“Violence is the best response”… is it?

During the course of the weekend I was walking home with my gf and we were about to cross the street when a cab tried to outrun an Audi during the turn and almost ran us over, I got really angry so I hit his review mirror, my gf and I started yelling at the driver to pull over to settle things, he did.
Even tho I was seriously angry and upset I made a conscious effort to calm down, I realized I was not alone there and I felt there was no need to put my gf at any type of risk (not that she doesn’t know how to defend herself, she is a Muay Thai fighter) so I began telling the cab driver to understand what he had done; my gf on the other hand was still ready to go at him.
I dialogued with him and explained why I hit his review mirror, how we felt aggravated and vulnerable because he made an irresponsible move and did not consider the fact that he put us at risk, after he denied everything and stated he was driving properly and after all the insults he took from my gf he finally agreed he should not have done it and actually apologized sincerely.
My gf was still pumping adrenaline so I had to ask her to step aside and then I talked to her and told her she needed to stop being so reactive since this could be actually dangerous for her, her explosive character has put her in difficult situations before so I told her she didn’t have to jump into things fist waving in order to make her point, she wasn’t all that happy about it but I think at the end she understood where I was coming from.
This is the first time I actually make that conscious effort to stop myself and think before I act, I wasn’t angry anymore, I was attempting to have a civilized conversation for the guy to understand he had done something wrong and put two lives at risk because of it, I wasn’t trying to preach and I was certainly not trying to get into a fist fight (had it come to that I would have reacted tho) I was simply asking him to own up to his actions and I found myself being able to do so just by speaking my mind.
I am not naive, I know not every conflict can be solved this peacefully, I am aware that there are times where engaging physically will be necessary but I was able to understand that I am definitely in control of the outcome as long as I am in control of my reactions.

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Are attitude and opportunity really so closely related?

I am going to establish a comparison between two people and will introduce an specific situation in which we will observe both of these people react, then I will properly elaborate on the generals and particulars of the current point to review:

On one side we have “A”, 30 years of age, lives with his girlfriend (they both work), some pets, no kids: “A” has bills to pay, he rents, has a loan, typical grown people obligations.

On the other side we have “B”, in her 30’s, lives with her boyfriend (she has a steady job, he’s constantly in and out of it) and two kids (1 year and 9-10 months), one pet, mother-in-law lives with them (she offers no financial aid whatsoever), they have a house in the Caribbean, have a car, family near said house, one pet, house is still being paid,they rent in the city,  have loans, credit card debts,etc.

“A” and “B” work in the same company, they are friends, actually most of their department know each other; this is a 30-35 people department and 1 manager, this is a good job: fairly well paid, amazing benefits, weekends off, home office 80%-90% of the time.

“A” and “B” don’t really feel all that excited about their job anymore… the company is in no way related to their careers”

“A” and “B” don’t really feel all that excited about their job anymore but this is related to the tasks they perform, they don’t feel challenged anymore, they are not learning anything new; in reality “A” is a Graphic Designer and “B” studied Advertising but for a great number of particular situations ended up working in the same place; the company is in no way related to their careers so it is understandable that at some point they feel frustrated, trapped and all sorts of negative thoughts invade their minds.

One day they are all summon back to the office, home office has been cancelled, this lasts a week and then except for the manager and one collaborator, the entire department gets fired, the general reaction of course is shock, sadness, stress, uncertainty, common reactions to a situation like this however “A” is happy, “B”… not so much.

“A” is happy because he feels he wouldn’t have left the company soon enough and now he can do other things he loves, he knows his girlfriend won’t be all that excited about the news but he remains calmed, “B” immediately reacts with sarcasm as a coping mechanism to hide her frustration.

They get a full compensation, an unusual fact since nowadays most companies will only compensate their workers for 60%-70% tops, the company even offers a chance to apply once again within the next 3 months for any position available and promises to give them preference.

“A” starts planning how to make the most out of this money, how to use it for what he is choosing to do next … “B” is running around in circles thinking how to make the most out of this money to pay her debts”

“A” starts planning how to make the most out of this money, how to use it for what he is choosing to do next, “B” is running around in circles thinking how to make the most out of this money to pay her (and her boyfriend’s provoked) debts, support her children and fulfill her day to day financial obligations, the rest of the team starts planning some vacation time and the places where they will be applying for a position next.

