Friday, August 12, 2016

The new world

It never seems to amaze me how so many people in this world go through life seeking adversaries instead of partners.

First some back story.  I have spent the past couple of month connecting with some amazing people all of which have something to offer this world in a positive way.  I have created friendships that I know will last a long time and I have had great experiences and, more importantly, learned a few things.  I have made some personal strides in my personality and have tried to do my best to become more a role model than I used to be. To me there is nothing more important than being able to spend time with people and have conversations offline, but rather face to face.

One of my bosses from years back once taught me "there is no emotion in email"  The thing is that we read something online and we tend to put the emotion that we are feeling into it.   Some people are just angry people so they will read whatever they want to read as a negative.   This is true in conversation and relationships.  How many times have we typed something, re read it and then looked at it again and added a :) at the end to soften the blow and prevent misinterpretation. Our world is manipulated by emoticons rather than taking the time to talk on the phone or in person.

I am constantly reminded that there are awesome people in my life.  There are also a few complete jerks.  I know, I had times where I was more of the latter rather than the former. The past six months have been a journey of development for me where I have been doing my best to rid myself of anger and negativity which, in turn, has made me reconsider my relationships with negative people and people who do not necessarily have my best interests in mind.  Thing is that I like (liked) a number of them.  It is difficult to endure negativity when you are looking to better yourself.  It's difficult not to take it as a personal affront when one of your "friends" supports a competitor instead of you.   It is also difficult to look at things in a clinical, objective way without the emotion associated with it.  Before I make a decision about someone I ask myself "what do I like about this person"... sometimes the answer is "nothing" but in reality most people have something to offer.  Once I find the attribute I enjoy in a relationship then I seek what is bothering me in the interaction. Measuring the pros and cons I make a choice.  Sometimes that choice is to just agree to go our separate ways. Other times, especially when there is a professional need to interact,  I do so in as professional way as I can but no longer let them influence me or my inner circle. In no way are they allowed back into my private life.  

On to my point.  In the partnerships that I have with people, those who choose to be partners benefit from me as much as I benefit from them.  This is a true "win- win."  These partnerships are far rarer than I would have ever imagined and before the introspection of the past six months I would have doubted their true existence.  The industry that I am in seem wrought with people who believe the "other guy" is their competition.   In this day and age the competition is the need to look at everything adversarial rather than cooperative. The competition is the absolute addiction we have to our phones and the internet.  I know for a fact that I can give up my phone for a day or two,  could you?  I could name at least 10 examples of interactions that were adversarial that did not need to be.  A lender doing what he could to destroy the business of the person borrowing money,  the landlord who looks for ways to nickle and dime their tenants through fees and miscommunication,  the dive shop owner who badmouths their competition instead of looking for ways to partner with them,  the angry individual who thought the grass was greener but found it wasn't, blames the company he left...   the list could go on and on.

Be done with it.   In social media its easy.  Block them, unfriend them,  move on.   Sure, they will trash you but you just won't have to follow it.   There are people who read blogs like this one or in my case listen to my podcast to look for any reason to be critical.  Don't be "that guy!"  If this is your reason for reading something, the problem is you, not them.  

It doesn't always have to be adversarial.  It doesn't have to be us vs. them.

Yesterday a young man came into the dive shop who had worked for me about a year and a half ago.  He had been going through some personal issues and had just decided not to show up again for work... before yesterday I didn't know what happened to him.  He came in yesterday, a year and a half or so later, just to apologize.   He also thanked me for giving him a shot and for showing him that his life was more than flipping burgers.  He now had a house, a strong relationship, and a great sales job.   He was one who changed, he (through influences I am sure) thought me his adversary while I was trying to make him better.  The light clicked on and his world changed.

A quote I find awesome.  "Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners."   This is so true.  Ask yourself where your focus lies.

Aspire to greatness, don't belittle it.  Work towards improving others and your own world will grow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Whole 30, Back on track after a break...

July is a fantastic month for me!

It is the peak of the dive season, the pinnacle of Midwest Diving and some of the most amazing trips for getting to know people and seeing the best that Michigan has to offer.  The month starts with the holiday, every weekend there is something diving related and ends with an epic fundraiser at White Star Quarry.

July is also a month for eating what other people are making... i.e.  a bad month for a fad diet.  So I took the month off from eating "right" and put the whole 30 aside.  I had hit a plateau anyway so why not take a break for the month.  

The result?  I feel like total crap.

Over the course of (moderately) sticking to the diet I realized that there were certain things that did not do well with my body and certain things that didn't seem to matter.  The occasional desert? No worse than a headache the next day.  Adult beverages?  No drawbacks except that they just made me sleepy. Processed foods seemed to be the real killer.   Over a month though it added up.  A month of keeping sort of with the portions but not with the reading of labels really took its toll.

To be fair I did spend the month diving more than usual but towards the past week or so the aches and pains came back.  The stress built up in my shoulders and my mood darkened.  It seems that we really are slowing digging our graves with our teeth. The only good thing about this "experiment" was that there were no violent reactions towards anything I ate.  I was worried that once I cut it out of my diet it would be difficult to process some foods. Back to the beginning and the whole 30.

It is harder it seems to really be a strict disciplinarian about my diet now that I have adjusted but along with everything else I gained some weight back.  I don't want to be "that guy..." ever... so I am back to a strict regimen.  Back to the diet that I know works for me.

So yesterday was day one.  I fell off the wagon a little at dinner when my salad came with cheese and some crispy things that were probably poison.   It is going to be tougher than last time to stick with it because fast food is way more convenient and reading labels on everything just plain sucks.  And I will miss Beer and ice cream.  But, as I have been preaching to everyone who wishes to know and everyone who reads this blog (all five of you,)  Anyone can do anything for just 30 days.  So time to get back on track.

Start today.