What I Don’t Know

Sometimes what I don’t know is a better reason for action.

This is somewhat of a two part thought so bear with me, I’ve often found four words to be incredibly frustrating to me when I either hear them or say them myself.

I Don’t Know How…….

What is this?  In the context of hearing them being frustrating I find it often simply means “I don’t want to” or “I don’t know how and I don’t care to learn”.  It seems often to be a quick and simple cop out or way of avoiding an unfavorable task.  Sometimes, this can simply be a quick and easy way of avoiding something out of fear or anxiety surrounding the possibility of failure.

A quick and dirty yet incredibly effective tactic in avoidance that often results in success.  I would classify this as “efficient” but, what has someone efficiently accomplished?  I would be a liar to say I myself haven’t used this wonderful tactic in my lifespan and it seems so efficient that I could not even remember when.  It is when a person uses this tactic on a constant basis with intention and awareness of it’s efficacy that I begin to gnash my teeth.

The idea that I could shrug off responsibility or opportunity for personal growth with four simple words is baffling to me sometimes.  There is that whole hubbub about four letter words, how about the four word phrase?  I simply cannot understand what propels someone to be content in stagnation and I do understand that to state this is quite hypocritical of me for reasons that I will get into some other time.

Let me give you some back story real quick, I managed to build a very successful career as well as become prominent in what I will call a more academic community both without any formal training, qualifications, or initial “knowing how to”.  I accomplished this through opening myself to learning, general curiosity, the will to progress, and yes a lot of hard work and sleepless nights.  I struggled and scrambled, dealt with condescension, accepted and examined a lot of criticism, and a lot of failure.  I took risks and learned how to talk to people well above my level and more importantly to listen to those people even if I disagreed.

I did this through action

I would have had a much easier time simply being content to sit and play video games, watch television, sleep, or just sit on the couch eating chips and staring at the wall; all the time making big plans on what I was going to be or do in my head.  Instead I took action reading and networking, going out of my way to network with people and get my hands on whatever tools I could to learn by myself.  I have taught myself a broad range of things from information technology to microbiology and even cooking.  I did this through action.

I’ve also managed to destroy much of this over time but again, more on this in future posts.  The point is had I said “I don’t know how to” and left it at that I don’t think my life would be so fulfilling, I have met many amazing people on my journey and experienced so many things that a lot of people out there may never get the chance to, and for that I am grateful all by avoiding those four words and using action.  Imagine for a minute if as babies and toddlers we were to use this cop out to avoid learning things such as how to eat, talk, use the restroom, walk, etc. I do not think we would get very far.  And if the forefathers of invention such as Tesla, Edison, Newton, Aristotle, and so on, had they used these words as a cop out instead of a reason for exploration I would not be typing this now.

This of course brings me to explore the second part of this thought, the use of “I don’t know how to” as a means of inciting curiosity and solution finding.  My opinion here is that this exhibits itself more internally as a thought rather than externally as a statement.  That is to say it occurs when someone sees a rough goal or vision to reach and realizes that at present there is no knowledge of how to get there.  When this opportunity appears the miracle can happen should that person decide to take action.

Having typed that thought out and analyzing it further I now wonder if I should have even used that fork in the road in this post.  The initial part of the post was meant to explore my frustration of “I don’t know how to” as a cop out or excuse, this second part I believe has more to do with a much longer string of words “I don’t know how to but, I think”.  The simple addition of three words changes the dynamic a full 180 degrees don’t you think?

I always hated bullshit affirmations such as “Thomas Edison said I found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb I only needed to find one way to make it work”, seriously??  First off every time I see the quote the number is different, secondly I’m not Thomas Edison but what does this say for my own mentality?  Am I really open to failure or should I brush them off as simply finding ways that don’t work?  I not only value but thrive on learning if I look at failure as a means to learn in this manner then I should seek failure should I not?  I think we should take every opportunity to learn from failure but place our energy into seeking knowledge through success.

In any case, of the myriad of thoughts whipping through my head I decided to reach out and grab one and you got what I grabbed.  Whether through success or failure, action or complacency, I hope at the end of my days I can look back at a fulfilling life.

~J

 

Advertisements

Unless You’re Jim Henson Don’t Expect to Change Shit

If everything around you fails expectations perhaps it’s your expectations?

Yesterday was a very rough day for me in fact it’s been a rough couple of days but today especially. Today I saw my grandparents off to move to Arizona, the home I consider to be my family home will soon be listed and no longer be the place I’ve always felt the safest. Today my aunt and I had much to do so we did what we do best… we did (if that makes sense). We had a three day plan to get things done and at the time of this writing we’re pretty much done granted there are a few cleanup things tomorrow.

Naturally as family is people get “volunteered” and others that volunteer themselves end up having an expectation set. Well, needless to say we had most everything done before the help was even awake. Aside from the emotional frustration, the tiredness from working so hard, the sadness, the everything…. Well so my work shift gets cancelled, traffic was a pain in the rear, I haven’t had a full night sleep in days in fact I’m lucky if I get more than half hour spurts peppered with nightmares, my patio is flooded from the rain due to my piss poor property manager, yadda, yadda, yadda.

After all was said and done while sitting down with my wonderful auntie and relaxing for a bit before coming home and chatting (well bitching about things really) I realized that everyone has emotions affected by others, I honestly knew this but a lot of times at least for me knowledge often gets buried in current emotions. For some random reason I blurted out “Yeah, unless your Jim Henson, don’t expect to control shit!” hence the title of this post, we both laughed but realized it’s entirely true!!

