one know the magical path to success and happiness. But there must be an inherent inner sensor we possess- that is:

~Observe our surroundings.

~Remember the good moves you saw- replicate.

~Remember the bad moves more- and don't forget it- and for God's sake, don't repeat it. Do it differently. Make a different mistake, even.

7. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Albert Einstein

No explanation needed here.

Where are you at in your career? Are you happy? Fulfilled? Different personalities thrive in different cultures. For those in their early career, an interesting place to start can be the Myers-Briggs Test which assesses innate instinctive trains within an individual and gives a fairly comprehensive list of various occupations that typically thrive with those characteristics. is a good place to start to grow insight to your own tendencies that you may not even be aware of.

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