Sunday, August 25, 2013

The meaning behind being Withholding

To withhold something is to prevent progress. Say someone asks you for something, a marble perhaps. You’ve had this marble for a long time.  You don’t play marbles. It means nothing to you, but you plan to use this marble to negotiate a favor, or deal, in an attempt to manipulate something out of a relationship. Then it could be that you are a scumbag. It’s sad the way this sort of shrewd deal making is not only encouraged, but applauded.  It’s these sorts of tactics that keep your soul from evolving into who you were meant to be. Ok, say you’re on the opposite side of the fence and you’re the one asking for the marble. When the person who’s withholding the marble then comes back to you with an offer of “I’ll give it to you if you…” it could be that it’s just a give and take interaction, which is normal. An equal exchange is healthy and it occurs when both parties leave feeling like they’ve gotten good value from this encounter. It’s when the marble holder then decides to capitalize on the interaction and your fondness for marbles, that they decide to up the ante, and ask for more than they’re fair share out of the deal.

Let’s say you’re exiting a relationship, be it romantic, friendship, or business. The day of reckoning has come and it’s now time to settle up, divide the stuff, and move on.  Withholding stems from longing. Perhaps you’re exiting the relationship, and the ex doesn’t give you back your favorite t-shirt. It’s a t-shirt. It’s net worth is zero dollars. It means nothing to the ex, but the ex knows it’s important to you, so they’re going to make sure you don’t have it. There’s no way of getting it back without changing your mind about the situation and caving. By doing this, the custodian of the coveted t-shirt has passed the longing on. They are no longer yearning alone. Even though you’re no longer present, you both long for something…together. Sucks, don’t it?

This behavior is learned, usually from the parents, and by the time it gets to you, the marble hoarder/t-shirt keeper gets to you, the behavior is hard-wired.

If you have something that you are withholding that means nothing to you and the only reason you’re holding on to this item it to stifle someone else’s enjoyment or progress, then go ahead and place yourself in the asshole category. Stop striving for winning. Strive for balance.

Chances are, you’ve at some point done this. It’s a basic relationship control mechanism. Let go of the reigns. You cannot control anyone. The only thing you can control is how you deal with it.

If you are being withheld from, prepare yourself to get up from the table, leave the marble behind, and go buy yourself a new t-shirt.  It’s just a thing. You were born without it and it’ll be in a trash heap when you die.

Monday, August 19, 2013

NOPE! It’s not okay: The power of justification.

I work in a field filled with people trying to get things done and achieve their goals…or in some cases, trying to beat the system and blend in with the people that are achieving, in the hopes that they can be mistaken for an achiever.

I blame television. Every single medical drama on TV is fraught with doctors telling patients “It’s okay.” and “Everything’s going to be alright.”. Two scenes later, the kid who was merely on a road trip with his friends to bring relief to a part of the country that was just wracked with tornadoes or a biblical flood, and was then hit by a trucker that’s been up for three days in an effort to make a delivery on time before the produce he’s carrying spoils, dies on the operating table…Hey, guess what? Everything's not going to be alright...and all for the love of salad.

Here’s the message, saying “It’s okay.” When it’s clearly not ok, is uttered to convince oneself. I met someone today who knows that what he’s doing is stealing. Stealing opportunities and stealing money by basically cheating the system. Imagine a mugger who’s stealing your purse and telling you the whole time “It’s okay. I deserve it. It’s okay. I need it more than you.”
Is it okay?
Is it?
I understand that any system is flawed in some way. We’re human beings, flaw is in our nature. It’s when you know that what you’re doing is wrong and you justify it. Part of being a grown up is owning your mistakes. If you own it, then it has no more power over you. It’s a very uncomfortable lesson, and “It’s okay.” is much easier to talk your way through.
“It’s okay. They owe it to me, look at what I’ve been through.”
“It’s okay, look how much of my time, effort, and work they get out of me.”
“It’s okay, look at what he/she put me through.”
“It’s okay, look at how she’s dressed.”

