It’s as though we can't help ourselves.
In the beginning, as partners to fly-in, fly-out workers, we remain optimistic. In fact, we're positively bubbling with optimism.
You know the drill: we focus on the future, and we tell ourselves,
"Ah, it's all right. It'll be okay in three months. Oh, it's okay. It'll be okay in six months. Ah, it's all right. It'll be okay in 12 months."
However, these time frames come and go and it's still not okay.
We're still struggling with our fly-in, fly-out circumstances.
We're not okay.
Now, I know you've read my other articles about James Stockdale and the Stockdale Paradox…. There's a snippet of an interview with Stockdale in the book “Good to Great”, by Jim Collins. Where Stockdale is asked:
“Who didn't make it out?“
He responded with:
“All the optimists. They were the ones who said, ‘We're going to be out by Christmas.’ Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, ‘Oh, we're going to be out by Easter.’ Easter would come, and Easter would go. Then, Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”
Rest assured, I'm in no way comparing prisoner of war circumstances with fly-in, fly-out circumstances.
Nonetheless, if the only thing that's getting you through your FIFO day is the pure optimism that it will be better at some point in the future…
Well, I don't think that's going to get you through.
You're probably still going to be where you are right now … struggling and trying to get through day by day.
START with the optimism. Keep it. Hold onto it and add a layer of ACTION.
Add the layer of action to deal with all the little difficult details you're experiencing in your fly-in fly-out circumstances, right now.
Sort out each tiny annoyance.
Sort out each tiny frustration.
Sort out each tiny element of unhappiness.
Sort out the aspects you struggle with.
Sort it out – each and every issue - as though your FIFO days had no fixed end date.
That's how you stop surviving and start thriving.