Wednesday, 29 April 2015

You only get out, what you put in.

Hi! Great to see you back.
I'm running as Captain Obvious today, all the stuff you are about to read, you already know. It's all 100% logical and makes perfect sense.
Please take a look at the picture below.

This message is a simple one. No one just becomes a master, a professional or an expert at anything, or something more than what they are, without the positive benefits of both failure and effort.
Yes, you read that right. The POSITIVE benefits of failure. 
This is a topic I have touched on a few times now.
The Facts: we all start out as beginners, amateurs and newbies and failure is one of the most efficient methods of learning. Failure is something we experience from birth and right through until death.
It is in failing at something that you get your greatest opportunity to learn which way is the right way and which is not. 
You then get to choose what to do with the experience you have undergone. The smart ones learn from it and aim to never make the same mistake again. 
The not-so-smart or stubborn ones will ignore it and potentially screw up the same way later down the track.
Most of you reading this will be picking option 1 - to learn and not to do it again. It's a no brainer.
If you're picking option 2 as your most attractive option, perhaps you need to re-evaluate yourself and either grow up or grow a pair. 
Ignoring the great lessons failure can teach you is a little bit on the stupid side.
Now don't get me wrong here, I manage a team of 24 people and if each of them made a mistake on a daily basis I wouldn't be much of a manager would I? First of all you have to make sure you know how to do your job, I for one support them, ensure they have the right tools, the knowledge and the drive to get things completed. 
The mistakes become exceptions to the normal day to day - and the best thing you can do as a person when you make one is firstly own up to it and secondly as I mentioned earlier, learn from it.
Now there are a few other features Failure has in store for most people.
Failure is also one of those things whereby you will always get a few choices emotionally too, challenges if you will. They tend to show up in the following; 
1. Do you wallow in self pity, beat yourself up for you dumbness? No.
2. Do you blame everyone else except yourself to deflect the blame and save your own ass?  No.
2. With every failure, do you choose to do something that your future self will thank you for?  Pick this one, pick this one!
So word to the wise from someone who has failed a lot but gotten better because of those failures. 
Stop knocking yourself around for any screw-ups you're making (unless you decided to entrench yourself in the "ignore opportunities to learn anything" camp and are determined to keep making the same ones) and get learning from everything you do well and everything you don't or haven't.
You'll be a much better human being for it.
Yours sincerely, 

Parody Song - College Humour


Great song and video - very clever.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Sense Of Entitlement - Quit it

I'm not one for horoscopes but had a look at this one today and read this, thought I'd share.

Now I agree with this one - Entitlement is a disease. And yes, like most of the nice people I know, I do prize humility and modesty (and humour and honour and empathy etc) in my life. 

I have been down that cruddy rabbit hole where entitlement and negativity ruled but thankfully, I managed to get out, brush myself off from the stank and am way better off for it. 

Now this entitlement I'm referring to is not your “I am entitled to medical care because I have medical insurance” or “I paid for that, so now I should receive it” type of entitlement either, oh no.

This is the “I deserve what you have regardless of what you have done, doing, act etc to get it” sense of entitlement.  It’s this one I have a real problem with. It's so often born out of a nasty personality and deep seated in jealousy.

Now the reason I don’t like it so much is because it’s unfortunately affected so many good people I know and have known.

I have seen truly great people, people I care about, get messed about by being surrounded by self-serving selfish people who choose drama as their choice of lifestyle because it suits them. It’s these people who enjoy pushing their own agenda’s on others. 

It is so often these people too who help grow this sense of entitlement within our society. 

No one can stop them influencing you - except you.

In the next few lines of text, I'm going to try and help you if you have been influenced. If you haven't, hopefully the stuff I've written below might help you help someone you care about who has been.

First things first - no one just wakes up and thinks to themselves that everything should be theirs without having to work for anything unless they've either been influenced, they're a criminal or they're a natural born [insert appropriate swearword starting with an "a" here].

The "my neighbours car should be mine. He's a [swearword] for having it. I deserve it so much more than he does." thinking is just jealously disguised as an over-inflated sense of entitlement, neither of which are helpful in the world, especially in yours.

