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The last few years I’ve written about many things. Some things that are easy and will take a few minutes, such as drinking water to stay hydrated. Some suggestions, such as mapping your future, could take years or more to see the fruit of your labors. And sometimes I know that we all ask a similar question along the way, “why am I doing this?”

It reminds me of an old saying about alligators and swamp water. And the real understanding of what you did and why is rarely appreciated until you are at a point where you can turn around and look at what you have done. Until that point, you had an idea, a vision of what your actions would accomplish, and how it would help you in the long run.

I am not good at cleaning. I can hide things and mask odors, and I am noted for the idea of sweeping things under the rug. Being tired of this, and wanting the place to look better, I hired a team to come in for a day and help us out. They spent four hours with us cleaning everything from the walls to the most minute details such as the crumbs at the bottom of the toaster oven. And in those four hours, they worked a miracle to put the house back to where it belonged.

Before they came, I question myself on why I was bringing them in. I ran over the positives and negatives in my head and was genuinely unsure about what the results might look like. When all was completed, it looked as though my old house was taken away and a brand new look-alike was brought in to replace it. Everything was better than clean and had a pleasant smell that reminded me of my mom’s house.

All I can tell you is to put your critical thinking skills to work. Instead of fearing the unknown or the yet to be seen, add up the pros and cons. Never use fear or blind trust because neither is totally correct. Figure out what you really need and look for a solution you can accept. Then move forward.

One more critical tip. When you bring in the pros, make sure they have what they need, including the information that you need to get them. Be kind to them and thank them for helping you, then get out of their way and let them do their best.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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