keskiviikko 1. heinäkuuta 2015

Day 646 - Burnout, the moment when you don't see the point to go on



As I've been saying, for the past year (almost) I've had A LOT of stuff going on. At first I thought that I could handle all of that, but it turns out I didn't. I pushed myself too hard and I made that pushing "permanent". What I mean by this is that when you get a job that sort of becomes "permanent" until you quit or loose your job otherwise. I had taken on many responsibilities and thereby they had become "permanent", and this is what started to eat me up: not seeing an end in sight.

So, I sucked up my pride and admitted to myself to that I took too much on my plate. I gradually started to cut down on the things that I had taken up until I was left with school, writing, occasional political practivism and a job that I could comfortably do while in school. Now my outlook on life is completely different. I actually think that I can live up to these challenges without constantly having to give more than I can give (and thus without gradually burning out). The challenges I now face are possible to beat, they lead somewhere and I couldn't feel more motivated!

Changing this point brought about a lot of things to face though. I believed that I really had to put more in than I had to give because I was afraid that without this effort the world would go down the shitter. This made me push myself beyond what I could do and the strain from that made me pissed off at others for not doing the same. I felt that I had to do so much because others weren't doing shit. And while this was true at my previous job (which should have simply lead me to identify the situation sooner and quit), it doesn't hold for the rest of humanity.

On top of this, I had to face the fact that -- put quite frankly -- I believe that the world is run by psychopaths that will rather see the Earth burn than to give up what they have so that all can live a dignified life. They'd rather NOT end war, poverty and hunger and with them all the other derivative social issues than to give up what they considered to be theirs. In this, I saw no other option but to "play their game" better and to leave a legacy behind that in time would "win the war" and even out the resources. What I missed completely was the option of building a world for the children to come. I still bet that many of the leaders of this world are straight bat-shit crazy, but I also realize that the next generation doesn't have to grow up believing the same things and facing the same "realities". Us as the "regular people" have a lot of say in what kind of a world the next generation will grow up in. This comes about through who we as people accept and allow ourselves to be. We must stand as rolemodels of the kind of life and values that we want to see in the world, and that -- lived life -- is something that will "speak to" even the elites.

So this is what I commit myself to focus on first: myself. I want to live the kind of life that, if spread far enough, would in fact make a difference. This doesn't mean excelling at tasks only a handful are able to do, but to excel in things that everyone is able to do: honesty, self-honesty, healthy values, healthy living and doing onto others what I'd have done unto me (realizing equality). These kinds of role models are needed. People who are responsible, yet down to Earth. I cannot "fight" the forces of this world, but I can live my life and encourage the next generation to do things differently.

All of this seems possible. Still hard work, but it won't kill me (like pushing myself too hard for too long will). This "calming down" and slowing down is what solved my burn out. I now have challenges in front of me that are possible AND they will lead somewhere! In time all of this will expand and develop of course, but this is a good start.

tiistai 23. kesäkuuta 2015

Day 645 - Back to writing



Life is complex. This doesn't mean that some things are only for the "intelligent", but that a lot of things happen. Some of these things are physical and the same for us all, other things are psychological or social which vary from person to person. Everyone can follow up with physical consequences if they take a moment to look at what is going on (yes, this doesn't happen automatically). Social and psychological things might require investigation and conversation on top of this, and everyone is capable of this as well.

Writing is an excellent tool to make sense of everything that is going on. Talking is another great tool while thought can easily run in circles (take the saying "left alone with his thoughts for too long"). Writing poses the risk of self-deceit when I try to make sense of it all, and talking poses the risk of others being deceitful ("giving bad advice") on top of the risk of self-deceit. In this I choose to talk as well as to write, but I have to realize that even with the best of advice I'll have to do all the work myself. I also realize that people forget easily and fall back into old patterns, and thus to help myself remember (change for real) I'll put emphasis on writing again. I've noticed that without a way to make sense of the world, interpretations start to pile up and my life becomes increasingly... well... this time it became increasingly uncertain and stressful.

