Sailing The Highs & Lows of Working Life

Written by Nana Lim
2 mins read
Published on Jun 18, 2021

TLDR: When we are at the height of our career success and plummet into failure overnight, what do we do? Gather our courage to see things from a different perspective. 

The Highs Could Only Go Higher Right?

2019 was an amazing year for my career. I achieved the coveted promotion by securing large revenues for my company, the bosses had only praise for my hard work, and I earned nearly 1-year worth of bonus. 

Times were good, and when January of 2020 approached, I had only big plans for the year. This was going to be the zenith, I knew that I would achieve my second promotion, earn even more money and shine ever bigger. 

In a natural turn of events, I knew nothing. 

The moment COVID began impacting Malaysia, my career nosedived in a single day. All the deals I had lined up were halted, and the tumultuous journey began. 

Long were the days of tough talk with the bosses; it felt almost like a consistent interrogation revolving around my presence in the company despite my lack of revenue. It was apparent how the company now saw me as a burden.

The Crash Of Change

I was entangled in a mass and mess of emotions; my mind alike to the sea that I so love, unpredictable. Fury, jealousy, melancholy, had a wonderful time consuming my waking thoughts. 

Thoughts of “Why can’t they understand my difficult situation?” and “Why are they making things difficult for me?” only oiled further anger within. 

To soothe this heat, I began plotting to create reputation damage to the company. Sharing this with a good friend, he merely asked “What is the point of harming others and oneself?”

Building Courage Again

That phrase gave my mind a sudden epiphany. For years I have heard the phrase ‘embrace change’, but now I am behaving like a temperamental child robbed of desires. 

It is odd how I welcome change with a big hug only if it is in my favour yet loathe the tide’s natural turn when my desires are unmet. What I needed, was quite simply courage. 

Courage to admit that success and failure are betrothed, there is nothing shameful about failing. Courage to refrain from blaming an external party for the source of my negative emotions, and instead to realise that I am still a lot of work in progress. Courage to embrace change, both positive and negative with grace. 

I found the Dhamma quote on being unshakeable when the winds of life blow inspiring: 

“As a solid rock

is not shaken by the wind,

even so the wise are not

ruffled by praise or blame.”

Dhammapada Verse 81

My world outside may burn with uncertainty, but I can make the conscious choice to continue my best efforts with quiet stability.

2020 turned out to be another good year for me; it was rich with life’s lessons and discovering this potential for courage. 

May this simple story help you face any challenges with courage and grace.


Wise Steps :

  • When times are good, or when times are bad, just remind yourself “This is not permanent. This is a natural part of life.”
  • Acknowledge the pleasant or unpleasant emotions that have arisen, and let it go.

 

What are your thoughts?

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Author:

Nana Lim

A cat worshipper. Nana is still on the journey of discovering more about life and its surprises. Helping me along the way is mindfulness, voluntary service and reading books of past luminaries. I don’t usually write but when I do, it’s about reflections on life.
Author:

Nana Lim

A cat worshipper. Nana is still on the journey of discovering more about life and its surprises. Helping me along the way is mindfulness, voluntary service and reading books of past luminaries. I don’t usually write but when I do, it’s about reflections on life.

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