We can decide whether our weaknesses will cause us to become weak. While most weaknesses can become excuses that can potentially control us, there are exceptions that should be respected. My intentions are pure, so let’s not focus on any possible hypotheticals for this week’s update to “The Story.” Instead, let’s focus on two casual examples of when main characters John (off-center) and Trishna (center) decide to not let their physical weaknesses make them weak.
My addictions strangle me when I’m unable to cope with situations. Hearing bad news kills. Chilling, defined here as succumbing to any addiction, then feels acceptable. If you’re anything like me, we need to re-enforce our defenses, rather than ask that the constant barrage of life’s perhaps-positives and perhaps-negatives cooperate with us. It would be nicer to have a conflict-free life. That won’t happen. Let’s instead try figuring out how to build up our defenses.
“You’re a rockstar!” That’s the most consistent compliment I’ve received throughout my career. Every positive interaction I’ve had with any rockstar has had two factors, their humble upbeat attitude and leaving you feeling great, with the 10 minutes hanging out with fans waiting to meet Albert Hammond Jr (guitarist from The Strokes) particularly reinforcing that notion. Let’s explore 5 factors I’ve noticed from rockstars and how you can apply them, even if you don’t like rock music!
“OK, Jane. We have time for one more question.”
“What’s the successful candidate look like in this role? What should I focus on to prevent myself from being unsuccessful?”
“Well, lemme tell you about the old guy. What a lazy bum! Couldn’t do nothing! He couldn’t understand anything we’d give ‘im! We’d tell him repeatedly how to do his assigned work and he’d seem to just forget! Stay away from the guy you are replacing!”
I think we focus too much on what other people think about us. When I’ve felt awkward, it’s usually because I’m thinking too much about what people think of me while I’m doing something. It’s all in my head, too. No one ran up to me exclaiming that I shouldn’t photograph this sign. Most people wouldn’t even care. If they did, it’s only because I distracted their own focus. How can we overcome focus insecurity?
I was feeling stressed out until Gogol Bordello kicked into the chorus of “Break the Spell,” just as I’m usually always despondent after hearing bad news, until I breathe in deeply and accept the circumstance. No one died, nor will die because of this. It’s unfortunate, sure, but that makes for good writing fodder, so get over it! That’s not meant to be callous or superficial. It’s just acceptance is the first step toward resolution.
One thing that’s hurt me frequently was thinking that professional contacts were friends. The problem stems from misgauging what layer of trust we operate on. When I talk like a friend yet they think we’re merely acquaintances, they won’t reciprocate. Is there an easy way to prevent this awkwardness? Is it just as simple as being friendly with people, waiting an arbitrary period of time, before considering them friends? Can our colleagues ever become friends?