The Ongoing Battle

I’m currently in the process of hiring new employees at my full-time 9 to 5 day job.

I was talking to an applicant on the phone about the installer position and he expressed how important it was for him to find a positive work environment. I whole-heartedly agreed with this statement and after we wrapped up the conversation I took his resume in to discuss the prospect with my boss. Not thinking much about it, I mentioned how he was looking to find a positive workplace.

What my boss said next shocked me. He told me it was impossible to find a nearly-always-positive work environment anywhere. He told me that problems always arise and that no one should expect everything to be good and gravy at all times, that even just expecting that of this industry (or business in general) was absurd.

Well that’s true, I thought. Things always go wrong, especially in a print shop. I’m a problem solver. As the Art Director/Office Manager it seems that I spend a large majority of my day solving problems, whether it’s the film printer acting up or the wrong size shirt got sent to us by a vendor, the problems I encounter on a daily basis never stop.

So, yeah, in that aspect I agreed – no one should expect a job to be free of bumps and problems. That is unrealistic.

But, I also disagreed – that just because there’s a problem doesn’t mean we can’t handle and solve it in a positive manner.

In fact, I encourage all problem solving to be fundamentally positive.

Ask yourself this: what’s the worst way you can make a decision?

In the heat of the moment?

When you’re angry?

To solve a problem, usually you need to make a decision.

The second part of this entire thought comes from a phrase that my other half says all the time. In fact this phrase transformed my life from a reactive and loud responder to a calm and rational thinker. He insists, “You can do anything if you’re cool, calm and collected.”

Cool, Calm and Collected.

Ain’t that the truth. If I can apply a cool, calm, and collected manner to a positive mindset there shouldn’t be anything I can’t get through. I can make the right decisions and move forward because I am taking the time to understand the problem from all aspects and not get stressed about what could or is going wrong. Instead of yelling (which doesn’t fix anything) or bursting into tears (albeit this sometimes can be healthy) I will focus mentally on a solution.

Of course, sometimes things go so wrong that there is no easy, or even fixable solution that appeases everyone. Things happen and all that can be said is “Sorry” because you really fucked up. But applying a positive mindset keeps you from beating yourself up and allows personal growth to stem from the situation. It’s still the most important attitude you can adopt when facing any challenge.

Taking on a problem at my job works a lot better when I take a moment to breath and let whatever intense emotion – anxiety, frustration, anger, or whatever else just course it’s way through. Feel it, absorb it, knowing I am only one person doing the best that I can right here and now and then start scanning for a solution. Actively setting forward thinking that yes, this issue can be fixed, it just needs to be found will keep you exactly where you need to be.

It’s hard. I know. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’m still there – it’s an ongoing battle everyday, the choice to be react positively or negatively to my environment.

Living cool, calm and collected will serve you on this journey, and serve you well. Interacting with other people will always cause stress and negativity because we are all so vastly different, and at this point, society is in a pretty fucked up place, especially in my country. It’s easy to find a reason to be upset on a daily basis, even over the littlest things like getting cut off on your way to work or spilling coffee all over your new shirt.

Why don’t we change our thinking, even if we start on the small scale?

There’s a lot of good you can shift your attention to instead. That’s creating the positive mindset. Focus on the good things that happened in your day, for a start. The car that paused in the lane to let you make a turn into traffic when it seemed endless, or the coworker that offered to share some dried mango with you. Even if it’s small, it will impact your thinking on a larger scale because you’re setting yourself on the right track mentally.

Going back to my job, I understand where my boss is coming from. Intense, high stress situations can happen. Things are bound to go wrong at some point. But I know we can handle whatever comes barreling down if we plan for projects properly and attack every issue in a positive, collected manner. He doesn’t see it, not really. He’ll fan the flame. He does things the way he wants to.

And that’s fine, really.  He built the business, he should do as he pleases. I take a different approach in many ways, but we get the job done altogether. Because everyone in this kind of shop has to work together, as one.

I, however am searching to build the most uplifting and positive life I can, and perhaps that is one of the greatest reasons I want to live the writer’s life and work from home. It’s hard to find other people, especially in the business world, that think like me. People can be cutthroat. And sometimes you have to be. People choose to be, and they choose the life they want to live.

I choose not too. I choose to invoke good karma and live the happiest life I can.

I think it’s a choice we all can make, whether we want to react positively or negatively to our environments. And we’re all doing the best that we can based on our level of awareness, and for that I truly appreciate humanity.

Especially, the good, beautiful parts.

Here’s yours to positive living.

Lady Jenji



Published by Jenni Johnson

Jenni Johnson, aka Lady Jenji, is a writer, artist, and lover to all. She and her husband live in Palm Bay, Florida. They are quite fond of cats.

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