Aesop & Business: He That Finds Discontent In One Place Is Not Likely To Find Happiness In Another

The Ass and His Masters

AN ASS, belonging to an herb-seller who gave him too little food

and too much work made a petition to Jupiter to be released from

his present service and provided with another master.  Jupiter,

after warning him that he would repent his request, caused him to

be sold to a tile-maker.  Shortly afterwards, finding that he had

heavier loads to carry and harder work in the brick-field, he

petitioned for another change of master.  Jupiter, telling him

that it would be the last time that he could grant his request,

ordained that he be sold to a tanner.  The Ass found that he had

fallen into worse hands, and noting his master’s occupation,

said, groaning:  “It would have been better for me to have been

either starved by the one, or to have been overworked by the

other of my former masters, than to have been bought by my

present owner, who will even after I am dead tan my hide, and

make me useful to him.”

“He that finds discontentment in one place is not likely to find happiness in another”

The most ambitious of us, in the business world, always yearn for a better job with more responsibility, more recognition, and more money.  It is very important for every businessperson to recognize that the grass is not always greener on the other side.  The discontentment found in one job is often a result of you not grasping the opportunities to internalize and revolutionize your position.  For example, a man who finally gets a job as a middle manager within his company could go into the job and perform that job in an identical manner to the person who held the position before him.  He might find that he hates three aspects of the job, doesn’t like his compensation, and wants to move on.  The man finds another job for a tiny bit more money, but finds three new things that he does not like about this job.  In this scenario, is the problem that the man always finds the wrong job, or is the problem that the man refuses to “Own” his position in that company.  The most successful people in business alter their position by reinventing it in a way that they can maximize their success based on their inherent and learned strengths.  By evaluating the three things the man in the story did not like about his own position, he could have reinvented his job in a way that those portions of the job were delegated, eliminated, or altered to a more acceptable state.  He could have refigured his day so that he spent 95% of his time on the 50 things that he liked about the job, increased his success, and gotten promoted, which would have solved all of the issues that he had with the job to begin with.  Take this fable and challenge yourself to reinvent your position, rather than searching for a new one.  The challenge itself will be invigorating, exciting, and will motivate you to do a much better job than you had been doing in the past.  If, after some time and honest evaluation, you still don’t like the position, then you can look around for a position that has the potential to allow you to become the very best at what you do.

About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on December 22, 2011, in Aesop's Fables & Business and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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