I hate one word text messages. They seem to be so impersonal and they don’t serve a real purpose unless it is to end a text conversation. In the world we live in, effective communication is a lost art. People are afraid to express their real concerns or questions because they don’t want to be seen as too needy or nosy. The truth is that often texting becomes a substitute for a real conversation. I remember seeing a meme somewhere stating that you can’t get to know someone by only saying “hey” and “wyd.” Of all the text messages I get, those two annoy me the most. It speaks to a depth of laziness that is unmatched. I feel so unmotivated to continue the conversation after that. It means that I am going to have to carry all of the intellectual weight of the conversation if I want it to be something substantial. Both of these text messages require me to text something that will continue the conversation and sometimes (actually most of the time), I don’t want that responsibility. I don’t want to answer a one word greeting with a trite question that ends in some cliche’ saying like “I’m fine,” or “I’m good.” It sets the tone for meaningless small talk that doesn’t serve any specific purpose. There’s this individual who has been randomly reaching out to me via text for the past 7 or 8 months. But never once has this person actually taken the time to actually call me. Which means that responding to endless text messages without an end in sight is an absolute waste of time. Whatever happened to purposeful communication with meaningful dialogue? It’s a lost art. There’s nothing like a good conversation about thoughts, dreams, and values. All that rich information is lost with the amount of “hey’s” and “wyd’s” that is thrown out there into the world. It’s really a shame.
I found this great article that I thought was especially relevant. You can read it here. I’ve have a variety of work experiences in my limited years of officially being in the workforce. One of the first things I discovered is that it’s nowhere as glamorous as the TV shows make it out to be. Yeah, it’s nice to be able to pay bills on time but in reality the day to day grind is typically pretty stressful. The author in this post asserts that it’s ok to get personal on the job. I agree to some extent because I know people who consider their coworkers to be extensions of their own family. It’s refreshing to work with a group of people you know well. However, it’s also nice to not feel obligated to invite your coworkers to events like your birthday party or wedding and be pleasant without sharing every detail of your life with those who work with you. The author of this article also mentions poor performance and culture as one of the reasons that millennials are frustrated. I think that a lot of people in my age bracket are realizing that having a job isn’t really all that it’s cracked up to be. Waking up at an ungodly hour on a Monday morning to slave away for the next 8 hours and then repeat for the next 4 days in a roll isn’t exactly the definition of having a good quality of life. Unlike many of the generations before me, I can’t imagine spending 40 years or more in the same position. Many young adults are more focused on doing something that makes an actual difference in the world instead of just clocking in. It’s more about the journey than the end goal (retirement) these days.
I ran across this intriguing article the other day. The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that the author mentions a group of people called creatives, and while I haven’t heard that term used a lot in relation to a specific category of people, I think it’s similar to people we often call “free-spirits.” You can read the article here. The basic assertion is that creative people hate the traditional 9-5 job and I can definitely relate. While I am an individual who appreciates structure and routine at times, my aversion to feeling confined puts me in the category of people who strongly dislike traditional work hours in traditional settings. The article references the fact that creatives hate to restrict motivation to certain hours during the day. I’ve never been much of a morning person–preferring instead to wake up at my own pace and start my day on my own terms. That’s just not possible in most jobs where you have to be at work between the hours of 7 and 9am Monday through Friday. That’s way too much structure for my taste. I love the idea of taking random breaks during the day to run errands and shop and then return to work. Sounds idealistic I know. Working at my own pace without being micromanaged is also important to me because I think I’m quite capable of getting work accomplished in a reasonable period of time without multiple interruptions from those who have the need to reassure themselves that I am indeed doing my job. It’s funny how much of the work world in the States revolves around this type of schedule. Working 5 days and then only having 2 days off to recuperate. I tried a job with traditional hours and lasted a little bit over three months because it was way too much structure for my tastes. While I don’t think I would categorize myself as a “creative,” after reading the article I can relate to every single one of the annoyances of having a traditional work schedule. I guess that’s why I work nights. For now at least.
