“If you have the courage to be yourself, people’ll pay your price.” – Rabbit Run, John Updike
In Rabbit Run, Updike presents an unhappy and unfulfilled character full of flaws and hopes and tied up in a life that seems not entirely his own. Rabbit’s moment of greatest happiness occurs during his first appearance in the novel- in the opening pages he observes a high school game of pick-up basketball, eventually sloughing off his sports coat and joining in, all lanky limbs and joy. You feel the optimism return to him as his muscles remember the game they used to play- it’s sport as religion, athleticism as the purest form of joy.
Without launching into a full on analysis of a novel I very much enjoyed, what Rabbit finds, however briefly, is what we should all be looking for. Whatever it is that makes you feel whole, electrified, on edge- and oftentimes it’s a combination of things- seek it out, thrive to include it in your life! It takes courage and conviction to recognize what it is that makes you tick and go after it, but as Updike notes, people will pay the price. Stand up for what you believe in and remember to be yourself, in your professional life, in your relationships, and you’ll be less likely to find yourself in Rabbit’s predicament: a shell of who you might have been, in a life that seems to have happened around you.
Even in my daily sales, rather than follow a scripted routine, I’m honest, sincere and always maintain a sense of humor, and it works! People appreciate frankness and individuality- and value them more than you might think.
Again, good luck to all you career searchers, and as always, I hope more of you have ceased checking in for tips and tricks and are happily employed in your dream job!