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Posts Tagged ‘Reality’

…the clipboard

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Ever see someone wandering the hallways, standing around with their hands in their pockets, or fiddling with their phone? I have…there are plenty of them around, in many cases, too many.

Now compare them with someone walking around carrying a notebook, tablet or clipboard. Now there is someone that is going somewhere and doing something!

For all we know the person with their hands in their pocket just won the Nobel Prize…and the person “going places” just has to go pee….reality is that we don’t and won’t.

What we do know is perception is often reality – so carry a friggin notebook….

…make wise choices,
-sk

…turning left

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

So, I was arguing with myself the other day in the park…it is a lovely sight if you ever happen to come upon this spectacle. It all started so innocently with some introspection on people and how they perceive themselves over having to do the right thing.

Taking a look back at history, we have ample examples of tremendous evil being accomplished under the illusion that it was the right thing..that fit someone’s idealogy. This could be true in business and in the personal life of a person. In my mind this always boils down to a person’s character.

I’m a firm believer (and I have written about this previously), that most people are inherently selfish. Furthermore, given the opportunity many will do what is best for them, despite being detrimental to others. We can argue that this is not universally applicable as we have examples of individuals doing selfless things, often resulting in harm to themselves. As with every type of Gaussian function, I am referring to the majority of individuals.

So what’s the hook here? Figure out a balance (vs. integration) – what is right and beneficial. Every situation is, of course different and sometimes it is better to turn the other direction – even for a short time.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…oil and water

December 17, 2012 1 comment

I often think about the impact technology has on our lives. The fact that we are constantly connected to one another, whether we like it not, can be a daunting one. Digital peer pressure and the expectation for prompt answers (regardless of time) to various forms of communications seems to be increasing.

What was once a notion of work-life balance has become a concept of work-life integration. In some cases, there is a clear line when one is “off” from their job. That being said, in many careers in globally connected companies – that line has become nothing more than a gradient.

We should accept this new normal and its impacts our lives. We must learn to ensure that we maintain a vigil in under/over commitment towards one end of the extreme or the other. It is no longer enough to balance. I believe that balance assumes a fulcrum of some sort exists as well as a clear understanding of the “weight” on each side. This is largely a fallacy.

I’ll argue that the weight is continuously shifting so much as a focus on balance has become a source of conflict. If we focus in integrating the two, I believe that allows for less personal energy expenditure on a perceived balance.

This allows us to focus on what’s important at the moment while operating within a larger context.

…make wise choices.

-sk

…no one likes a quitter

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment

I had some interesting conversations with people recently regarding some personal and professional issues. Most of those centered around conflict resolution as well their ramifications – one of my favorite topics. We eventually gravitated to the concepts of giving up versus surrendering. Initially discussions were centered around both terms having the same meaning and the debate was lively to say the least.

In my opinion the two terms could not be more different – and yet they are very tightly coupled to one another. The simplest way I can differentiate the two is that a person can surrender without giving up…but not vice versa. Giving up involves compromising principles, admitting defeat and one of the most serious transgressions (in my opinion) – quitting. Surrendering means compromising (temporarily) and/or putting yourself in control of someone (or something) else’s will.

Never Quit

…make wise choices,

-sk

…which side are you on?

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

I was reading an article the other day interviewing Tom Morello, one of my favorite artists – and a funny few lines came up. A certain political candidate (I think they all suck by the way) was commenting on some of bands that he enjoyed – those that partially shaped him.

One of the bands, this person was influenced by Rage Against the Machine (another favorite of mine), in which, Tom played for a bit. The amusing portion of this interview was where Tom recognized and quite intelligently (actually one of the most well articulated responses I’ve heard to date) retorted with a litany of reasons as to why this political candidate clearly had no clue about the music as people like him were the target!

Now, in true sk fashion, I’ll not even bother discussing the leftist views expressed by the bands and the hypocrisy of their messaging – now being multi-millionaires. And I want to make it perfectly clear that a certain death row inmate (that had his death sentance commuted to life w/o parole) actually deserved to die….but I suppose we all die in the end….that’s why they call it the end.

It’s all about the music – and I am not a political candidate. Message here is that if you are going to reference something in a context where it may have an impact on your (stated) belief system – make damn sure you are not supporting the opposition!

I am sure they have enough ammo on you…

…make wise choices,

-sk

…strategic failure

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I was discussing work life balance and professional/personal workload management the other day, and an interesting question was raised. What happens when your proverbial plate is literally running over – and no one cares?

I have not experienced this situation – yet. Perhaps I had, and just did not realize that it was happening? Interesting question none the less. I believe that different individuals handle varying degrees of situational stress based on a number of factors (nature, nurture..etc).

This is part of who we are and also where we are in – in terms of being on target with our life goals. What – you have no goals?

This conversation brought up another chat that I had a few months ago on the notion of chess strategies. I am not very good at this game, but that does not stop me from playing. Plainly put, you have pawns that you sacrifice, at times to gain the upper hand in the game by moving into a better strategic position on the chess board. Simple stuff. You have lots of them (pawns), in relation to other pieces, which inherently makes them expendable.

