Over my career I’ve been able to identify the single biggest cause of employee dissatisfaction. That’s been working across multiple sectors, in different roles and in different conditions.
It isn’t compensation
It isn’t development
It isn’t promotion
It’s something that is completely out of our control.
It’s regret. The regret of failing to act.
Life is full of events over which we have no control, life is full of changes which we cannot influence. We can sit idly by and bemoan the fact that things aren’t what they were, that life has dealt us the hand that we didn’t want or that people are doing things or behaving in a way in which we disapprove.
We can’t change any of these things. But we can always act.
Unsurprisingly, these two things are often confused. The response is, “but I can’t do anything to change [insert cause of issue]” and the answer is always, “so what can you do?”
Ultimately we are all responsible for our happiness, we are responsible for finding our own peace and for ensuring that we make the most of our life both in and outside of work.
And that means accepting responsibility that we can act and our failure to act, not the change, leads to our regret.
In a work context, that often means leaving a company where you’re unhappy. I’ve seen too many people become under performers, become organisational hostages, become “that guy” in the canteen that everyone tries to avoid, become the source of dissatisfaction of others, simply because they failed to act.
Or it means accepting that sometimes change happens, the past is exactly that and we need to move on. In either case, this is a choice, a conscious decision that each and everyone is able to exercise.
Life is too short to sit, being unhappy and blaming others.
“Il n’y a de réalité que dans l’action.”
The only reality is in action.