It is an amazing privilege to stay in a profession, not to mention a company, for decades. When I entered my forth seven year cycle at the same company, I had a realization. They say that "the more things change, the more they stay the same". There is certainly some truth in that, but I would change it into the equally well-known proverb, "history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes." I suddenly recognized the workings of the universe as a spiral that happens in 4-9 year intervals. They can be ever-repeating cycles if learning doesn't take place, but normally these cycles occur as spirals that are either outward-bound as we get increasingly more connected with the people who surround us and your mission, or inward-bound, when we are encouraged to move on to something bigger and better.
New faces and situations would always come, but I suddenly started recognizing the symbols and events they stood for. Just imagine, we can try again to make much better choices with so much more information and with much less angst. We can't be sent on wild goose chases any longer. Learning takes place in days and weeks, not months and years as in the prior episodes. We can in fact perceive everyone as the mirror image of our intentions rather than some external force we have no control over. The Course in Miracles famously states, "Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world."
I learned for myself that connectivity and cooperation is the way. Sure, it looked on occasions as if people were out to eat my lunch, but I remembered all the old cases of people who were competing with me, and how they all over the decades either disappeared or changed their attitude towards me. Early in my career I was fighting these so-perceived foes, but eventually I just kept my nose on the project I was working on and left them to themselves. I can't say that this approach has to work for everyone and every situation, but it worked for me over the years. The bolder my attitude to choose cooperation over conflict, the quicker other colleagues became my friends.
Have an eye out for these spirals that merely rhyme, and discover the upside by regarding colleagues as a mirror of your own intentions, and by giving cooperation and benefit of doubt a try. See for yourself that once these cooperative spirals take off, you will get far, both professionally and spiritually.