So, I learned the hard way that ignorance is not bliss but it leads to trouble.

I commit myself to start writing again.

I commit myself to just write about the issues at hand without forcing myself into a certain expectation of it (as this has created a lot of resistance towards writing in the past).

I commit myself to use writing as my way to make sense of myself and my life, and to thus only hold myself as the "measure of excellence" when doing so; I commit myself to look for real-life practical consequences of assisting and supporting myself into awareness of myself and my world, and I commit myself to stop taking this process of writing like I'd take my school essays (trying to please someone else).

Cheers,
Lauri

lauantai 20. kesäkuuta 2015

Day 644 - Fall, get up and try something new



Some time ago I read a book about how a person's psyche matures. It said that, especially with men, people go through a "hero phase" where they "try out their wings". Inevitably the hero has to die as the person faces his/her limitations. Limitations such as fatigue and the fact that we only have 24 hours in a day.

I didn't know what this meant and, of course, in my arrogance I swore that this would never happen to me. The start of this year has taught me otherwise.

At the end of last year (2014) I got a new job and a new place of study. When I took on these challenges they didn't seem like a big deal, but they were. The time and effort they consumed was much more than I had anticipated. I also found out that there is such a thing as "combat fatigue".

So, eventually and inevitably I burned out. In a nutshell I burned out because I put all my time into study and work. This is possible but only if a person takes his job/study as one takes his leisure, I didn't. I slowly got increasingly exhausted, and with no end or break in sight I started to become increasingly unhappy towards what my life had become. 

School was demanding in itself without having to work while I was at it. What made things even more difficult was that my work isn't really routine. I am doing the routine work besides the people I am responsible for while building the company in terms of strategies and structures. When the summer vacation rolled around and I saw no relief in my schedules, I was done. 

I realize now that I wasn't ready for such a burden of responsibility, and so I've had to give up that which I can to make room for time for myself as well (still holding on to school and work). I realized that the main problem was that I wasn't able to study and do my work as myself. I wasn't able to simply express myself within these activities like I do within my leisure time. Thus, due to the lack of time where I am in fact my self and expressing myself, I started to get tired. And, in time, because no moment that I had was really for me, I started to feel that life wasn't for me. 

So what now, where do I go from here?

Well, I've rested and I've canceled plans and given up positions to have time to do work and study while leaving time for myself. The hero of my story died, and now I have to find out what I can in fact give without ripping myself apart.

sunnuntai 5. huhtikuuta 2015

Day 643 - Leadership



What needs to happen, who decides that and, most importantly, what is the right course of action when things don't go as planned?

I am a sales coordinator (with a team of 5 and growing) at my job and I play this game called Planetside 2 (leading 12-370 people). Both of these activities have made me think a lot about leadership and how it seems to boil down to three things: 1) making sure that everything gets done; 2) creating a plan by which everything gets done; 3) being the one who adapts when things don't go as planned.

Each of these three points poses a challenge for my personal growth.

The first point (making sure that everything gets done) calls out for me to be active in communication. I have to know what is going on and I must promote a culture that relays all necessary information. ALSO If anyone "drops the ball", I have to be there to pick it up. If someone's responsibility falls on me this way (the guy who is ultimately responsible) I cannot take it personally or otherwise my actions will damage team moral and the self-trust of those that I lead.

The second point (creating a plan by which everything gets done) calls out for thoroughness and attention to detail. I've come to realize that "taking into account all the factors" is not a matter of intelligence, but a matter of diligence, commitment, consistency and patience. Everything I need to know will become visible in time, I just have to keep myself clear and awake enough to see that. The main point that has clouded my judgment thus far is uncertainty that comes up when everything is not clear right away. In this, the best course of action has been humility, patience and calmness.

