Tag Archives: personal-development

How Long Will You Stay?

When I was younger I always wanted to become a pilot.

Being a pilot just seemed like something I was destined to do.  My family supported me, everyone I knew thought I should do it.  I worked at an airport, spoke to pilots, took classes at the community college, planned on joining the United States Air Force, applied to flight schools all over America.  I was actually going to move to Florida where I would pursue my life’s intention of becoming a metal bird.

No matter how many great things surrounded the idea of flying a plane, one thing always held me back, “How long will I be away from my family?”

I didn’t have a family of my own.  I didn’t live on my own.  Sure, I had loved ones, but that wasn’t the family I was talking about.  I was talking about the anticipated love of a wife, several children, with a girl being the oldest, a backyard, maybe on a ranch, with a house painted white with decorative green details.  There was a time when that was my dream, my aspirations, my, “maybe someday.”

As the years went past, my dreams of becoming a pilot along with my dreams of having a family dissipated as I matured.  Maybe I started living in the present, I really don’t know.  It’s almost impossible to remember how I pictured how everything would be back in my more naive days.

I never took up piloting, even with knowing how adventurous it sounded.

I seemed to always be the type of person who’d wonder how long he could stay instead of where he could go next.

How Long Will You Stay?

I enjoy reading a lot of blogs that talk about location independence.  How certain people all over the blogosphere can just get up and go as they please.  For some people it’s not just a weekend vacation, taking pictures and standing in front of statues and buildings.  For some, it’s a bulk four months out of their lives learning culture, eating food, and wording foreign phrases.  The idea that you can’t do London in a week.  How long then?  How long does it take to get the full experience of where you are?  Is it really four months?  What constitutes when you should leave?  By the end of four months, is it really possible to just cut off all ties and just leave.  No looking back.

I understand that I won’t get to see the rest of the world if I stay in one place, but what if maybe I could just wait until the place where I am becomes barren.  I kind of want to wait until I truly have a reason to leave.  I just really don’t see the point in leaving to go somewhere new, if I still really like where I am.

Lenka and I broke up.

How To Be the Most Attractive Guy At a Party and Still Stay In a Monogamous Relationship

I leaned against the refrigerator, my eyes staring at the center of the room.  The lights were off.  In the middle of the living room my friends danced in the dark on top of two wooden coffee tables. I was actually kind of jealous. The music bounced off the walls and everyone who surrounded me were lost in their movements, and I stood deafeningly still, statuesque even.  I would’ve been mistaken as any other guy, shy of his wits, afraid of women, and unable to open up.  I didn’t want to be that guy, the so called wall flower.  But, as I stood wondering inclusively, the truth was that that guy and I, were the exact same person.  Lost.

Ever since I could remember being social, I was always somewhat flirtatious.  My friends hated me for it.  More exact, my socially challenged friends hated me for it.  Just the way I presented myself openly, the updraft of comfort, the easily drawn out sexual undertones; my guy friends hated it, they would stand idly by watching me talk.  It wasn’t always like that.  There was a time where no one could get any two words out of me, much less a conversation.  However, once I was able to open up, laugh, and pry into a deeper meaning with most people I met, I found an inevitable charm.  Since then, I never looked back onto my more proper and less boisterous, silent ways.

I never thought having a girlfriend would change that.

Innocent touches, flirtatious spells, and confident glares across the room starts to become an addiction.  It’s as if everyone just started passing around dishes of your favorite slice of pie  to constantly remind you that you shouldn’t have any, or even be there.  I always thought my ability to talk to women carelessly was something of power.  It is, practically, something that most men want to have but somehow don’t understand.  It’s almost supernatural.  It leaves people thinking, “maybe he’s just born with it?”  It’s as if it’s that unrealistic.  However, it only takes standing in a room full of people to find out who you really are. Having a girlfriend in a crowded area leaves me being socially awkward, and, most tantalizingly, powerless.

By midnight, after taking several senseless laps around the party, I found myself rewiring my mindset, reflecting on who I am, and rebooting my happiness, thinking of ways to find a balance with my thoughts and trying to find a peace that I really needed.  I went over every way I use to meet women at parties. I needed a place where I could continue to be conscious of where I was, yet still continuing to stay morally obligated.  I wasn’t single, but I wasn’t a loser either.  I looked at my friends and felt a genuine honesty with myself. I started letting go of the idea that everything I did was to impress every woman that surrounded me.

Finally, I took my friend’s happy outstretched hand as I was lifted up onto the living room table.

As the party dissipated like a smokey substance released into the sky, I found myself sitting next to a girl who earlier was talking about linear algebraic equations. Nerds, I somehow always find myself next to them. We chatted lightly until she commented on my arms.

“I don’t like big arms, you’re muscly arms just make me want to vomit,” she said flirtatiously.

It lifted my spirits.  I pulled my arm through her hair and across her shoulders to give her a light hug.  She leaned her head in, moving her body closer into mine, her dark maroon colored hairs softly touching the skin on my neck.

“Sorry,” I said pulling my arm away from her, “You can’t do that, I have a girlfriend.”

I could feel her closeness turning into a nervous awkwardness as she lifted away from me.  She smiled politely.

“Oh,” she said, “I figured.”

Does Fake Work Make Your Job Suck?

