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While dealing with your career and its inevitable changes, think of your career the following way. You are not committed to a company or particular position; you’re loyal to your purpose and calling in life rather than a position, company, or person. It is also important to understand you are responsible for being successful and pursuing your purpose in life.
Freddie Roach started boxing at 6 and trained until he was 15. At 15, Freddie felt burned out and made excuses not to go to training. After seeing how Freddie kept making excuses, his mother asked him why he was trying to be a boxer. According to his mother, Freddie wasn’t a good boxer anyway.
After hearing his mother criticize him, Freddie started training again and was determined to prove his mother wrong. Freddie enjoyed winning and collecting trophies. His love for boxing was restored once again. At 18, Freddie started training with the legendary coach Eddie Funch. From then on, everything looked really promising.
Freddie joined the United States boxing team and gradually climbed the ranks. Unfortunately, he was confronted by another problem. Despite learning the most effective techniques and perfecting them, the second he got in the ring, Freddie would go back to fighting with his instincts. Which led to him losing nearly every fight.
Retiring and the comeback…
Freddie was forced to retire after a while. He was not sure about what to do, since boxing was his whole life. After some time, Freddie started working as a telemarketer and became an alcoholic. This phase of his life was quite frustrating because he had given everything to boxing and got nothing in return.
One day, despite hating boxing, he visited the gym of Funch to watch one of his friends practice. Freddie started giving his friend advice and coaching him from the side. Soon, he began coaching his friend on a weekly basis.
Since coaches don’t have long careers, Freddie asked himself if he should return to being a boxer.
During his questioning phase, one of his friends showed him a new way of practicing where the coach would actively be in the ring practicing with the boxer. Freddie thought he could use this new strategy to develop new methods and actively show them to his boxers in the ring. Training boxers in the ring made him feel happy and soon he developed a reputation for training boxers really well.
You may be asking yourself what this story has to do with failing in your career.
Well, this story is an example of how important adaptability is. Many people fail with their careers because they feel like they are obligated to stay in a position; refusing to change and adapt leads them to a miserable life.
Despite experiencing challenging times during his career, Freddie was able to change and adapt. He knew boxing was his purpose so he decided to pursue it in different forms. Initially as a boxer and then as a coach.
If he thought being a boxer was the only thing he could do with boxing, he would have had a miserable life. Likewise, you must be able to adapt to changes in your career.
Book: Mastery by Robert Greene