Everybody advices “B” to move to the Caribbean, setup her house, find a job, after all, it is a place with high tourism traffic so finding a job when you speak english in a place like that is not all that complicated, “B” simply agrees with everybody which “A” knows is her way to ignore them.

“A” decides to invest his money on some certifications that will help him find better opportunities doing what he loves: Fitness, he also buys equipment he will be needing to do so and to properly train people, buys a bicycle to move around the city to save money on public transportation, buys stock for his clothing company, saves some money for 2-3 months worth of expenses, prints business cards to promote his services, starts designing his website, continues boosting his social networks to attract new customers, he even takes a moment to write to a friend in the Caribbean that might be able to get a job for “B” and her boyfriend, his friend says it is a given, he tells “B” about it, she just needs to mail her CV and her boyfriend’s.

“B” decides to pay a part of her debts and stay in town blowing off the job “A” had helped her get, she is continuously texting her ex teammates to ask if they already found a job,  everybody tags her in offers, she continuously dismisses every single one of them: “they’re too far”, “I need home office to take care of my children”, “the salary is too low”, “days off are not on the weekend” and so forth, quickly everybody stops trying to help her.

“Within a month, month and a half most of the guys find job… “B” is still on the look.”

Within a month, month and a half most of the guys find job; a friend of “A” ‘s tagged him on a job offer and he decided he would give it a try in spite having no proper experience in that sort of selection process or work environment and he is now finishing his selection process and is informed he only needs to take some paperwork to RH to get hired, “B” is still on the look.

What do you think has happened?

Lets compare “A” and “B”‘s reactions:

  • While “B” saw the lay off as a failure and an extra reason to stress about “A” saw it as an opportunity to actually get closer to one of his all time goals: Becoming a Fitness Coach, he seized the moment and turned it into a positive way to start moving!
  • While “B” continued running around in circles checking what everybody else was doing “A” started “moving his chips” in silence, focused only on what he had to do to get closer to the short term goals he had set for himself
  • While “B” continued dismissing possible job opportunities “A” took  a leap out of his comfort zone and decided to take a chance into the unknown
  • While “B” is simply trying to find ONE source of fixed income “A” has 3 different projects that managed properly will report him greater earnings

“…Companies are not interested in hiring people with attitude issues, they are seeking for people that have a hands on approach…”

If we read these points (We don’t even need to read them all that carefully) we can realize that, YES, OPPORTUNITIES ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO ATTITUDE, you cannot expect to be given all the opportunities you wish for if you go around life with a crappy attitude, because it says so much about you as a person and it says lots about your character; truth be told, companies are not interested in hiring people with attitude issues, they are seeking for people that have a hands on approach, people that proves to work well with others, goal oriented, laid back, optimistic, hard working.

Don’t make the mistake to stress over things that are not even within your control, it is a recipe for failure, focus on what YOU CAN DO to make the best out of every situation, stop looking at what everybody else is doing if it’s not to learn and apply to your own, take a time to actually be honestly happy for others success, don’t be afraid to try and fail, we are only humans and be sure that the fall will teach you more than simply getting your way.

 

“I have no control over my own time”?

So I was on my way over to deliver my paperwork to finally get my degree and I took the subway, I was sitting reading my Kindle, minding my own business when I noticed a woman sat next to me and her boyfriend was there standing in front of her, all of the sudden the woman tells her boyfriend:

“I’m just going to ask you something, please don’t ever say we have plans again, just don’t say we have any plans whatsoever because nothing ever happens, we had plans for today, we had plans yesterday, plans Sunday, plans Saturday… we had plans since Friday…”

She said this in the most calmed manner so it shocked me even more, the man just replied: “So this is all my fault then, just my fault”, the woman said: “yes” and they were silent for a few minutes, after that she quietly asked him to hand her over some Kleenex, I turned my head a little bit and realized she was crying but you couldn’t tell by her voice because it never broke.

