Using Willpower and Determination to Move Forward

Charlton Harris avatar

by Charlton Harris |

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It has been an interesting week. I was having a conversation with a friend about getting back into the workforce. Although I have pulmonary sarcoidosis, I believe my 30-plus years as a video professional should still be relevant in the marketplace, especially during a pandemic.

Many companies now rely on remote workers to get the job done. I see it as an opportunity for me since I can’t travel too much and I’d have my oxygen on hand should I need it. Maybe this could be the nudge I needed to reclaim some of my independence. 

A few days later, I saw a part-time job online that would have been perfect for me. It was three hours a week at a church a few blocks from my house. A technical job similar to my last one, it seemed like a good fit. So, I updated my résumé, drafted a cover letter, and even got support from a parishioner familiar with the church and the job. The rest was up to me. 

A leap of faith

Over the next couple days, the opportunity was still in my sights, so I revisited my résumé and cover letter to make sure the i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed. I haven’t actively looked for a job since my first spontaneous pneumothorax three years ago, so I was being careful about putting myself back in the game. Needless to say, I was worried about making a good impression, at least on paper. 

It so happens that a friend holds weekly meetings at the church, so I could reach out to him about my plans to apply for the position. My last employer was a legal institution, where they continually stressed due diligence in everything. I took it upon myself to do some research about the church. I visited its website and poked around the various ministries it had in place, the size of the congregation, and other details.

During my cyber-sleuthing, I noticed that one of the ministers was an old friend of mine whom I grew up with. I thought it was a genuine opportunity staring me in the face, but something inside me made me feel overly cautious about applying.

The following Monday, I made up my mind to go through with it. It took an effort on my part, but I was prepared to forward my résumé. I found the posting online again, and when I hit the “apply” button, I received a notice that the position was closed. That left me feeling empty!

Time for mental clarity

I started thinking about how I had dropped the ball on this opportunity. Believe it or not, I had mixed feelings afterward. I felt disappointment, anger, and a sense of helplessness, but at the same time, I felt relieved. I guess I felt relief because I didn’t have to leave my comfort zone. I could remain in my home where I felt safe thinking about doing more than I can do.

I heard someone say that when we want to improve ourselves, sometimes we’re satisfied with just making an effort. Once we make that effort, we feel like we’re improving, but we never follow through to completion. That’s the rub. We’re only satisfied with the effort.

When my daughter started college, one of the books she was required to buy was “Self-Discipline: How to Develop and Master Willpower to Achieve your Goals” by Angel Campbell. I bought it, too, and started reading it when I had my first spontaneous pneumothorax. I continued to read it during my recovery. Two of the most important chapters that I’ll be rereading are “Competing with yourself “and “Overcoming your inner fear of failure.”

I guess I should’ve thought about that book before I ventured out to make a personal change. I can promise you I won’t make that mistake again, nor will I dissuade myself from future opportunities. We still got skin in this game.


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


June Harrison avatar

June Harrison

My son has pulmonary sarcoidosis but works sometimes twelve hours a day, runs 4 kms, goes to-kick boxing and karate. He does struggle occasionally but his strength of mind is amazing. He refuses to think of himself as being sick.

Charlton Harris avatar

Charlton Harris

That's AWESOME June! I was very active until 2 years ago, now I'm moderately active-lol. I used to bike, swim and walk my dog-now I hit the gym with my oxygen, treadmill, bike and I take my time walking-lol!
Please tell your son to KEEP MOVING-IT HELPS! Thank you for reading and please feel free to share any inspiring thoughts!
Continued Blessings!!👍🏽💪🏾


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