I’ve had awesome opportunities to travel this year. I’ve posted on quite a few of them. I’m in the process of finalizing the plans for the last few trips of the year. This year has been full of changes and I can honestly say that I feel like a different person from the one I was in January. It’s funny how a change of perspective can also change your actions. While I’ve always made decisions based on my career goals and professional opportunities, it’s time to make some for more personal reasons. Like something as trivial as happiness or a comforting illusion like security or stability. The truth of the matter is that we won’t live forever and we aren’t allowed do-overs in life. That being said, I think life is too short to spend substantial amounts in places you don’t like for the purpose of professional goals. We are all familiar in some way with sacrifices needed in order to get where we want to get in life. But it quickly becomes pointless when sanity is sacrificed and self care is abandoned. So there is a choice that has to be made. The choice to do something for you instead of for your goals. It’s time.
What do you do when you have a million and one thoughts running around in your head that need to be connected by reading them? You blog. And unfortunately, the randomness that may come as a part of this spontaneous blog post may violate the NUMBER ONE rule of blogging: “Only have one subject” or the number two rule: “Don’t be wordy.” Well this one may actually be wordy. For the sake of the people reading this, I think I’ll at least separate this non-subject blog into topics. Topic One: One thing that I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts is the amount of traveling that I’ve done in the past few months. Five weekend trips in six weekends has been no joke. Trying to keep up with schoolwork and managing a job without taking PTO has been a superhuman feat that (thankfully) is almost over. As someone who loves to travel, it has been great seeing the world outside of the little bubble of work and school that perpetually seems to overshadow my life. Topic Two: The whole idea of choices has really been in the forefront of my mind these last couple days. I’ve been able to benefit from a series of particular choices I made that began in March 2012. These choices involved being deliberate in certain actions that I knew would have an outcome. While I did not know what the outcome would be, I knew that it was preferable to making the opposite choice not to change my actions. These choices continued and more choices related to them were made with the full knowledge that all future choices needed to be in line with the ones previously made. As I began to build choices upon choices, I saw very small but also very pointed results. While the results were not always (and rarely are always) explicitly exactly what I want as far as long term, there are still results that come directly from those choices. I say all this to say that many times I think that people neglect to recognize and acknowledge how certain choices can not only change your life for the better or for the worse, but also that they lead to other choices in the similar track. An example of this are the drugs known as “gateway drugs”. Statistics tell use that people who use these specific drugs are more likely to try harder and more potent drugs. Choices lead to other choices and these choices ultimately shape our lives and who we are as people. We don’t always realize the impact of a particular choice and seldom take the time to view our lives as a series of choices that we made. People we chose to associate with or listen to. Things that we neglected or paid attention to. Opportunities for growth that we capitalized on or disregarded. I was reminded how making certain choices in my life served as the gateway to an environment or an experience that I didn’t “deserve” to have. But those consistent choices laid the ground work for a positive result.
Most of us have heard at one point or another is the fact that you can’t change people. Millions of hearts have been unnecessarily broken because their owners did not believe this fact. While I absolutely believe that this is true, I think that there may be some exceptions. The fact of the matter is that people can change each other. The point is that you can’t change someone by trying to do that. It makes absolutely no sense being in a relationship with someone because you think one day they’ll see the light and change for the better. The truth of the matter is that sometimes it’s easy to underestimate the impact that people have on each other. Social psychology teaches that a person is shaped and developed by his or her social interactions with others. We have an impact of people–whether we like it or not. The chain effect of human interaction and friendship is often underestimated. Try to change someone and you’ll fail. Present someone with the opportunity to change in a way that makes them feel as if they aren’t changing–merely evolving, and drop some very subtle motivational hints. Insert some positive reinforcement and you have a much better change of getting them to change. While this example may be a little much (and manipulative), my point is that that there is a way to influence people to change in a way that makes them feel good about it. Winston Churchill said that tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell and have him look forward to the trip. But I digress. My point is that people need motivation to change and many times their relationships and interactions with others can serve as this motivation. People can change, they just need a reason.