The third point (being the one who adapts when things don't go as planned) has been the most difficult one for me. When I get invested into a plan, it is easy to react when things don't go my way. It is easy to go into blame towards those who didn't live up to the expectations of the plan, but I've come to realize many times that reactions and blame will make me a bad leader. The ability to let go of my previous plans and to adapt to the changing circumstances has been the biggest lesson I've gone through here. The fascinating thing about this is that most of the role models of leaders that I've had have fallen in this point. They are the ones who get pissed off at employees whose process of learning require flexibility from planners and leaders. A good leader must be able to nurture the growth of others and to create flexibility that allows that to happen.

lauantai 28. maaliskuuta 2015

Day 642 - Sense of responsibility



A friend of mine sits at my table and says "oh, no napkins", I remember that I considered taking extras and I say "sorry, I didn't take any for you". I go through these kinds of  moments where I claim responsibility that wasn't in fact mine and I feel sorry for not following through with it. I never stopped to consider what pattern was at play here until I became responsible for other people at work and the "forgotten napkins" turned into goals in turnover.


I opened up this situation with my friend to shed light on the pattern at work:
  • Because of my past, I hold on to this notion that anythings can be a trigger for someone – anything can be "the last drop". 
  • I react to the minor set back with a slight fear that someone will react.
    • I realized that the reason behind the reaction is also the value I put in my friend which in turn created a fear of loosing the relationship if a conflict would ensue.
      • I created the fear of loosing relationships when I was very young and my parents split up.
        • Back then I started this pattern of being on the look out for things that I could do to prevent "damage" from happening to my relationships (I thought that preemptive action was my responsibility or otherwise relationships had the tendency to fall). This is because the divorce came (from my perspective) very suddenly and the reason that was give for it was along the lines of "sometimes people just don't like each other, we weren't enough". 
  • I then quickly check for ways that the situation can end badly. 
  • I then "scan" the situation for things that I could have done differently, and for each point that I find I react as if these points would make whatever is going to happen my fault. 
  • I then react with guilt. 
  • This experience of guilt leads to me either: 1) trying to correct the situation; 2) trying to write the responsibility off on someone else through judgment, assessment of the situation and blame; or 3) I do nothing and go to self-judgment. 
If I fail my attempt to "make the situation right"
I might go through this pattern again.


This pattern is connected to the beliefs I have about situations and people. For instance if a huge biker guy would react to the lack of napkins, I'd probably find it a little funny. Whereas if I'd be babysitting a young kid who got really upset for not having a napkin, I'd probably react with a little guilt, go get the napkins and apologize. No matter how "natural" these reactions seem to be, they highlight a pattern: I assume or write off responsibility (through the way I react and act on that reaction) in accordance to how "strong" or "weak" I see people around me to be. A young child (weak) "has the right" to react for "not knowing any better" and while the reaction is as unjustified as the biker's reaction would be, I fear that making the kid react would be judged as wrong while making a biker react would hold no judgment against me whatsoever. Here each situation, through the people within it, obligate me to act in different ways.

The essence of the weak-strong -based way of viewing responsibility is also at play at my job, but there it gets tangled with more of my perceptions and beliefs. For example I've want to benefit the society around me, and the job that I have now has the potential to fund that within 5 years time. I know that I'll use the money to help people, and thus if I fail at my job I end up feeling like I am letting a lot of people down – damn napkins. This is a great example of how my beliefs and plans get tangled with how I perceive responsibility.

I mean, the problem isn't being responsible itself, but the way I react when I see that something needs to be done. I don't self-express, I move to avoid failure, judgment, conflict or people from getting hurt. This actually brings up an outflow of this point: I carry responsibility out of obligation (because I think that I have to and FOR OTHERS), I thus often (in my frustration / tiredness) blame my self-obligation on others. "If that guy would have, I wouldn't need to!" – this type of blame seems to be so justified when I "tried until I was tired" "for other people", this also gives everything a dramatic flare. But the truth is that I can ALWAYS find things to complain and blame about, but all that they'll do is divert my attention away from how I myself am allowing myself to react and create definitions that isolate me from others.

