Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lucky (Woah) Man


A few months ago I read a book by the CEO a major online retailer who said he would rather hire a person who thought they were lucky over a person who thought they were skilled. Um, I'm not getting a job there. Sokay, despite the hype about it being a "fun" place, I don't get a vibe that the hype is real.

Now I'm reading a book that analyzed a bunch of different companies. They suggests those CEOs use planning to overcome "bad luck." I'm more in this camp, but I do think there are amazing life experiences that happen from knowing when to go with the unforeseen.

The Los Angeles Times awarded me and about 30 others small scholarships at a nice dinner and talk in their building. After our meal, they brought all of us down to the newsroom. We couldn't go in very far as we were a large group. It just looked like a bunch of cubicles. Messy empty offices filled with books and papers. Not terribly impressive.

Several months later, I had a job interview across the street from that same building. I had a contact of a guy who had visual problems who worked at the LA Times moving stories to the wire service. I'd never met him, but I thought it would be cool to see what he did.

I called and arranged to meet after I had my interview. Nice man, we chatted while I watched him work and then went to lunch. Turns out his wife ran some big department and after lunch he took me up to her office. Right into the news room and even cooler, she gave me a private tour of the paste up room, explained how they sent the pages to the printer and treated me as if I could work there once I finished my degree.

I never finished my degree and I am not that into newspaper journalism, but I'm glad I got to see all that. Wish I'd known someone in the press room so I could see that too.

Neither luck nor skill made it happen. I think coincidence, the randomness and happenstance that comes with casual networking.

I've done the active planning and seeking contacts, and it seems to not come to as much as that coincidental liaison. I do think that the planning teaches us to know what we want before we see it. I don't consider it "bad" to plan. I do think it's limiting to limit anything to only the plan. Seize the day.

I think my problem with calling coincidence luck comes from growing up in Las Vegas. Yeah, some things are chance, and one can use that to "play the odds." That just seems so erratic. I don't like erratic. I don't like being thought it and living with those around me who live it.

And there's the atheism coming into play. Relying on randomness seems like giving up my power to something beyond my control. It seems like fantasy.

I've heard that when we can't predict most of our outcome, we drive ourselves nuts trying to make things work out. Why rely or even look for something that makes us crazy? Why look for employees that want to tempt insanity? I want to do what works most of the time. I want to do what matters to me.

I think I would say that I am open to the possibilities of coincidence.

How do you view luck?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kung Fu Fighting

During a casual chat, I mentioned that I didn't understand the people on Dr. Phil who screamed at their spouse. Murry and I don't fight like that. I wouldn't like to live with all the screaming, name calling or slapping.

But why not? That's what I saw as a kid. Though what many of the men my mom married beat her. One ruptured her spleen and nearly killed her.

What is it about me that I wouldn't live like that? My causal friend said that it was because I didn't work out of the house or have kids. As if that excuses intimidating your spouse? "It's okay officer, I can slap my wife, we have children together."

That was my first major relationship decision. NO HITTING. Assuming the hitter survived after his first blow, he would be single in seconds.

Over the years I've learned to try and stay on topic of I disagree with anyone. I choose to fight only when I am sure my position will be best for all parties.

I guess that's what switched. I'm dominant, it's my nature. I can choose to not domineer.

Lots of things aggravate me with my spouse. So? Unless it will cause me harm (putting the knives up in the dishwasher or in the sink for example) I let it slide. Even then, I ask for things to be done differently. I ask that mistakes be corrected. It's so much more effective than fighting over trivia.

My mom felt a familiarity to the abuse. So much so that she let it continue. There's a line from a song, "Who taught you to live like that?" Someone, probably her own parents, taught my mother that hitting was okay.

I found better teachers.

If you find yourself fighting with anyone, maybe it's time to examine what role you play in repeating patterns. Change it up. Fight only when the reason for the disagreement TRULY threatens your way of life. Otherwise, let it go, walk away.

If your children refuse to clean up their room, what good does it do for you to be angry about it? Take things away until they comply. Not out of anger, but out of love. Prepare them for a life. Love is free flowing and everyone has to work for things.

It really amazes me how people don't examine the effectiveness of what they do. Is this method working? Can I try something else? Am *I* doing *my* best to make this work?

Agree to disagree over the topics that it doesn't matter on. Let the other person save face. If they still want to fight, keep telling them you care for them, but that you aren't fighting anymore.

How do you live a peaceful life? Kind comments welcome