After this the woman said:

“Don’t worry I already understood that from the hundred things you have I am the two hundred…It is not even fair to my mom, I could have spend all morning with her but instead I left her alone, I am not treating her the way she deserves to be treated”

So the man replied:

“I am not like that, I don’t plan my days, I don’t plan everything I am going to do, I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER MY OWN TIME”

Wait… WHAT?!, OK, lets elaborate on this remarkably shocking affirmation:

  1. What do you mean you don’t have control over your own time?, do you wake up every day sit on your bed and wait for a phone call?, a mail?, a letter? Do you wait for somebody else to provide you with specific instructions on how you’re going to spend your days, weeks, months?
  2. I strongly believe this affirmation is a coward way out, this is one of the stupidest and easiest way to try and just strip yourself from any responsibility, it is a way to say “I just don’t care”, “It’s none of my business”; it is also a way to make the other person feel responsible for how the dynamics of the relationship is going to be and it is definitely not fair since it makes the other person stress over situations that fall totally outside of their circle of influence.
  3. When you say “I have no control over my own time” you are also saying you have no direction in life, a person with no control over their own time is a person that has no plans, no goals, no dreams and no path, this person has no idea where they’re standing or where they want to go nor how to get there, so what you’re really saying is “I have absolutely nothing to offer because I have no idea who I am”.

I had recently read an article by Calvin Sun in which he stated the following:

I don’t have time” really means “It’s not a priority”

“I am too busy” is a euphemism for “I don’t manage my time effectively”.

“I have too much going on”, “I’m overwhelmed”, and “My schedule is crazy” probably means “I need to learn to say NO”.

He nailed it!, didn’t he?, although the context is definitely not the same I believe these behaviors are closely related, as is everything in life; the attitude you take towards your personal life definitely affects your professional life and vice versa, it affects your relationships, wether these are romantic, familiar or work related so, next time you feel compelled to state something in the line of “I don’t have control over my own time” please take a few seconds to think about the veracity of that statement, if you find it to be true then change your approach and truly try to get to know yourself and your motivations, there is nothing sadder than watching people full of potential wasting it all away because they haven’t realized they have everything to succeed at the reach of their hands.

Getting things moving…

I graduated from college 4 years ago, I went through the 6 months social service so I could cover the requirements to get my papers but I wasn’t able to continue the paperwork, now that all my papers and ID’s are in order I went back to my college and explained the situation so I could get my social service validated even tho is out of the timeframe I was allowed to take to process my papers, they said they would let me know next Monday, this was over a month ago so I had lost all hope of having the chance to continue the process and yesterday morning I got a call from the guy in charge telling me the council had decided to make an exception due to my extenuating circumstances!

I am thrilled!!! Although I do not have the money they charge to process everything ($1,500 dlls) I can deliver all my papers and get everything setup just to pay the procedure! 

After 4 years of struggle I can finally move forward!!!

I feel blessed to say the least, now I have to come up with a plan to gather the cash, any ideas?

A shifting point in my life

When I was around 15 years old my mom made a deal with me, she would pay for my career, any career, if I would finish high school in the best high school there was; at the time this was a high school specializing in physics and mathematics, 2 subjects in which I truly suck at but, I took the deal, my mom was still a prolific civil engineer, researcher with a masters in hydraulics and a well respected profesor at her alma mater so although we were never “rich” we would get by, high mid class perhaps.

Finishing high school took me longer than expected and it meant to switch from the high school my mom wanted to the one I wanted so by then my mom had retired and the family income (depending solely on her since my sisters and I were still young and none of our parents were present) was considerably lower than it used to be so my mom told me:

“You have 2 options, either you start working to pay for your career if you want to continue studying or you start working to support yourself”

Not the options I was expecting to hear, specially after 21 years filled with a comfortable life where she provided everything, I was some sort of a spoiled brat if you will…

I decided I wanted to continue my education, Mexico has 3 major free education universities and only one of those universities has the career I wanted but I failed the test to get in by 2 points, I felt crushed but at the same time it did not feel like such a big deal for me, I wasn’t really grasping the real situation I was in but I also didn’t want to lose more time to resume my education since I had spend 4 extra years in high school alone so I began looking for private options until I found one that suited me.