So taking this into account I suppose I can focus on the things within my bounds of control, most notably my perception of things! I can also control my external reaction regardless of my perception and emotional state should I choose. If Bob decides to scream at me for wearing brown shoes with my black pants I can simply nod and smile rather than argue the fact that my most comfortable shoes are brown, chances are with a reaction like this I will walk away feeling better than I would if I were to engage in a senseless argument that serves no purpose other than to raise tension.

Interesting way to think in my opinion when I begin to dissect it as I would most likely not be entirely aware that I am in a better emotional state by not engaging in the argument with Bob who I cannot control this brings a new angle to the already complex conundrum of focusing on what I can control. In this manner even though I can control my perception and external reaction to a degree I truly cannot control it completely as I would be unaware of what I would experience should I have behaved or taken things in a different light. The best way I can break this down to myself is to compare true skydiving to one of those indoor skydiving activities, unless I experience both I cannot truly make any comparisons as to which is better for me.

Does this mean I should try reacting or perceiving multiple ways? Perhaps the perception part in multiple angles would benefit me as a whole but I think if I were to attempt negative reactions in many situations I would be worse off and the experiment while interesting would most likely destroy me over time. So maintaining an attitude towards perception from multiple angles but tempering my reactions to keep them positive might just be a better way to go for a healthier lifestyle overall.

Perhaps the fact that I cannot play the puppeteer as the great Jim Henson was and let the external entities that I cannot control provide me with ideas and inputs to other perceptive angles could act as a strong “growth hormone” to my own internal perceptive traits. Perhaps over time allowing my perceptive traits to grow would provide me with more depth in which to set my own roots as to who I am overall? After all, just as I cannot control those around me; those around me cannot control me and this is the beauty of individuality! Should I have more depth of perception I might posses a stronger sense of tolerance and understanding and by providing a more positive display of reaction might illicit change in something that I cannot control for the better.

Today I will try to maintain a positive external display of myself while still remaining open to others perceptions.

~J

 

A Positive Day

Positive action pays off

So my last post was about keeping my head up and I mentioned that I was going to pour some effort into finding a more stable career track. Shortly after firing off several resumes my work began to pay off! I got a call for an interview which I went to this morning and the interview in my opinion went very well!

For me the environment seemed quite ideal, the hours are constant and stable, and the benefits are decent. I now play the waiting game after sending my follow up email and of course am still searching as well. The interesting thing I need to keep in the forefront of my mind is that had I just sat in a semi depressive state waiting for work to pick up I would have lost this particular opportunity. It was in forcing myself to take positive action where I found the opportunity not in sitting waiting for it to just swing by my place for dinner.

Yesterday evening I started working on a new little project I’ve been thinking about for some time now and such that most of my free attention has been focused on that I’ve really not much else to post about today. I just wanted to get the thought of positive action out there.

And just because I don’t want you to feel short changed on content I highly recommend you check out DawnSeeker’s Depression Emergency Kit as it’s well written and has already helped me.

Roll on cognitive wheel,

~J

A Day Can Change In A Minute!

Do not discriminate against the downtrodden for often they most understand ill fate…..

I haven’t cracked my laptop in weeks, I’ve enjoyed it and I had no plans to blog at all today or for a few days even.  Then today changed, all within well… a minute or so!  I was returning home via the interstate here and on the off ramp to the road that would take me on my way home turning right when I noticed in the first left turn lane (for some reason lefty’s get two righty’s get one… hrmm) there was some young kid stalled out at the end.  Now this may seem to be just a simple bummer but we’re at the peak of rush hour and man it can get brutal.

Then something wonderful happened that changed my view of life and humanity as I have known it the last few days on it’s ass.  There are a few “regular” vagrants living under this bridge, this underpass if you will.  Well, 7 by my count over the last few weeks all the same all the time panhandling and what not.  ALL 7 of them came rushing out and set up, one flagging and the other 6 preparing to push as the light turned green.  The car in the far left lane knowingly hit his hazards so that they could cut in front of him to get to the gas station just a block away.

Not thinking, I cut over and wedged myself in front of the BMW that was trying to cut around, and shielding the car pushers as they managed to get the poor young kid up the street and to the gas station.  The only person not cheering during rush hour when everyone is trying to get home on a Tuesday evening…. the BMW driver who was instead cursing me.  I shrugged, continued to follow the car pushers and turned around to go back home.

often the greatest of humanity lies in those that have suffered

I sacrificed a block, those on the off ramp sacrificed 15 minutes.  The so called “downtrodden vagrants” sacrificed sweat, energy, and a compassion that made my day.  Everyone hooting and hollering and giving thumbs up, it reminded me that yes there is humanity out there.  It reminded me that often the greatest of humanity lies in those that have suffered.  I know several people who have rebuilt and done great things, truth be told that’s where I am at this point in my life.  To see the “lowlife” come quickly to aid while one that is more apt to help attempt to skirt the entire issue putting others lives at risk was polarizing in my mind.

I promised myself if I ever happen into a bit of good luck and enough spare change and the same “Compassionate Seven” are still there, I will march my lucky ass right on up the street and buy each one of them dinner!  What is interesting to think of and what is on my thoughts right now is that events like this happen every day, probably every minute across the globe.  I cant help but realize how blessed I am at this point in my life.

This gives me a great appreciation for experience, a great hope for humanity and assistance, and a great reason to be a better person tomorrow.

So Mr. BMW, you will be forgotten probably by the time I publish this.  To the “Compassionate Seven” I can only hope that my memory of your selflessness lives on throughout my life and actions and may you have touched the lives of all those others cheering out their windows at you as you assisted someone more fortunate.  I spent almost an hour coming up with the top quote for this article but I cannot take credit for it inexplicably belongs to you.

Be a better person regardless of where you are in life, people are changed by the strangest of things!

~J