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By Mark vonAppen

If you subscribe to this blog, it's no secret to you that I am a bit of a rogue at heart.  I am driven by passion,  I talk to myself,  I have a short fuze, I live for my family, and I live for the craft.  I have little tolerance for apathy. If my passions don't receive much needed exercise I start to chew on things, dig holes in the yard, and get myself into hot water with those in positions of management. Note the use of management in the previous sentence rather than leadership.

As a rogue, you can feel ostracized and jaded for loving the job.  Maybe you've made enemies and burned bridges to light your way.  If you feel that your love is unreasonable and unrequited, it can lead you to do things that damage relationships and hurt your career.  

How do you avoid self-destructive behavior?  

The most important thing to do is own who you are.  You have to realize that your passion for the job is yours, and you have to accept it.  If you make a big mistake in a fit of passion you have to wear it, make it right, and then let it go.  Mistakes don't define you, but how you choose to deal with them most certainly will.  I try to remind myself of the core values of FULLY INVOLVED when I get frustrated, one of which is treat people right.  

If you let your passion for the craft turn to anger, you will push away the very people you are trying to reach. Realize that nothing is forever and that not everyone shares the same motivations.  They are not you, and you are not them.  Owning who you are means being true to what you are, an ambassador of the craft.  Ambassadors of the craft care about their brothers and sisters.  They treat people right.  Anger is the poison in this whole process.  Remember that the next time you feel like lashing out at someone for not knowing or caring as much about something as you do.    

"Once you own your responsibility to strive to be the best that you can be, and help others to do the same, your unrest will subside."

We spend entirely too much time chasing an ideal of what should be rather than focusing on what is.  That type of thinking always leads to disappointment.  Share what you love about the job, not how you think others should be.  Save the highest standards for you and you alone for that is what you control.  Gravitate towards those who exhibit similar DNA.  You can't control others or make them shoulder your passions, but you can control how you share what you know and love about the job with everyone.  When your energy is positive it is bound to inspire someone in some small way. 


Nothing will ever be perfect and that is the frustration.  We set ourselves up for failure when we shove our desires down others throats.  When they don't live up to what we want we are disappointed and thus, we are never happy as we constantly seek our definition of perfection in others.  It is an ideal state that they can never achieve because it doesn't belong to them.  It exists only in our imagination.  Once you own your responsibility to strive to be the best that you can be, and help others to do the same, your unrest will subside.

There is freedom in letting go and there is a difference between letting go and quitting. Don't quit, but you have to let go.  Mediocre people don't like high achievers and high achievers don't like mediocre people, but they have to find a way to coexist and perform at a high level.  Don't lower your standards, but don't judge those who don't share your intrinsic motivations. Accept them for who they are and help them improve. Teach others in a positive manner at every opportunity.

Nothing in this world is permanent.  We are crazy if we think that it is.  The key is to appreciate people and things for what they are in the moment and make the most out of right now because everything before and after is just a story.  Talk to your brothers an sisters and explain the fire that burns inside of you.  If they truly are family, they will welcome their wayward brother or sister home, treat them right, and accept them for who they are.


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