After I had selected the school I wanted to attend and researched the cost of the tuitions I had to start looking for a job that would allow me to pay for it plus the materials I was going to need (graphic design is one of the most expensive careers) but I had no experience in any area, my mom was still giving me some money but only enough so I could go out to find a job, as I said I wasn’t really all that worried yet so I used to spend those days hanging out with my then girlfriend and talking to my friends.

I spend almost two months like this pretty much doing nothing, wasting my time and my mom’s money until one day I said: “ok, I’ll try to go to one interview today”, mostly because my mom would always ask me how my day had been and I was tired of lying about inexistent jobs that were not good enough.

I remembered discussing the matter with an old friend from my first high school and I clearly remembered how she told me: “you should go to a call center, they pay good money and they only require you to have a good level of conversational English and you’re very good at it anyways, there’s one downtown”, true, I was very good at writing and understanding English but I had never before in my life had a fluid conversation with anybody, mostly because I had nobody to practice with, so I did not take her advice so seriously.

One day I decided to actually show for an interview, the job seemed too good to be true to begin with but I decided to give it a try anyway, it was a scam, I knew it the second I set a foot inside the “office”, the place had a waiting room with individual chairs, a flat screen hanging on the wall with a tiny DVD player attached in the middle of it all, and all around three maybe four cubicles with brand new furniture, no phones, no computers; once I got called into one of the cubicles a woman began explaining everything about the job but I don’t really remember a thing since I was busy examining the surroundings: book shelves with fake binders in them and I’m not talking about a full book shelve, only two or three “binders”, no stationary, enough to say that when the woman had to get out of the cubicle to pick up some papers I got out of there.

I ended up walking around downtown just thinking if all the jobs that seemed well paid would end up being a scam and if it might be more difficult than I thought to find a job when I turned to my left and saw a poster that said: “We are hiring, tech support and customer service representatives” so I automatically thought of my friend who had told me about this call center (I had no idea what they were or what they did but it sounded like a good job), I disregarded it, I kept walking to the corner of the street and then it hit me just like a lightning, the thought of never doing anything with my life and becoming a useless parasite, not that my mom would ever allow that but still, the thought of seeing myself as an individual not as my mother’s son, but as a man, wasting my life; I went back on my steps and got inside the building.

I filled in all the forms, I passed all the tests, even a simulated call where I had to explain an elderly person how to send a text message from his cellphone which he had only ever used for calls, I got congratulated for my highly fluid English and I even got lucky enough to be reasigned to a contract that paid the double that the one I was initially hired for, everything turned out just fine.

Whenever I think back or whenever a person asks me about a life changing moment I always go back to that day, it wasn’t a special day, I wasn’t really looking to get any job necessarily but it was the day I decided I was going to do something for myself, the day I decided I didn’t want to be a failure or a burden, I didn’t want to live a life full of regrets, of “what ifs”, of sitting around and wonder.

It was the day I finally took a conscious, rational and mature decision by and for myself and in my mind and heart it will forever by the day my adult life really started.

Everything was new, everything was scary, I felt inadequate, ignorant, vulnerable but I felt for the first time ever that all that didn’t matter, that it was ok for me to be scared to not know to allow myself to learn without being judged without judging, it was a humbling experience that I will always cherish.

Is it possible to admire some traits of an awful person?

So… I went to bed yesterday thinking about this because here’s the thing, my girlfriend’s ex is an ass, I believe it is normal for current boyfriends / girlfriends not to like the one that preceded us but I mean… this guy really… I will go into detail on a different post the point is there is not much to look up to in him but unbelievably I have felt inspired by him.

I mean clearly he is an excellent “how not to” poster man but there are some things that make me think: “oh…I wish I would dare to do that” like leaving his country just because, leaving the city he had been in for 10 years and move, not being afraid of trying new things, have the confidence to think so high of himself, among few others; I am not, of course, taking into consideration his motivations or any other factor and it gets me thinking because I can’t say I envy him but I sure envy his fearless attitude towards many different situations.