The way I see it, this point breaks down to the following elements: my perception of responsibility, my perception of how the judgments and reactions of others enforce this idea of responsibility, what I fear others to do if I wouldn't carry my responsibility, how I perceive "weakness" and "strength" to influence responsibility, how I see the world (what needs to be done), how I see others, how I see myself, who I've defined myself to be in the future, how I carry responsibility "for others", how this makes me ignore how I in fact direct myself and how I allow this point to go into blame when I get exhausted. All of these points come together to create quite the stressful way of life. Thus in my next post I'll start untangle this and to assist and support myself to let myself be more relaxed even though there is stuff to do.


What a pattern...

keskiviikko 11. maaliskuuta 2015

Day 641 - Stage fright



I do sales for a living and I've been struggling with stage fright. In one hand I've shown myself how well I can express myself and how well I know our products, but in the other hand I have this fear of freezing in front of a client and loosing the deal. I could say that this fear caters to a more primordial fear of "not being enough" and having to pay for it somehow (like by not getting a sale).


I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that I have to be ready with my words and any and all hesitation or uncertainty within my expression will be judged by others.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to fear that the judgments that other make of me will accumulate into them perceiving and believing that I am something negative.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to fear that if I am not ready with my words and certain within my expression, others will judge me as untrustworthy and unprofessional.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to act from this starting point of fear when I am in a sales situation.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that I "freeze" when I do something that I fear will make others judge me, and thus, instead of simply picking up where I stumbled I go into the "freezed" experience where I wait for the bad consequences to happen.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that I "freeze" "under the pressure" of all the things that I fear to go wrong.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that I "freeze" in the face of my own standards.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to fear this "freezing" without realizing that it is self-created: something under my control.


Now what is this in practicality and how to deal with it?


I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT consider self-confidence through what the word is in Finnish – "määrätietoinen" = aware of quantities – and in this, I Forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that I can find confidence in knowing that what I speak about is true.

I commit myself to thrive to see, realize and understand how things really are so that when I speak I can rest assured that I speak about how things actually are.

I commit myself to find self-confidence in speaking the truth.


I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to approach people as roles that have to be approached like that role dictates, instead of like a person who is one and equal to me.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that the roles that people play out all require different approaches, instead of considering people as people who all enjoy being listened to, who all enjoy that their concerns are taken seriously, who all enjoy that they are spoken to with the language they can understand and etc.

I Forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to separate people into roles and to thus face a situation where I cannot apparently know how to act with people.

I commit myself to meet people as people and to receive them as I'd like to be received.

I commit myself to "please" people by being myself honestly to them.


I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to think about social situations (such as sales meetings) in advanced.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to think about how I should express myself from the starting point of the fear that I might express myself in such a way that I won't be received – in this, I Forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to believe that the situation I am walking into will judge how people express themselves.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to think about how I should dress from the starting point of the fear that I might dress in such a way that I won't be received –  in this, I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to believe that the situation I am walking into will judge how people dress.

When and as I see myself thinking about a future situation in such a way that I create standards, expectations and doubts into that future situation, I commit myself to stop, to breathe and to realize that I am in fact doing the most damage by creating these doubts into the future. I commit myself to realize that if I walk into that situation with everything that I've thought about it I will see many ways I can "fail", whereas if I walk into that situation without these thoughts I won't be burdened with seeing many ways to "fail". I thereby commit myself to release these thoughts and to only plan practical things in advance. I Commit myself to let go of these thoughts within the realization that I cannot say how others will react and if I try I'll limit myself into my own guesswork.

This is definitely a start!

sunnuntai 8. maaliskuuta 2015

Day 640 - Stress




I started to redefine strength in my previous post. Here I'll have a look at the origin points for my desire to be "strong" in the conventional sense.

Simply put: my desires and my fears are closely related to the idea I have about how strong I "need to be". I've defined "what I need to be" for instance in my job through where I desire my job to take me. This in turn breeds a fear that I won't get to where I want to be, which starts a process of looking at ways to "make sure" that I get where I desire to go. These plans are made with certain assumptions, expectations and standards. Some stand on practical real-life experience and others stand on nothing but a hunch that I should do more (a manifestation of the starting point of fear that states: what if I won't be enough?). The total end result of all of this, at least for me, is too much effort – thriving for perfection in the fear of loosing what I have.

