The Friday Dose #32

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Enjoy.

467 Relax and Succeed - You say I dream too big

Today’s Friday Dose is a fascinating mixed bag. Some of you may recall that in the past I wrote about an autistic kid who kept breaking into the NYC subway because he loved the trains so much. He was considered a nuisance until a smart young psychologist suggested giving him a job. He knew every train station and every time by heart. Now he answers the phone when you’re looking for subway directions and he doesn’t need a computer to help you. And now, because he’s an employee, he can ride the trains all he wants. Win-win. Well here’s a story on a new employment agency for people with Aspergers and Autism. We have not yet begun to access all the capabilities that humans bring to life:

An Employment Agency For Autistics

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Second we have an absolutely fascinating radio podcast documentary about identity. Imagine waking up as a middle aged adult with the mind of your 15-year-old self! What would the bright-eyed, optimistic, unfettered version of you think of your life today? Because of how the brain is wired, what happened to these people is entirely sensible. But it’s still amazing. And it still lead them to big conclusions and big changes in their lives. Give it a listen. And when you’re done, think back to really meditate on what you thought about yourself back then. And ask yourself if you’re selling yourself short with your defeated thoughts about a life that is still filled with glorious opportunity:

The Story of a Real-Life Time Traveller

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Commencements speeches are generally thought to be for graduating students. But we would all do well to remember that our life is a constant state of commencement. With every single choice, with every single decision we create our lives. So it’s worth it to occasionally stop to re-think our own identity and what kind of limitations we have placed upon ourselves. What kinds of thoughts don’t we think belong to us? What do we believe about ourselves that prevents us from realizing the greatest aspects of our existence? And what might awaken within you if you actually take some real time in your life to slow down and to listen to someone whose only goal is to help you to realize how incredible you truly are. Enjoy. (And, if you’re in a really big hurry, you can always skip to about ten minutes in.)

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The rest of your life starts today. What are you going to choose to do with it?

peace. s

The Tribe at Work

I just started a new job and the people there have been super rude. They’re not friendly at all and I’ve been going out of my way to try and be nice and helpful but it’s not making any difference. How can I show these people that I’m a good person?
I’m a team player I just need a fair chance.

signed,
New Tribesperson

Dear Tribesperson,

I used the term “Tribesperson” because that’s actually a better way to think of it. It’s a collection of co-workers that will have an established social structure. So no matter who you are or how valuable you are or how nice you are, you’re new, so you’re the one disrupting the social order. This is a very subtle but powerful force. And the negative feelings you’re picking up on relate to the fact that your arrival forced the change they have to manage. You can’t really call it “fair” or “unfair,” but it’s how groups work.

374 Relax and Succeed - Be yourself no matter whatSo you can’t take what’s happening personally for the reasons above. No amount of effort on your part can change the fact that because you showed up everyone else has been forced into refitting themselves into a new shape that accommodates you. Some of them might even blame you for their revised position on the social totem pole. But there’s nothing you can do about other people’s judgments. You’ll find out who your friends are there by just being your authentic self. That way people like you can recognize themselves in you and that’s easily enough to ignite a good friendship.

So if you get what I’m saying there, then that pretty much takes care of work. You just need to give it some time. But I want to shift to the more important principle that guides this whole discussion. We can’t live our lives wanting to be liked. Then what do you do if you’re among a bunch of Nazi’s? Do you really want to be liked by them? You have to live your life being yourself. I know that can sound ridiculously obvious, but since I’m writing it here maybe it’s an idea worth revisiting.

Very few people are ever being themselves. Most people are providing performances for the people around them. Maybe they’re painfully lonely, and yet when someone asks how they are they answer, “Great!” However people do it, egos are afraid of judgment and so they try to be all things to all people that are deemed worthwhile. The people we deem not-worthwhile are those asking us to do things we won’t get in line with. So the friends we’ll make depend on their “personality,” and yet “their personality” overwhelmingly depends on “our judgment,” and our judgment hinges on our own personality. So no one is seeing anyone clearly—we’re all dependent on each other in a way, and we simply tend to align ourselves with people that push us the way we prefer to be pushed, and pulled the way we prefer to be pulled. And because 374 Relax and Succeed - Keep knocking and the joy insidewe feel “closer” to those people, we call them friends and we begin to develop attachments to them. But….

Freedom isn’t having the same friends for a zillion years, freedom is when you move from authentic interaction to authentic interaction. It’s like being in love with everyone you communicate with. But to do that you have to lower all of your barriers to your natural self. You have to stop believing in your description of your own personality. You have to stop believing that you are some things and that you are not other things. Drop those beliefs and you’ll be free to connect on a deeper level with anyone.

I understand the compulsion to do so. We all do it sometimes. But as much as you are able, don’t get caught up in your internal narrative soap operas about who likes who. Just be your authentic self as much as possible. The cool part about that is that you can still have long-term friendships with other people who also live authentically and those are the richest friendships of all.

Relax, be yourself and enjoy life. That will be plenty attractive. The rest leave up to nature. 😉

peace. s