When I say he inspired me I really mean it, the more I learned about how crappy he was (and still is) yet everything seemed to be working out for him I felt more and more entitled to go after what I have always wanted, I’ll elaborate a bit on this matter:

This guy took a one day course on “how to be a personal trainer”, he took a test, he cheated, somebody gave him the answers but he told everybody he was the shit!, then he continued with an even weirder harder to believe story about how ADIDAS sponsored him and after finishing his work at the gym he would go to an ADIDAS facility to train… not a single ADIDAS piece of merchandise wore and definitely not a single ADIDAS facility in town; he told ME he studied design when I offered to help with the gym’s logo (I am a graphic designer), he started manufacturing Muay Thai shorts and a few other things and ended up stealing the money from the customers and not sending them anything…you get the picture by now.

You must be wondering.. how did this guy inspired you?!, well…Once I got over my only “natural” animosity towards him I took my time to try to identify why did I feel so antagonized by this character and here’s the kicker, a lot of the things he did, tho wrongly done, are things I wanted to do, for example: becoming a trainer, start a clothing line, start a Crossfit career by taking the Level 1 seminar, etc.

So once I left all this mutual hostility aside I simply started focusing on getting things done for myself: got my brand registered, got my first pieces of clothing out and sold, got certified as functional Trainer,  passed my Crossfit Level 1 seminar, I’m currently working on setting up the website for my brand along with my personal training services, I got top surgery, etc.

I wholeheartedly believe that this piece of shit really motivated me to do all this and that his terrible example guided my steps so I wouldn’t commit the same mistakes so this is why, in my experience, it’s possible to admire and use as guideline certain traits of an otherwise disgusting human being, what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Lack of commitment

Ok so this could be considered a little rant.

I can’t stand people who can’t commit, doesn’t matter in which area of their lives, I just can’t, let me explain myself:

I used to be one of those people, i couldn’t even commit to finish high school so it actually took me 4 years longer than it should have, at the time I switched and started at a new high school I was going to therapy because I suffered depression and it turns out my therapist was a piece of shit.

I had come out as a lesbian because I never thought my mom would even grasp the concept of me being trans and thought I had no way to actually transition so this was one of the other reasons she took me to therapy, she thought she could just “psych the gay out” or something so we had separate sessions, this guy would tell me my mom was to blame for my homosexuality and he would tell her I would never finish anything in my life, when he said that to me I told my mom I did not wish to continue going to this prick for advice I don’t think he was qualified for any type of consultation and then she told me what he said to her and… I had never been more offended so perhaps I should thank him because that was definitely the little push I needed to prove everybody wrong.

Now, since I was able to commit after 18 years of just being pretty much a spoiled brat I find it impossible to understand people who state things like: “I am signing up for this gym because I want to get fit, you’ll see” and after a few weeks (if any) you see their posts of junk food and beer and parties, etc. don’t get me wrong I am must definitely not judging their lifestyle , that’s none of my business, what I have a problem with is statement of commitment  and the fact that they will post some shit like that a few months later and then bunch of bad nutritional choices and then posts wondering how the hell they don’t lose weight or build muscle and then again motivational bs and then again… you get my point?

 

I find lack of consistency disturbing because it speaks a lot of a person, i don’t just mean based on activities as going to the gym irregularly and expect results but on setting appointments and showing up late or not at all, not long ago I was supposed to start working with a new customer, she contacted me and explained she wanted to get her body back since she had been focusing of taking care of her two kids and recently she had felt the need to feel beautiful and fit again, I said “no problem, we can work on your fitness and we will get you there”, first time we were supposed to meet she rescheduled one day before, ok, I understand unexpected situations happen, next time she rescheduled again hours before because her youngest was sick and she had to take care of him and take him to the doctor, I understand that being a parent comes with al sorts of hoops to jump so we set a new date to start her training… she simply did not show up, not a call, not a text, nothing, waited for 30 minutes, she never contacted me again, but she still has me as friend in Facebook and likes the pictures of my training company on instagram, see where I’m getting at? SHE contacted ME, not the other way around, what is wrong with people?

We’ve got to start owning up to our actions and realizing how they reflect on us, in a good or bad way, our actions are a reflection of who we are and if we are unable to commit for the simplest of life what does that really say about us?