There are consequences to living this lifestyle with these views. 

Think about this; 
Does that person thinking they deserve their neighbours car just because they think they deserve it, actually deserve that car? 
Do you know how many hours that neighbour had to work to buy that car?
Do you know which of his beloved relatives had to pass away for him to inherit it if he didn't pay for it?
If it was neither, do you know how often he had to play the lottery to win it?
Or how hard he had to work at his job to win it?

The more people who believe the negative way of life and get others on-board to align themselves to it, the better those people pushing it stand to gain and the more worthless asking any questions like the above become. 

Questions like that will never come into a good argument for self entitlement because logic gets in the way of it.

The influencing peddlers revel in the entitlement for themselves and push it onto others minus any sound logic so that they can feel more important and get everything they want without having to work for them and for you.

Their jealousy gets sated quickly because they get the drama to feed on. But they are never sated for long. 

These people are dangerous to your current happiness and well-being.

These people are often the ones too who seem to know all the short cuts in the world to get what they want - most of the time at the expense of others.

Do you think this is the right way to live? Should you get everything you want at the expense of others? Right now I'm hoping you're saying no.

So let's talk about how these people have such an easy way of getting you on-board with their way of thinking, shall we? I'm betting if you know how, you'll be better prepared to stop them. Or if they've got you under their spell already, shedding some light on them [or darkness as the case may be] will help you see it for what it is.

Their methodology is simple. Negativity is easier to swallow than positivity is. You want to buy in to what they're saying because they will sell it to you with benefits for you.

You don’t believe me about negativity being more palatable?  

Try this on for size.

Let’s pretend you and I are talking in a room, it’s a work meeting but it’s relaxed, having a hot drink or something together. We're talking about your performance in your job.

We are in this room for an hour. During this time I tell you the following things;

  1.  I think you are an amazing employee, the majority of work you do is brilliant and here is the proof. Well done you!
  2.       You handled that issue last week really really well, I’m very impressed. I've told my boss too. 
  3.       Thank you for doing that job I asked you to do yesterday, you made my day by taking that off me. You reduced my stress levels by helping. Thank you.
  4.       I hear mostly great things from your team mates about you, they think you’re incredible!
  5.       The project you have done is outstanding, I am recommending you for a promotion
  6.       I am concerned about that last customer you dealt with, I’m not sure you handled it quite correctly but I’m sure it will turn out great.
Now, quick question. What will you now be focused on when we leave that room?  

I'm betting its;

"What did he mean the “majority “of my work is brilliant, what about the minority?"

"What did he mean “mostly” good things? There is stuff I don’t do well?"

"I now need to go look at what I did with that customer and see what I might have done wrong."

Not any of the amazingly cool things I said to you about pushing you up for a promotion, how awesome you are, how great you're doing or how all your team mates think you're incredible. You would miss all of that.

Your self esteem wants to hear that bad stuff, it wants to be undermined, wants to know how bad you really are because your self esteem is managed by your doubts, your fears and how you view the world. All of a sudden, you're not good enough any more.

MAAAAAAAAAEEEER [negative buzzer]

Wrong. You're just as good as you've always been, in this case, you're doing awesome. 

And this is your proof - Negativity is easier to swallow than positivity is.

Negativity through Entitlement is often a play on our core doubts - am I good enough, am I smart enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, a good enough parent, good enough sportsman etc. 

And that’s what these people who love drama and negativity feed on and what they use to bring you in – your ability to swallow their lines and be eager to lap up more. 

They are praying on your self-doubts. 

So what's your greatest weapon against them?

It's your confidence. Don't be suckered in to their way of thinking. Learn to identify when someone is trying to suck you in. Then stick to your own guns. It's your life, your right to choose your own opinions.

Listen for things like "that's not right, you should get more!" or "none of that is fair, you need to be angry!" or "who cares about their feelings, this is all about you!” or "This is not right. You're being taken for a sucker!" or maybe even "You deserve the same, it doesn't matter if you have nothing to do with them/don't like them/aren't there/only talk to them when you want something/aren't there for the bad as well as the good" etc

And stand your ground. I know you can do it. 

