Friday, August 17, 2007

17th August 2007

Today i am just going to put an email i just replied to today. I think its got a lot of things i really believe in. Here it is --

Hello my friend and former co-worker! I have a favour to ask you and that is this. I am looking for some constructive help in making myself a better person and co-worker and I am counting on you to be honest and up front with me. I will not stock you nor hunt you down but I would be forever grateful that you took the time to answer two simple questions. I am looking at making some major career changes and so I come to those that I can call "friend" and I believe will be honest with me.

1) What made me a good co-worker (assets/anything that you can remember)

2) What would you say my defects are/were? (again, I asked and so here is your chance!) I really would appreciate your honest input. Don't worry about feelings - I have none. This really is to make me look at myself and determine if I am indeed on the right track.

Thank you for your time. Sange

Dear Sange,
Ok, here it is! Its not what you really wanted to hear though.

1. Like me you can deal with all kinds of people as second nature. You put a person at their ease and can work along all types. You are easy to deal with and don’t require someone to stand over you to make sure things are getting done. You are fun to be with, clever, witty and damn cheeky. You have a keen mind and you can almost hear it cranking away up there on high speed.

2. Point two can NOT be answered by anyone and if they do they deserve a good slap. It they answer then that is their biggest defect. It cannot be answered because it would be so warped by their own value system and experiences as to be complete and utter garbage.

I can tell you what I know about myself and make a call on what i think this email is about because i have done something like this myself in the past. You have a serious lack of confidence in yourself. What annoys me is that there is no justification for you to think that way, it has just become something i guess you are used to thinking about yourself, you started to believe the internal critics. Here is my blunt answer because it’s something i would like to tell my father. Get over it. You are too old to be focussing on your supposed weaknesses and using them as validation to continue feeling held back by it. My radical theory is that people only repeat thoughts and feelings if they get some pleasure out of it. Even if it’s behaviour they hate about themselves. So what are you getting out of it? I often have to check myself over getting depressed about body shape. Then i think oh what luxury that this is my biggest worry and secondly the wife couldn’t give a shit! She does not see me the way i see me. Which leads on to my biggest point.

Your only weakness that effects your life in any a significant way is your opinion of yourself, which is a club of one. As a friend and co-worker, because you have those positive qualities i mentioned above, they are really the only things that matter to me and others (people are too busy thinking about themselves). Self assessment is a very positive trait and self improvement should never stop at any age. It is a rarity in this world im afraid. I just think you are going about this in the wrong way. Confidence and self belief is an attitude and it is only attained with practice just like learning a new skill. It becomes a habit to think with confidence if you keep doing it. The same happens in reverse. We can also define ourselves by our lack of confidence and it too becomes a habit of thinking. Sange, thoughts are not tangible and you should not define yourself by these qualities. We are not this mind; we are not these habits or these conditionings. The mind is a ghost. What you actually are is a wonderful, loving and strong spirited person, your spirit is what you should define yourself by because it is bigger than your personality or your believed defects. Your defects, such as they are, are ghosts, habits that can be changed into more positive habits any time you choose.

So my action plan (it can’t just be words) is two things -

1. Love yourself exactly as you are with no buts at the end of it. You cant say "I love myself.... but...." Otherwise all you will be is a but (no pun intended)!!! Does that make sense? Why focus on the but instead of the love. Is that what you do with your loved ones? Focus on all their bad qualities?

2. You should try being like an observer of your own life like you are watching yourself in a sitcom. Stand back as a witness in your own life and start noticing if each behaviour is firstly habitual, and secondly does that habit feel right or wrong to you. If it’s good and feels right, keep it, if not, discard it. Use a visual like calling in the Ghost Busters to lock that habit or behaviour away forever.

You don’t need anybody to tell you what your defects are because the real danger is that you can then start grabbing hold of them tight as a justification for how you feel about yourself. They will become like mantras for you. Your only mantra should be "I am ok. I regard my ability to love myself above anything else as the most powerful asset i have in my arsenal". My final suggestion is send off another email to say there's no need to reply to the last email, you have it covered.