Life and death

Most people will not reach their full potential in life.

I don’t mean to be dramatic, this is just a fact. What’s more depressing is that many secretly live in despair, putting on a smile for others because there doesn’t appear to be a sounding board or support system for people like them.

People with great jobs and loving families and money and security…but a complete lack of fulfillment. When this described my life, I called going to work every day dying a thousand deaths. Well, that’s what I call it in retrospect.

If you haven’t experienced it, it’s hard to describe the sadness and hopelessness one feels when “stuck” in unfulfilling situations. There may be additional factors such as debt and prestige and trying to please others, but there’s no immediate danger such as, say, the risk of starving to death, being homeless, or becoming a saber-toothed tiger’s breakfast.

And so people feel foolish complaining. People come to work on Monday, log onto Twitter and talk about how fast the weekend went by and how much they’re looking forward to Friday. They feel ungrateful because “so many people would kill for their job.”


You have one chance to get it right, and no one is going to fight for you if you don’t demand the happiness you deserve. Get angry, take action, and make the changes necessary to ensure your happiness (or as in my case, preserve your health and sanity).

It’s not too late, but it’s getting there.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.