This breeds stress. More specifically doing more than probably is realistic and doing things with my mind already considering in the next thing are the things that stress me out. These are the result of acting from a starting point that asks "what if I am not enough?". There is no self-trust within this equation.


I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to desire that I do well at my job. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to react to my desire of doing my job well with a fear of not being enough at my job.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to desire that I do well at school. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to react to my desire of doing well at school with a fear of not being enough at school. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to desire to excel at my job because I desire to get money. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to react to my desire to get money with the fear of not being enough at my job and thus not getting any money. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to fear being broke. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to desire to excel at school because I desire to get the authority and the job opportunities that come with the education.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to react to my desire to excel at school with the fear that I won't be enough and that thus many doors will stay closed to me and people won't take me seriously.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to react to these desires and fears regarding my job and my education with stress that I have to do more to be "enough" – in this, I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to state that I am not enough, but I'll constantly have to push myself beyond my boundaries to be "enough".

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to justify my stress with the desire I have to attain things and the fear I have of not attaining what I want to attain.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to backchat about what I need to do and how soon from within a starting point of fear that I won't be enough – in this, I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to create more stress. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that this stress is "natural" with trying to achieve things. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to define strength as the ability to push myself and as the ability to withstand stress.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT consider strength as the ability to do one thing at a time with full concentration, by being with myself HERE and by doing what I do in such a way that it doesn't create stress (without resisting that which I do and without constantly thinking and stressing about what I have to do).

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to create resistance towards what I do by doing what I do from the starting point of fear (not being enough), and thus defining what I do as something that I HAVE TO DO and as something that I HAVE TO PUSH MYSELF in – and in this, I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to lock myself into an approach towards responsibility and achievement that is not sustainable. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that work that is done with passion will be successful. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that I cannot do my work for me and by me (passionately) if I stress while I do it. 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that stress kills self-expression and self-trust.

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that in acting from the starting point of fear (not being enough) and in create stress from this, I in fact limit myself from expressing myself within my work and I make it more likely that I manifest what I fear (failure). 

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to accumulate stress this way and that I've accepted and allowed myself to react to my stress with the desire to "take a break" (watch series and play games).

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to do more than really could in the fear that otherwise I'll fail – in this, I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that this is not sustainable, and I am thus setting myself up to fail in the future (when I can no longer keep up with the phase that I set for myself).

I forgive myself that I've accepted and allowed myself to NOT realize that all that I can create is that which my expression can create, and that I've accepted and allowed myself to fear that this won't be enough (and that I thus have to constantly push my boundaries).

I commit myself to find out what kind of life I create if I stop pushing myself beyond my boundaries with fear. I commit myself to also see how effective I can become if I do things in self-honesty. In this, I commit myself to create my life into something that is in fact sustainable.



OK! I see some of the pattern here, and thus it is time to put everything into the practical.

When and as I see myself doing one thing and thinking about all the other things that I "have to do", I commit myself to stop, to breathe and to realize that I do this from a starting point of fear which will create stress. I commit myself to realize that as stress accumulates, it will become increasingly difficult for me to do anything and that this will make me less effective. I commit myself to also realize that in stress I'll become increasingly distracted with the desire to do things that I can do without stress (meaning "fun things" like watching series or playing games) – in this, I commit myself to realize that if I allow myself to act upon desires, I'll get even less done. I thereby commit myself to check how I Am, what I want to do, what I think that I have to do, how I breathe and how I carry myself. I commit myself to release all fear (what I have to do) and desire (what I want to do) with SF and to focus on the task at hand. I commit myself to breathe until I've embraced the task at hand and I can proceed with it without being distracted with other things (like desires to do something else or fearful considerations of what else needs to be done).

I commit myself to apply what I wrote above also when I simply feel distracted with something that I am doing – I commit myself to do one thing at a time until it is done without procrastinating by trying to do everything at once.