Before it was the site of a shooting and then immediately ravaged by brush fires, my hometown of Thousand Oaks was largely unknown across the US. If you had heard of it, you might have known it for being the second-safest city in the nation, or that that’s where Amgen is. Before a few months ago, I would tell people I’m from Southern California, and if I needed to get specific, I’d say “between L.A. and Santa Barbara.” Now I can use my hometown by name, and it feels really bad. So I’ve gone back to answering the old way, not because I can’t be so specific, but because I don’t want the extra attention.
When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go.
When I think about death, which isn’t often, I’m afraid. I fear what will happen to me, and that says a lot about where my relationship with God is. People who are living in right relationship with God are at peace with death, and will welcome it, whenever it comes. People like me aren’t there yet, because we don’t think that death is here yet, and that we have plenty of time, that we’ll get there … later.
There’s no reason to wait.
Energy is Energy
In college, I used to stay up late with my friends playing video games. Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, and Halo. You need all four players for a great game. Of course we wanted to maximize the fun factor, but we were in college and also had to pay at least attention to, you know, our education. So we had a rule that determined when we would stop playing: whoever had the soonest test, the soonest due paper, or earliest morning class, got to decide. It worked well, but it made us all tired.
Which brings us to our second, dumb, only-in-college rule (which at the time I think we called a philosophy): energy is energy. Meaning, both food and sleep give you energy, so if you can’t sleep, eat. We would munch on snacks while we played, keeping us awake.
Fast forward to the present. I’m on a diet. Go figure. It’s the first one of my life. Hopefully the last. It sucks, but I did this to myself, so I’m trying not to complain about it. (Although a coworker pointed out that part of being on a diet is getting to talk about it. Not sure where I fall on that one.)
Anyway, I had a very hungry moment last night before bed, and ended up going to bed exhausted. But I realized that old philosophy might be true after all: energy is energy. And it’s time to reverse it. Now that I can’t eat, I must sleep.
I can’t say enough good things about discovering, learning about, and sharing Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) psychological preference information with my team. We all took the 15-minute test at https://www.16personalities.com, and we discovered what a unique bunch we are. And by getting more personal and more comfortable sharing this kind of information, we’ll be able to be more in control of conflict, more understanding of others’ actions, and perhaps better able to work with each other overall. Even the act of talking about it with one another served more as a team-building exercise than a meeting. We plan to make it a series of an hour each week until we’ve wrung as much learning out of it as we can. And then next year, we’ll try a new one, like StrengthsFinder.
What’s your personality type? What’s your boss’s? What’s your employee’s? The answers may impact you more than you think.
I don’t like dressing up for work. Years ago, when I was working for a fancy beauty brand, a flatmate of mine asked me why I dress up, if I don’t like to. I explained that I have to. But, I didn’t have to. I chose to take that job, and keep that job, regardless of the dress code. I found the other elements worth it.
The business school I attended was overly traditional too. At the end of college, during interview practice sessions, I was told I would have to cut my shoulder-length hair if I wanted to get a job. I told them I’d be working in the music industry, and that it’s not like that in LA. Well, it wasn’t, and I got the job.
Now I work with a guy who once mentioned that he sometimes wishes he could grow out his beard and hair like mine, but can’t because of his job. We have the same employer—a company whose business it is to promote the values of long-haired, bearded, Jesus Christ—but my coworker’s responsibilities and contacts seem to dictate a different set of standards.
What are you sacrificing, and what opportunity costs have you shored up at some other expense? Are you willing to change? What’s it worth?
Practice doesn’t make perfect. “Perfect practice makes perfect.”
He also said, “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.” Wise man. Also, a gig musician.
Do you have trouble feeling grateful for what you have?
Why is it that some people seem to have any easy time feeling content and grateful for their lot in life? Why do others spend so much time ungrateful and so much effort satiating greed? Gratitude is directly linked to contentedness, and contentedness is an ingredient in happiness. Don’t we all want to be happy?
Like most difficult/slow/long-road-but-worthwhile endeavors, it takes practice.
Have you practiced gratitude today? If you haven’t, there’s an app for that. As a starting point, try Fabulous.
There are three levels of cussing*, ranking from least to most offensive:
*(or swearing, or cursing, or expletives). I grew up in California, and this is what we called it. At college in Massachusetts, they used cursing, and said cussing is what their grandmas called it. My friend’s dad calls them counterfeit words in a bankrupt vocabulary. He was from California and lives in Massachusetts. Go figure.
**Grey area between 1 and 2: Cursing at no one in particular, but not casually/in control. This sometimes can take the form of cussing at yourself. Example: Sh*t, I’m late.
***You could extend this rule even to the first level of cussing, if you happen to be around people who don’t appreciate swearing of any kind. I had a lot of Church of Latter-Day Saints friends in high school, and did my best not to cuss around them.
I took my MBTI personality type on 16 Personalities recently, and it was interesting and fun and pretty accurate. I’ve had my whole team do it, and we’ll use it to understand and work with each other better.
But when it comes to knowing yourself, even more important than knowing your personality type is knowing your core values. It’s the most important litmus test you can give yourself when determining if you are on the right path. That, combined with discernment through prayer, is an unbeatable combo if you’re looking for confidence in your choices.
Discover your core values, whether for yourself or for your organization. They will help you make the right decisions. And when done in a group setting, they will foster fellowship and trust among individuals who can breathe easier knowing they are in stride alongside coworkers who have those same values, and a shared vocabulary for expressing them.
How important is it that we structure our leisure time?
What is your leisure time for? Are you simply relaxing after a hard day’s work? Do you fill up your leisure time with a side hustle, or personal responsibilities that don’t feel leisurely at all? Do you catch up on sleep?
What I’m asking is: do you have intention about what you seek to accomplish, even when not “working?”
If simply relaxing, have you thought about what relaxes you most? Can you be efficient in reaching relaxation, to give yourself more time to make progress on those other things you want to do?
If pursuing your side hustle after normal business hours, are you achieving a balance between progress and mindfulness? Are you sleeping?
And if catching up on sleep, are you passing out or are you learning lucid dreaming, hoping to control part of your subconscious, and learn more about yourself?