Today I'm introducing a book that has proven very useful to me.
The title is: First Fired, Last Hired
Author: C. Edwin Gill
Do not be taken aback by the subtitle, this book can be useful to many people for different life situations, not only for job seekers.
I read a review on Amazon saying that the content was not of great benefit to the user because it just reported very simple, common sense notions. I'm not sure that that is completely true, but even so, don't we all need, from time to time, to be given a little shake and be shown back to that simple path of common sense we might be unwittingly leaving? Sometimes it happens to become so embedded in one's habits that those behaviours seem to be the most straight forward, logical and sensible way to universal truth. We can all learn to do a little better, not in an obsessive way, naturally; it just takes a little bit of good humoured self-irony to understand one's defects and try to improve on them. No sense of guilt involved for any mistakes of the past or not being able to achieve everything in the blink of an eye.
A few years back, finding myself in a rather rotten situation, I have embarked on a positive thinking path (not in a fanatical way, I'm too distractible for that kind of constancy). Many, many times, not seeing the results, I thought to myself it was all crap, one great illusion for gullible people. Nonetheless, I never completely left that path, even in the worse moments, I kept hanging on that thin thread, telling myself that even if it didn't solve my material problems, still, it made me feel a little better than just moping every day for being such a failure.
So, where does this book fit into the scene. In fact, a few weeks back I had the chance to read it, I quite enjoyed it and it also amused me to find some of my own behaviours reported in it. Not so much as far as my actual job is concerned, but in my strive to achive my personal goals, that are way beyond the job I do for a living. A few days after finishing the book, I was still thinking about it, in particular about the idea of writing 'to do' lists. I have been doing this for some years now, but with limited results, then suddenly what I was doing wrong dawned on me . I was just building general long lists of every single task I had to complete. A monumental job! Obviously, I couldn't keep up with it all in such a way as to make it tangible for me that I was fulfilling tasks, achieving results. Following the book's guidance, I started making small daily lists of things that it was feasible to complete, and that, little by little, would allow me to complete the bigger task. Since then I have becomed much more efficient, I feel I have concrete things to do, so I do not allow myself to sit for ages making abstract plans or weeping over my own shoulder for things that I'm missing. I feel I have my daily mission, and it gives me satisfaction to tick off one by one the things I had set myself to do. With this very simple suggestion, I have achieved many results: I feel better, more energized, because I can see clearly what I have to produce during that day. That is also good for physical health. I am slowly but surely making progress on all the many activities that I hope some day will be my bread winners. Still, even if that shouldn't happen, I have found anew the dimension of enjoyment when working on them, whilst before they had become a sort of heavy load that I needed to carry, in order to reach a promised land that never appeared at the horizon.
All this to say that I'm grateful to the author, and I'm grateful for the chance I had to read the book. I invite many others to read it too, with no prejudice, only a good dose of sense of humour, and not hoping to find a recipe for miracles. Such a recipe doesn't exist to my knowledge; but with willpower and a little help you can build your little ordinary, daily miracles and maybe one day you will wake up and discover you can touch the stars.