So many people - young people more often - are getting caught in this spiral and it's disappointing.

Most of the time these relatively innocents wouldn't have even been thinking anything negative about any of the things life throws at them. 

But with the influencing people in their ears, they soon are. 

After a while, they begin passing this sense on to their friends, then to their own children and the cycle continues.

It's worse when the younger people are trying to understand how the world works and the influencers are right on hand to give them the wrong impressions. 

Again, it is the negative that is easier to swallow, especially when you're young.

Now maybe you're still not 100% convinced how easy it is for these negative peddlers to get you? Let’s try another quick test. 

Please take a look at this picture below.

Do you see this character as being;


If you say happy, there’s lots of hope for you. You can enjoy this characters happiness, nice.

If you say smug however, negativity has caught you, they have you in their deaths-head grip and you’re somehow finding yourself jealous of this imaginary character and you hate him…

Oooo bet you didn't like that line, huh? 

Doesn't this strike you as weird though?  
Why would you hate Mr. Happy?  Ask yourself. Now.

Regardless of your answer, dont panic though, there is still hope for you. 

If you can get over yourself and entertain the idea that you might be wrong in how you look at the world and that you may have been negatively influenced, then here are some simple ideas I hope you will read, believe and try.
     1. You don’t and can’t get what you want just because you think you "deserve" it. The world doesn't work this way. You have to earn EVERYTHING. Positivity will help you.
     2. If you always hang out with the same people, you'll always deal with the same things and never expand your horizons. You may also be stuck seeing the world as you do right now. This could be good if its positive but maybe not so good if there's lots of drama and negativity right now.
     3. Everything must be earned in one way or another - be it things, be it someone's trust, someone's respect, someone’s friendship, someone's thoughts toward you, someone’s love, caring, empathy, the lists are really that endless. [yes, this is the same as point 1 and yes - it is doubly important]
     4. There should also be no “cost” associated against gifts. I for one always buy gifts based on thought, not cash, even for my kids. If I think someone will like it, I’ll get it (if I can). So should you. The “it’s the thought that counts” should be 100% true. Anything else is entitlement - and that's disgusting and wrong when the person who bought it for you put in so much thought to it. You ruin any gift if you think this way.

If you are currently being affected and did see SMUG in that character picture above, please begin thinking about the above and;

About how others feel when you are interacting (or avoiding) with them. 
Maintain an open mind. 
Look toward all situations as half full, never half empty. 
Care for others just because you care, not because there's something in it for you. 
Work towards your goals and expect that you can do it on your own, because you can. 
Don’t be held back by any self-serving selfish people constantly trying to show you their negative ways. 
You can be selfish as long as you are being selfish with your happiness and it doesn't / can't negatively impact others. 
You have a right to be happy - go enjoy that right!
Be humble.
Arrogance is not your friend but confidence is
Oxygen is important - always remember to breathe

So lastly as another eye-opener test, please go take a look around. 

Have you noticed that Positive people tend to do better in life? I'm not talking money right now, I'm talking actual happiness. Even when the shit hits the fan, they are often able to better cope because they can often stop themselves falling into that negativity pit of darkness or can quickly climb their way back out.

The positive guys and girls who try to look at the world with their positive slants tend to live much happier (and yes, as a result often monetarily richer) lives. 

But why?

Again, simple answer. Positive people are far more popular to interact with, even though negativity is far easier to swallow. 

How many difficult negative people do you get to choose to keep in your life? 
Not many, right? 

How many happy ones do you have?
Good question to ask.

And here's another solid truth that needs to be said.

“Once you learn how to be happy, you won’t tolerate being around people who make you feel anything less”

So regardless of who you are, where you are, how you are, I would also like to suggest that you do your best to surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. 

That kind of stuff is contagious too. 

Sometimes more so than any of that bitter, jealous negativity coming your way.

Trust me on this.

Ditch any sense of entitlement you might have. Kick your negativity, your jealousy and  those people trying to influence you negatively off to the curb. 

You don't need them in your ears. 
Put your fingers in them instead. Just like below.  

Have a great day.