Buckley Blog Bits – May 9, 2017

I was reading some articles on Psychology Today this morning, as well as making some more progress on the psychology book I’m hoping to publish in late 2018, and wanted to share some of my thoughts.

  • I’ve always felt that helping others with their problems, or even simply just talking about similar problems with one another, helps you because it helps you realize that you’re not alone with your problems and anxiety. Plus it facilitates discussion between you and another person, and gives you an opportunity to brainstorm and strategize while coming up with new coping strategies.
  • When you’re faced with adversity, remember that it actually comes with several benefits:
    • Adversity builds resiliency in you
    • Adversity prepares you to achieve your goals
    • Adversity helps you keep things in perspective
    • Adversity gives you an opportunity to learn.
  • Remember that in every negative experience, there’s a positive lesson to be learned. Sometimes it’s not always obvious, and sometimes it’s up to you to dig deep to find it, but it is in there somewhere.

It sounds cliché, but you’re really not alone with your anxiety and adversity.  Everyone experiences both at some point.  The difference is in how you react and perceive it.

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Buckley Blog Bits – March 15, 2017

Today’s articles that I read on Psychology Today pertained to humor in the workplace, and why we shouldn’t fear failure.  I’ll start with the article that discussed humor in the workplace (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201703/cracking-joke-work-can-have-surprising-payoff ).

I hadn’t really given much thought to humor in the workplace before reading this article, nor had I thought about how it can help to elevate your status within the organization.  I once had a supervisor several years ago comment on how he appreciated my ability to “bust his chops” on occasion and that it brought positive energy to the department, so I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t hurt to bring some humor to the workplace.

Personally, while I wouldn’t exactly promote or retain someone at my organization simply because of their ability to be humorous, I might be more likely to retain or promote them if they can demonstrate an ability to bring a positive energy to the workplace in addition to their quality skillset.

In my own work experiences, I’m only sarcastic or humorous with co-workers who have previously established that sort of communication style or relationship with me.  Personally, I think that humor in the workplace is just like humor anywhere else in life: there’s a time and place for it, so just exercise good caution when engaging in it.

In the second article (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemporary-psychoanalysis-in-action/201703/why-we-shouldn-t-fear-failure ), the author describes failure as “just bumps on the road to success.”  I recently accepted a promotion at work, and before I started my new boss told me “I expect you to fail at some point, but I won’t let you drown.”  There was a point in time where his remark would’ve pissed me off because I wouldn’t have understood why he expected me to fail, nor would I have understood why he would have promoted me if he felt that way.  But now I understand more how failure really is just a bump on the road to success.  It’s normal to “fail” or simply not be as successful as you want or expected to be the first time you try something.

But you can’t let the negative consequences of failure, such as losing the desire to try new things, to weigh you down.  The fear of failure can be pretty paralyzing, so that’s why it’s important to have the mindset that failure often leads to success because it allows you to learn what you need to learn along the way.

As Duke Roufus, the renowned MMA coach said on an episode of The Evolution of Punk, “if you’re not winning, you’re learning.”  In the end, it’s your resiliency and ability to persevere that determines how successful you’ll ultimately be.

What I’ve Learned From Curtailing My Social Media Usage

As you might know, I joined Twitter back in 2013 as a way to keep tabs on Toronto Blue Jays news while I was in graduate school because it was easier for me if the news came to me than via my newsfeed than it would have if I had to visit various websites to obtain information while I was busy with my studies.  Little did I know how much social media would actually come to impact my social life, as I’ve met somewhere around 20-25 of my now “real life” friends on Twitter at some point over the past three years.

Fast forward to 2016, where I now have other ways of keeping in touch with those “Twitter friends” of mine, such as actually texting the old fashioned way instead of tweeting or DMing with them.  With it being the baseball off-season, and me having a job that requires me to spend a lot of time devoted to it, as well as a quality social life, I decided now was a good time to go on a social media hiatus.  To be honest, it’s been fun living without Twitter, or at least having cut back on it significantly from the days of when I used to check my timeline almost once an hour during baseball season to take a quick glance for any possible breaking news that I “should” know about immediately.

It’s amazing how much more free time I feel like I suddenly have now that I don’t go on social media as much anymore, and lately none at all.  I have more time to workout, to read, to learn a new language (I’m learning French at the moment), to just talk to friends, and to be blunt, just enjoy my day-to-day life.  In general, I’m just far happier living a private life in a world full of social media histrionics.

I was far from addicted to social media, but it gets annoying after a while to read benign and useless tweets from people that have zero impact on my day to day life (I’m guilty of making such tweets myself), and to be honest it just zaps up brain power that I’d be better off spending on other things, such as the aforementioned hobbies of mine or better yet, the job that pads my bank account.

Honestly, I just feel a lot less stress not looking at social media regularly anymore (not that I was overwhelmingly stressed or unhappy pre-social media hiatus), and I can’t help but wonder how much people who have thousands of Twitter followers would actually enjoy their actual real life lives more if they focused more on their real lives, instead of the Twitter fantasyland that seems to have a firm hold of them.

I’m not sure if I’m done with social media forever, and to be honest I doubt I am because it is a great tool to use for breaking news, especially during baseball season where there’s new news on a daily basis.  But in the meantime, I’m enjoying my time in the “stone age” of where I had to visit various websites to get my news instead of having it come to me, and contacting friends directly via text message or a phone call.

Overall, I’m just happier and more productive with my day-to-day life at the moment.

Blog Bits – December 7, 2016

  • I read an article entitled “I Wish I Stopped Trying to ‘Fix’ Myself 20 Years Ago” on Psychology Today this morning (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-do-life/201612/i-wish-i-stopped-trying-fix-myself-20-years-ago), and was surprised by my findings. The author discusses how living and being alone makes him happy, and that he wished he had been more okay with this 20 years ago.  On one hand, I’m happy that the author is happy with his life.  On the other hand, I think he comes off as somewhat miserable.  Personally, I can’t imagine living a life with practically no human contact.  Sure, I enjoy my alone time as much as anyone and I’m actually finding that more and more people seem to like alone time (I used to feel weird telling people I enjoyed going to events and games by myself sometimes, until I was often met with a surprised look and a response of “no, I know what you mean.  I like going to stuff by myself sometimes too actually).  But to live a life with zero social interaction? I can’t imagine it.  I just wouldn’t be happy with that.
  • Another article I read this morning entitled “Wanting is a Trap” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meditation-modern-life/201612/wanting-is-trap) discusses how not getting what you “want” can cause you to suffer. Personally, I’ve always felt that having expectations is more of a trap.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t think you should have goals and preferences, but that you need to manage them and have reasonable expectations.  If I expected myself to make $2,000,000 in 2016 by managing my own consulting business, well then I’d be pretty disappointed in myself right now because I didn’t come close to that number.  But I had a reasonable expectation, that I was going to make money, acquire some great work related skills and knowledge, and continue to evolve and develop as a professional, which I have.  I met those expectations, even though I was never consciously aware I really had them.

But before reading the article, I had never necessarily thought about how simply viewing a “want” as a “preference” instead can actually make you feel a better sense of happiness.  Like the article says, “happiness is always present” and I try to point that out to friends, colleagues and clients that you’re in charge of the reality you live in.  Regardless of what you think, you actually do have the power to change the reality that you live in.