See? That’s where we are. When you say “It’s okay.”, that’s when you have to take a step back, because you know it isn’t.” It’s not okay to take advantage.
You know better.
You know you know better, and you’re trying to make it alright with yourself.
You say “It’s okay.” for no one’s benefit but your own. Let me just tell you, no matter how you justify it, no matter how much you play it off like it doesn’t bother you, no matter much you say “It doesn’t matter.”, it does. And you know it does. Eventually you will have to answer for it. There’s no way of getting around it. Once you’ve done it…and I’m in this boat too. Your conscience will hold you accountable. 

Don't lie to your conscience like a medical drama. The produce isn't worth it. 

It’s not okay.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Job Search: Part One. What do you want?

Where to look?
Research companies that do what you want to do. If you’re in sales, try getting into a company that sells a product you believe in. Here’s an exercise: Make a list of things that you like to do, then research companies that make those things. What are your hobbies? How do you spend your time when you’re not getting paid? You need to be deliberate.

For instance, if you’re a gamer and you want to get into the field, make a list of gaming companies that make your favorite games. Then find out what it is that they’re looking for. Get into the company, it might not be your ideal job, but you’re one step closer.  It’ll be a lot easier for you to navigate your way into the position that’s right for you if you’re already in the door.

How to get hired. – General guidelines.
(I’ll elaborate more on the hiring process next week.)

With the job market being as competitive as it is, many job seekers are scatter-shooting the employment pool and flooding everywhere and anywhere with their generic resume. If that’s you, stop. It’s not a good way to get the job you want and you could be robbing someone who really wants your random job from an opportunity to do what they love. Sure, you may haphazardly land some gig that’ll keep your lights on, and the repo man from absconding with your ride, but in the long term, you’re going to be stuck there…for at least a year. There are jail-terms with shorter sentences than that. If you’re not comfortable with giving at least a year commitment, then look elsewhere. Ideally, employers want at least two years, which is enough to prove competency in a position, and won’t look like you left your job due to a personal conflict or being unable to perform your duties.

Say you find a new job. If it’s possible, don’t leave your old one until you have found a new one. It’s way more difficult to land a new job when you don’t have one. That said, when you do have a new job, don’t leave your old one in a blaze of glory. Everyone has the fantasy of Molotov-cocktailing the bridge you’ve crossed once you’re on the other side, I would strongly encourage you NOT to do so. The world is a lot smaller than you think, and employers always check in with your previous boss. Sure there’s a list of questions bosses are allowed to ask previous employers, but there’s some really crafty ways of sidestepping that process. One of which is “Would you hire this person back?” and if you told your old boss to kiss your ass as you dropped the keys down the garbage disposal, don’t be shocked if your new job suddenly decides to “go a different direction”. 

The power of Social media.
If you blast your job on your Facebook page, someone will find out about it.  You put it on the Internet for crying out loud. What did you think was going to happen? Social media has become a rant fest of people speaking their minds about their crummy jobs, neighbors, bosses and exes.  It’s never a bad move to not blast someone on the Internet. The media loves to report bad news and people getting what’s coming to them.  If you bag on the guy who signs your paychecks don’t be surprised when he stops signing them.

Getting there.
Say you’re not in an optimal position to land your dream job. It’s okay. Everybody has to start somewhere. It’s time to start looking into the steps you’re going to need to take to get there. Start with identifying what’s keeping you from where you want to be, and then knocking those obstacles out of your way, one by one. If you have no idea where to start, contact someone who does what you want to do and find out the how-tos.
Every journey begins with a single step. Stop wandering. Make steps in the right direction and ask yourself the question, what do you want for your life?

The days of just doing whatever are long gone. Don’t get to the end of your life and say, “I shoulda…” You are never going to be as young as you are right now, and you will get to a point where it’s too late, so get busy.