April 3rd, “You will encounter someone today who seems like a text book example of a jerk — but try to be open-minded about them!”

I don’t like dealing with jerks and avoid them when possible. Just yesterday, jerks were a topic of conversation. I asked my partner, “What majority of jerks do you think realize that they are being jerks?”

He responded, “99 percent of them.”

I was shocked. My guess was 50 percent because I don’t think a lot of people have self-awareness. Maybe being “jerk consciousness” requires a different kind of awareness. It seems mind boggling to me that so many people could act terribly towards others and know it. Perhaps I’m not a pessimist after all, or more accurately, I’m not a misanthrope. If I am giving half the jerk population the benefit of the doubt, how much do I really hate people?

The horoscope continues to advise:

Judging a book by its cover has never been your style, so why start now? Extenuating circumstances are at work here. Maybe they’re intimidated by you. Maybe they’re acting out because they are nervous or just have a headache! You just don’t know enough to know who they are. Give them a chance and give them time.

Frankly, I don’t care about the reason as to why someone is behaving badly. I do give people passes, but if you’re a jerk often enough, I will stay far, far away from you! It’s not my problem you’re single. Stop treating me a like a punching bag!

Using my energy to deal with others’ issues and personalities is a waste of my resources. I don’t feel like I have enough energy for the people and things I love, so why would I spend any on someone I don’t care about?

I could only surmise that there is something to be gained by my encounter today. Who knows, maybe my mood will change and I’ll have a more generous spirit. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Otherwise, I might be that jerk I encounter!

November 1st – “Branching outside your comfort zone energizes you, increases your options and adds to your resume.”

dsc06962I HATE networking at networking events.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy talking to people and making new friends. I am very friendly and have no problems starting conversations with strangers.

What I don’t like is having conversations with a specific agenda in mind. That is not interesting to me. When I do go to these types of events, I don’t usually connect with anyone who will benefit my career, and end up hanging out with people who I think are fascinating. Sometimes these strangers become good friends, so I don’t consider my non-networking schmoozing to be a waste of time.

Despite my strong aversion to networking, I went to an event tonight. It was time to branch outside my comfort zone.

I decided I would network the old school way and do what I was supposed to do: meet people who could help me in my field. Surprisingly, I LIKED all the people I needed to talk to! This was a first!

I left feeling energized, like I just increased my career options. That’s another point for my horoscope!

***

As I was writing this post, I started thinking about networking some more. At tonight’s event, over half the people were sitting by themselves and not networking. That was very surprising to me. Perhaps they were too shy, didn’t find people they wanted to talk to, or didn’t know how to network? I don’t know.

Out of curiosity. I checked out the top 3 articles on networking on Google:

How to Network:  8 Tricks

How to Network The Right Way: Eight Tips

How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People

These articles mention some of the same tips, i.e. following up with your new contacts after an event. Out of the three, the 2nd article by Forbes is the best:

True networking occurs when there’s an understanding that everyone in the room has equal value. In its purest form, it’s about people enjoying other people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions. It’s about listening, figuring out what others need and connecting them with people you think can help, without any designs for personal gain. The most successful networkers build genuine relationships and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, “What’s in it for me?” to ask “How can I help?”

I think this is great advice, but I still think there are a few things missing from all of these articles. I think the most important thing is to know yourself and others:

  1. Develop self-awareness: know what your values are, how you behave, and what you want. Being aware of our thoughts and feelings also helps build confidence and squashes insecurity!
  2. Develop social awareness: be conscious of other people, what they’re feeling and thinking, and what they want. If you know where others are coming from, you’ll be able to make a connection with them.

Do YOU have any tips to share?

October 6th – “Sometimes the unconscious mind and the conscious mind aren’t on the same page.”

I consider myself to be someone who has self-awareness. The trouble is that even though I am aware of many of my own thoughts, actions, and feelings, there are still more aspects of my unconscious that I am unaware of. That’s part of the process of awareness – to be able to admit to ourselves that we do not know everything! The unconscious is tricky because it’s different for everyone and there are so many schools of thought.

I thought it might be useful to do a quick Google search to see what else I can learn about the unconscious. I found an article on Psychology Today  that was pretty interesting, particularly this section:

Does not process negatives: The unconscious absorbs pictures rather than words. So if you say, “I don’t want to procrastinate,” the unconscious generates a picture of you procrastinating. Switching that picture from the negative to the positive takes an extra step. Better to tell your unconscious, “Let’s get to work!”

I knew about negatives, but I didn’t really think about how the unconscious really only “sees” things. That makes sense because the unconscious is related to dreams. In my dreams I definitely say things and have conversations, but the recollections are really just images. The words that are in my dreams become part of the visual landscape, and do not stand alone as an aural memory.

From now on, I will try harder to use positives when I want to give instructions to my unconscious. Tomorrow, I’ll tell myself:

  1. Let’s wake up early!
  2. Let’s go on a wonderful run!
  3. Let’s do an awesome ab work out!
  4. Let’s get to work on that amazing article!
  5. Let’s finish those pretty paintings!

The exclamation marks make it extra motivating!