What we thought we needed, and what I chose instead!

Everything I need to know about Meghan Markle’s new perspective on reflexology!

The headline is made-up.
I’m not even sure whether Meghan Markle cares about reflexology.
But I’m not going to search for it online.
Who knows what else the all-seeing gods of content will send my way if they pick up on my search?
Zillions of “reality” bytes telling us what we “need to know” are in circulation right this minute.
Humanity lives on a steady diet of tailored content force-fed down their throats.

Does anyone out there in the cyber-realm of marketing excellence care about our true needs?
These guys are clever, sustain propaganda long enough and you wear down people, especially if you spice it up with cleverly disguised hooks that burrow into our vanity, insecurity or desires.
We all want freedom, power, and happiness.
Keep on telling me that’s what I need in believable, but honest-looking fake constructs and I might end up taking the bait!
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The purpose you missed on the path of “enlightenment!”

Dozens of publications that pontificate goals, living your “best life,” and finding purpose scream at consumers from bookshelves and e-book sites.
“Buy me! You need me!”
A lot of the airy-fairy memes out there convince us that purpose resides in abstract quotes.
It doesn’t.

Gurus who come in various flavors make a lot of cash when they teach us that “purpose” can only be found when traveling the path of “enlightenment.”
Many of the “signposts” we will require to complete the journey are packaged and sold in the form of “subscriber-benefits.”
Sadly enough “the search” can take up so much our time that it defeats the very purpose of the “purpose” we’re looking for.
“Searching” is a sad surrogate for “doing.”
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Thursday thoughts about Yin, Yang, coffee and happiness

When does the sacred ritual of “having a coffee” start?
For me it often starts the minute I leave the train and head towards the place where a heroic barista will be preparing a sublime beverage for me.
“Having a coffee” transcends the actual climactic act of taking that first sip.
There’s so much more to it all.
The interaction with friends, soaking up the vibe, experiencing the ambiance and derivative background muzak— All of that contributes to “having a coffee.”
Even when you put down your empty cup you are still actively having coffee with a friend, because there’s a latency in the experience that only gets committed to archived memory much later.

So much of our lives and enjoyment thereof hinge not only on holding the filled cup but also on putting down the empty cup and the anticipation before there even is a cup.
Without emptiness, we can’t experience fulness.

Are we so often embarking on a quest towards chasing down happiness as “somethingness” that we miss happiness within the emptiness?”
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Get out alive! Be that person who stays healthy at the office

Hank’s philosophy about life in the military was simple.
“I arrived here in one piece, and I’m leaving in one piece!”
For those who prefer something with more esoteric bite, Hank’s view could come across as being simplistic.
It’s succinct and true though!

Don’t neglect yourself.
Even when you’re working in a truly draconian environment inspired by the worst imagery from dystopian movies.

Drink enough water, and adhere to healthy eating habits.
You might occasionally become the brunt of ridicule when you’re always seen as the “health freak!”
But fear not, coworkers will find other things to rag you about even if you’re not worrying about your diet.

Ok, but let’s hold the horses there for a minute.
If you feel you’re not up to the health-guru approach that’s fine!
Just don’t change healthy habits overnight because you feel your work is too much, or you “don’t have time!”
And don’t allow work stress to make your already-bad eating habits even worse.

What about your mental wellbeing at work?
Do you allow obnoxious entitled coworkers to trample you into the ground?
You know the adage— People treat you the way you allow them to treat you!
Even if you’re the most soft-spoken person on the planet you can be soft without being weak.

There are mean animals in the corporate world.
They use their chauvinistic arse-about-face “my way is best” attitude as a template for viewing everyone else’s way of life.
Fortunately, there are excellent resources online about managing office bullies and those who have been raised to flatten others like the proverbial steamroller.

My point— Read, keep on reading stuff and empower yourself with knowledge!
That’s your right!
Everyone is entitled to a safe and healthy working environment!
Speak to kindred spirits and ask them how they elevated themselves from the occasional mire of toxic office experiences.
Get clued-up on the company policy and labor law.
Those who suffer for the sake of being popular or accepted end up merely “suffering” most of the time.
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What is a common denominator in any job? No, it’s not asking for a better salary!

I’ve had 16 jobs over 30 years.
Some lasted for a few months, some lasted years.
None of this means I can offer profound wisdom about the “working condition” but I sure managed to rack up a few observations along the way.

So I might as well cut to the chase here.
What did I perceive to be the “common denominator” in any job?
The answer is very simple, so many of the colleagues who contributed to my collective working experience had these standard phrases in their linguistic arsenal:
“It’s almost…”
“I’m so over…”
“I can’t wait for…”

Your vivid imagination can surely start filling in the blanks?
“It’s almost Friday!”
“It’s almost time for my annual holiday!”
“It’s almost weekend!”
“It’s almost lunchtime!”
“It’s almost time to go home!”
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Your office job probably isn’t “heroic” but that’s fine!

Programming isn’t a spectator sport.
But wait until the proverbial excrement hits the fan!
Then everyone who believes he has a stake or interest in the emergency is summoned by some arcane force.
Then they all gather around the guy who needs to fix the problem, and they swarm around him like flies on a fresh cow turd!
Unfortunately, it’s nothing like the epic “hacking scenes” from a movie.
There’s only stress.

Software and systems emergencies remind me of the times when you needed to find a plumber over the weekend.
While the plumber is fixing the leak or declogging the sewerage you’ll also see everyone standing around.
They’re not watching in awe though, but more out of morbid interest— Secretly being glad they don’t need to do the job but also irritated by having to pay for someone to invade their sanctum on a weekend.
I think many white-collar office emergencies fall in the category where management is just relieved someone pitched up to find an accounting error, incorrect booking or whatever other glitch showed up on a monitoring screen.

Yeah, alright then— Perhaps you’ll get the courtesy nod of approval if you fixed the error timeously.
Just don’t think for a minute there’s a medal in it for you.
After having worked a dozen jobs I very seldom received more than a cursory “thanks dude” for fixing “leaks.”
It seems that inadvertently the boss easily perceives a glitch as an inconvenience.
Perhaps he was lounging by the pool when the crisis was reported.
On some level, he equates the problem with you, because irrespective of whether you caused it, he needs someone to personify the irritation he feels at losing some leisure time!
If you’re working for a cool boss he might appreciate your efforts, just don’t assume it will improve his happiness, well-being or anything for that matter.
Getting you to do the job—That’s the job for him, and you’re part of the job.
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Oh hell no! Please, just not the elevator going “up!”

Witness the shock and horror on people’s faces when the elevators are inoperable!
Able-bodied people can become whining sniveling little kids when the elevator doesn’t work!
Sometimes these lost souls forget these are stairs.
No, the stairs are not only a convenient place for catching an illicit smoke!
In all fairness, when the elevators are being serviced or totally out of commission I pity the guy in the wheelchair.
There are also other office workers with medical conditions who do require mechanical assistance to reach their desks each day!
And of course, not all office buildings are reduced to only four or five stories.
Elevators are a modern necessity.
But oh woe is me— Some of those who complain the loudest often summon an elevator instead of being a little intrepid and attempting the adventure of going up one flight of stairs.
They wear these fancy activity trackers on their wrists but nobody likes counting stairs it seems!
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