So what if you were to treat your workload as a series of chess pieces? I’m sure that most individuals prioritize their work and I am not making reference to prioritization. I am talking about straight up failing on efforts that have little real impact in order to illustrate a point made above, when all else fails.

It should be noted that I do not subscribe to this ideology, but its notion as a method of sustainability in the professional workplace is nothing short of fascinating!

So the advice to someone that is in the situation referenced above, depending on personal risk factors and overall degree of confidence is simple. Sacrifice your pawns

Victim of circumstantial whims or an agent of change…albeit at a risk. Interesting choice.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…selective outrage

September 1, 2012 1 comment

I am often reminded of how people react, when times are tough…when times actually get tough. How the same situation can be perceived differently depending on a person’s subjective ways (yep – another constant theme in my writings) and how they behave in a perceived authority vacuum. As the remnants of Hurricane Isaac start to recede from NOLA, I recall certain elements of the press making some interesting comments regarding individuals trying to survive (and thrive) during Katrina.

Same scenario, different types of people…praise for one….outrage for the other – right outrage but for the wrong reason.

“Look at those people looting, have they no shame for doing this to their own community!”…..”It is heartbreaking but motivating to see the resourcefulness of these brave foragers.”

So I got to thinking…with my abstract little brain…without getting into the obvious elephant in the room, that is 10 feet tall, on fire and yelling “pay attention to me!!!”

Individuals had an opportunity (free crap), a need (to be debated) and a situation (disaster, whereas security was compromised)….the Social Contract was broken.

The lesson here is what motivates individuals and how they react when there is no (apparent) consequence to their action (perceived authority vacuum). Some do indeed loot and do harm to one another while others forage to survive and try to retain their persona. The point is we never truly know what we are capable of until we are presented with the opportunity, a need and a situation.

Are you a forager or a looter?

…make wise choices,

-sk

…ripple in the water

July 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ll not spend time discussing recent events in CO. It is a topic that has been beaten to death by the media and I’ll not even bother. What I will discuss is a theme that has peppered my previous posts, the notion of always moving forward and living for the present. None of us know when our time will come (suicide notwithstanding) and whether we will be ready.

Plans we make, promises we give and futures we imagine for ourselves and our families can be eviscerated in the blink of an eye. Our lives are but a series of random events that are put in front of us and our actions sometimes impact the outcome. We can reduce the likelihood of early tragedy, but are only one snake bite, cancer growth, stroke, accident…etc away from oblivion.

Dismal shit is it not?

Many ask themselves (those that pontificate on the points above) if this is the case then why bother?

Simple answer is that we ultimately exist to create a positive impact on others, through pro-creation and/or passing down knowledge and values to those we meet along our journey. Sure, I can get wrapped up in the evolutionary need to spread one’s own genetic code in order to ensure that certain characteristics are propagated throughout generations – but I’m too lazy to write about that right now.

Re-evaluate where you spend your time, energy and resources. Is it in the right areas? Who will remember you (for the right reasons…no Hitler jokes please) when you are gone and for how long?

..make wise choices,

-sk

…it’s not supposed to be like this

June 24, 2012 1 comment

How is it that we have a certain mental construct of a situation in our heads and all of a sudden it becomes providence? So much so, as we base decisions on a situation that we have the illusion, will only have a singular outcome. I often refer, in conversations, to playing a constant game of mental chess. This game constantly has me analyzing and re-analyzing situations and mapping potential outcomes – a consistent mental decision tree. This is most annoying, but I cannot help it – I have been doing this since I was a child.

My point is not to assume that your original plan will ever work. Instead, be prepared to rely on contingency planning while setting goals. I had a feverish discussion actually about this, whereas the other person was presuming that I was planning for failure – and this is not the case. Failure is having only one immutable plan for execution and having that plan not come to fruition. There is a popular military saying that no plan survives first contact and a correlating civilian saying that states no plan survives a punch in the face.

Always expect a punch in the face. Assume it will happen and move forward.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…lost in translation

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

A key theme in the past few posts has been communication. As one of the basic foundations of interaction, this is an important thing to master (I was just promoted to Captain Obvious I think). Having witnessed no less than four occurrences of an interesting pattern in the past week, I figured I would discuss the notion of bad analogies.

Analogies are a great way for pulling people into your story – often allowing them to relate to the topic at hand. That being said, it sure helps that your analogies can actually resonate with you audience. Sometimes, lack of awareness to social queues and/or not understanding the audience actually polarizes your listeners. This, often has the opposite intended effect and in some cases can force premature disengagement.

For instance, before you compare someone’s positive effect on you as a black hole – make sure they dig astrophysics. One side of the conversation is thinking of a compelling attraction from which the pull is very strong – analogous to being compared to gravity causing light not being able to escape.  Meanwhile, the other side of the conversation is thinking “why is he calling me a hole?”

…make wise choices

-sk