Guest Post by Mark Lawrence of Lifestyle Ignition

Many people complain about their jobs.  “It sucks.”  “I hate it.”  “I want to escape.”  While there is a multitude of causation, much of this angst can be tied to fake work.

What is Fake Work??

Fake Work (FW): A project or task that keeps one or multiple people busy yet has no productive value.  It serves to keep an illusion alive that there is still something of productive value being achieved.

It’s these worthless tasks that make us feel worthless.  Work gives us a sense of pride.  It’s a large part of our identity.  Most people when they first meet discuss this topic.  Work is a natural topic to get a feel for what someone is like.  It’s a way to instantly gauge someone’s likes, dislikes, value system, schedule, income bracket, and a whole range of stereotypes that come into play.  If the tasks at work feel useless, then we feel useless.  The topic of work hurts to talk about, because instead of a sense of pride, we have an uneasy feeling.  It’s much easier to say you hate something, than to actually identify the reasons why.

You may not even know that you’re doing fake work or you may be doing work you perceive to be fake, but is actually is productive and real. Find out if you’re doing fake work or real work by:

  • Confronting the reasons behind the completion of a task and understand how it fits into the larger process and bigger picture

There may be very good reasons to complete the tasks you’re supposed to that management understands since they see the bigger picture.  However, don’t let this deter you from finding out the truth.  If you as an employee don’t understand why you’re doing the things that you do, then management has failed.  Much fake work has been produced under the guise of this “you don’t understand because it’s above you attitude.”  Don’t let this continue.
Once you’re sure you’re doing fake work:

  • Make it known.  Alert the people around you of what you have found.  Show them why the work is fake.

Seems simple.  Ha!  It’s easier said than done.  A lot of fake work continues in a grand conspiracy to keep a department afloat that shouldn’t or to appear busier than they actually are.  Your boss could be in on the scam because they are afraid of losing their job.  You may be afraid of the retribution you would receive even if you tactfully may people at work aware of the situation.  Or worse, you could realize that your job “security” rests on this conspiracy to keep going.  That in exposing the fake work, you expose yourself.

If you’re afraid of getting canned for exposing fake work, then you should find another job.  Sooner or later the fake work will be exposed and your position will be eliminated for you. If you work in fear of questioning authority and blindly go along in yes man mode, you are a robot, and you will be replaced by one.

If fake work is causing your job to suck, do something about it.  Stop repeating excuses, and start looking for answers.  Normally “I can’t…” and “It’s impossible because…” really just mean you’re not willing to step outside your comfort zone and take the risks to face your fears head on.  Ask yourself, Do you feel like you’re doing “fake work”?

Mark Lawrence is the creator of Lifestyle Ignition. Listen to his interview on BlogCast FM:  Mark Lawrence on Shameless Marketing, Retiring at 24, and Leaving the Template Life. Follow live updates on Twitter @igniteadventure

Many people complain about their jobs. “It sucks.” “I hate it.” “I want to escape.” While there are a
multitude of causations, much of this angst can be tied to fake work. 

What is Fake Work??

Fake Work (FW): A project or task that keeps one or multiple people busy yet has no productive value.
It serves to keep an illusion alive that there is still something of productive value being achieved.

It’s these worthless tasks that make us feel worthless. Work gives us a sense of pride. It’s a large part
of our identity. Most people when they first meet discuss this topic. Work is a natural topic to get a feel
for what someone is like. It’s a way to instantly gauge someone’s likes, dislikes, value system, schedule,
income bracket, and a whole range of stereotypes that come into play. If the tasks at work feel useless,
then we feel useless. The topic of work hurts to talk about, because instead of a sense of pride, we have
an uneasy feeling. It’s much easier to say you hate something, than to actually identify the reasons why.

You may not even know that you’re doing fake work or you may be doing work you perceive to be
fake, but is actually is productive and real. Find out if you’re doing fake work or real work by:

Confronting the reasons behind the completion of a task and understand how it fits into the
larger process and bigger picture

There may be very good reasons to complete the tasks you’re supposed to that management
understands since they see the bigger picture. However, don’t let this deter you from finding out
the truth. If you as an employee don’t understand why you’re doing the things that you do, then
management has failed. Much fake work has been produced under the guise of this “you don’t
understand because it’s above you attitude.” Don’t let this continue.

Once you’re sure you’re doing fake work:

Make it known. Alert the people around you of what you have found. Show them why the work
is fake.

Seems simple. Ha! It’s easier said than done. A lot of fake work continues in a grand conspiracy to keep
a department afloat that shouldn’t or to appear busier than they actually are. Your boss could be in on
the scam because they are afraid of losing their job. You may be afraid of the retribution you would
receive even if you tactfully may people at work aware of the situation. Or worse, you could realize that
your job “security” rests on this conspiracy to keep going. That in exposing the fake work, you expose
yourself.

If you’re afraid of getting canned for exposing fake work, then you should find another job. Sooner or
later the fake work will be exposed and your position will be eliminated for you. If you work in fear of
questioning authority and blindly go along in yes man mode, you are a robot, and you will be replaced
by one.

If fake work is causing your job to suck, do something about it. Stop repeating excuses, and start looking
for answers. Normally “I can’t…” and “It’s impossible because…” really just mean you’re not willing to
step outside your comfort zone and take the risks to face your fears head on. Ask yourself, Do you feel
like you’re doing “fake work”?