The Learning Curve of Life

I start a new job on Monday in a whole new industry – Insurance.  The irony is, I don’t know a lick about rates, quotes, or collision; insurance was the last place I would have thought my next gig would be!  So far in life, I’ve worked in 3 different fields:  Accounting, Media Advertising (Sales & Marketing), and Behavioral Health.

Life isn’t mapped out for you.  You have to create the path one day at a time.  These days’ however, people are so consumed with finding their “passion”…seeking to be “fulfilled”…or wanting to “make a difference” that they’re over thinking the process of work.  Work is just that – WORK.  It’s necessary because you need money to live (unless you want to live on the government dime).  But stop thinking you’re going to be in love with every aspect of your job.


We have a pervasive leadership problem in The United States.  For a couple generations now, the subtle message our youth have been fed is that the world is all about them!  From the moment they enter this world, we start breeding them into being the “Best of the Best”!  We spend a ludicrous amount of time, money and energy on everything from tutoring, music lessons, and sports…to special camps and other special clubs that are unique for their special-ness!

Result?  The United States has become a very unhappy country.  We’ve lost our way and our character.


I told my mother I wanted to be a hairdresser.  She told me I was going to college.  My parents are children of Irish Immigrants.  You could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up – A doctor, dentist or lawyer.  I have Jewish friends that we told the same thing.  Hence, those fields are well populated with folks of strong cultural roots.  The attitude of the country in those days was to be educated and work hard TOGETHER.


I think we’ve all gotten the memo that the economy isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  If you’re confused about where you are in your career, or what you want to be when you grow up – Don’t Be!  But let’s collectively decide to change.

If you’re a student or an adult and you’re stuck in a rut or dissatisfied with the “career path of life” you’re on…

Repeat after me:

  • I’m going to get up every day and ENGAGE with the people in my surroundings.  I am NOT the center of the universe.  When I am in the decision making seat, I WILL be open to the influence of others.  This is how you GIVE a sense of belonging and establish a sense of belonging, not demand it.
  • I WILL do my very best (not perfect) with whatever my responsibilities are.  I’m going to give it my all and then some.  I’m going to “sleep when I’m dead” if I have to.  Laziness is NOT an option.
  • I’m going to be THANKFUL every day for what IS…instead of always defaulting to what isn’t.  Every day above ground is a day to make different choices towards reaching my goals.  I’m going to take it one day at a time.  I’m not a quitter.  Do I want to win the game of life 30-0…or do I want to win in overtime with 3 seconds on the clock by 1 point?  CHALLENGE = SUCCESS.

Learning is a life-long event.  If you’re not learning, you’re not growing and you WILL become dissatisfied with life.  If you’re not satisfied with the path you’re on, change it!

Insurance.  Yup that’s what I’m going to be selling…and I’m pretty nervous about whether this old dog can learn all the minutia of the industry and pass the required licensing exams!  But I’m going to take my own advice, take it one day at a time and see where life takes me.

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Kathleen Mangiafico

Kathleen Mangiafico, ORSCC is a Relationship Specialist. She works with individuals and organizations on how to navigate through cultural and generational conflict. With a mix of corporate/non-profit experience and a 19 yr. culturally rich marriage (with 3 vivacious boys!), she has the expertise to shift your perspective from, "Who's doing what to whom?" to "What's trying to happen for the sake of YOUR business relationship?" Connect with Kathleen.

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  1. […] Kathleen Mangiafico energizes you by just being there, a vibrant clear voice that says: don't like your life? Then freakin' change it! In this wonderful reminder Kathleen clarifies what is owed to us (uh: not much) and yet what can be ours if we put our shoulder to the wheel. Her readings always inspire me: I hope you feel the same – and then get up and take charge! Her missives can be seen @kittykat_01 […]


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