Buckley Blog Bits – May 26, 2017

  • I’m not a huge fan of the UFC making a lot of interim title fights over the past year (personally, I don’t even consider the interim title to be a real title; I look at it as a number one contender label), but I do like the UFC scheduling Yoel Romero versus Robert Whittaker. However, I really would’ve preferred to see Romero fight Gegard Mousasi, but that wasn’t going to happen with Mousasi currently exploring free agency and reportedly being unhappy with the UFC’s latest contract offer.  Hopefully the UFC keeps Mousasi, and fellow free agent Souza around, otherwise both of them would be major coups for Bellator and would leave the UFC’s middleweight division looking pretty thin.
  • I love the idea of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson defending the title against ex-bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. With the exception of Ray Borg, Johnson has practically cleaned out the flyweight division and I think someone like Dillashaw would be a great challenge for Johnson and this really would be a superfight in my opinion, even if it’s not a champion versus champion affair.
  • I’ve been reading the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and I’m really enjoying it.  So much so that I received the book 4 days ago and should be able to finish it tonight.  While I don’t want to give away too much in order to be fair to the author, I’ll say that this book has really shifted the way I think about people who are successful.  Furthermore, it also supports the idea that I’ve had that successful people really aren’t that much better than the rest of the population – they just had a certain skill or trait that separated them from the rest of the pack, which gave them an opportunity of which they capitalized on.  When you really think about it, anyone can be successful, it’s just a matter of finding that unique opportunity.
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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.

My Take on the Fear of Recovery

I was reading an article on Psychology Today entitled “Fear of Recovery” (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/view-the-mist/201608/fear-recovery), and while what I read initially surprised me, the more I thought about it, it really shouldn’t have.

The article discusses how some people with mental illnesses such as depression or bipolar disorder actually have a fear of getting better, even though their ultimate goal is to become better, because the feelings of their illness have become familiar to them.  It goes without saying that the unknown is a scary thing for all of us, but what was surprising to me was that the unknown, even if it’s supposed to be an improvement or more coveted than our current predicament, can still scare us to the point that we’d rather stay with the status quo.

I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised by it though.  This sort of mentality explains why people remain in relationships when they’re not happy or not truly in love with their partner, even though living the single lifestyle would bring them more joy and fulfillment.  Or why people never seek that promotion at work which would bring them a higher salary, and further life and career satisfaction.

Really, what came as the real shocker to me here was the fact that living a life that’s better than your current predicament, even if that future life is unknown, is still scary enough for someone to want to retain their habits of fearing change.

Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown.  But maybe there’s a fear of failure at not accomplishing your goal. Maybe those that are afraid of getting better are actually afraid of being unable to get better, regardless of how hard they try to.  Personally, I think it all comes down to your mental habits.  If you allow yourself to think that the unknown is a frightening place, or if you allow yourself to think that failure means you suck, then you won’t reach your desired level of life fulfillment.  You have to accept and understand that the unknown (usually) isn’t going to be as scary you imagine it in your mind.

But maybe it comes down to feeling overwhelmed, and perceiving the need for a major change instead of taking things one step at a time.  Personally, while I love my life, I still strive to improve my life on a daily basis, whether it’s saving a few extra dollars here or there, making better dietary choices, working out longer/harder, or maintaining or improving my productivity at work. But I look at things in small steps.  I look at the proximal goal, instead of the distal goal, because when I do that I lose sight of my current smaller goal and predicament, and I feel less engaged in the present process when I focus on the distal goal.

It’s interesting how this “reaction paper” to an article on why people fear overcoming their mental illness turned into me discussing that it comes down to the perception of your goals in life.  I didn’t plan that when I started writing this, but then my mind began wandering a bit.  So maybe what’s buried in the fear of the unknown is the fear of not liking your future as much as you like your present, regardless of how much you dislike your present predicament.

Buckley Blog Bits – August 23, 2016

I was reading Psychology Today’s website as I normally do, so here’s a brief recap of what I read this morning. 

The first article I read was entitled “An Ultra-Simple Way to Choose and Succeed in Your Career” (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-do-life/201608/ultra-simple-way-choose-and-succeed-in-your-career ).  I agree with the author’s assessment, because I actually did a good amount of his suggestions when I started on my own career path.  I found industrial/organizational psychology because of a “Which Psychology is Right For You?” personality quiz and it was based on questions such as the ones found in the author’s first and second steps (i.e., what do you want to use your psychology in? is a high salary essential?, etc.).  Just in general, workplace satisfaction is critical for a fulfilled life.  We spend at least half of our waking hours doing something related to our job (whether it’s actually being at work, preparing for work, or doing work-related things outside of work), and most people spend even more of their time doing something related to their job.  The point is that you spend way too much at work to be miserable with your career.  If you’re miserable at work, then there’s a good chance that misery is going to transcend to other aspects of your life, so pick a career that makes you happy and gives you a sense of fulfillment.

The second article I read was “7 Reasons Most People Are Afraid of Love” (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201401/7-reasons-most-people-are-afraid-love ).  I agree with the first reason being given, in that most people are naturally afraid of the unknown (I mean, there’s COUNTLESS articles on the topic of change and why people are afraid of change).  The third reason, being that most of us have this struggling feeling of being unlovable, didn’t surprise me either.  I think a reason why most of us feel this way is that we’re exposed to our “flaws” on a daily basis.  We don’t get to see only our “highlight reel” and the image of ourselves that we project to others, but rather we have to expose ourselves to the negative/insecure aspects of our lives on a daily basis (of course, negativity is in the eye of the beholder), and for some reason our brains are wired to focus on the negative, not the positive. 

Reason number four, that we can’t numb ourselves to pain without numbing our pain to joy as well, really grabbed my attention and made me think.  I would’ve thought that perhaps experiencing a series of negative emotions would numb you to that after a while (which I guess is accurate), but I thought it would also give you a better appreciation of positive emotions.  Surprisingly, I guess I was wrong on that, and I think I’d like to read into this topic more at a later date.

Reason number five, about love being unequal, wasn’t a big surprise to me because I have always wondered about relationships where someone likes their partner more than their partner likes them quite a bit (honestly, not to sound negative, but I do wonder how many marriages involve someone who only married the other because their partner liked them, not cause they liked their partner that much).  I don’t disagree with the author’s opinion, but I do think it’s interesting how we can have this underlying need to be loved, yet we still push people away for liking us too much.  It’s like we just can’t decide if we like the chase or the catch more.

 

I’m not a relationship expert in the least, but I do have a good understanding of emotional intelligence.  So my advice here is to find a way to be secure and confident with yourself first, because if you can’t love yourself and be secure with who you are as a person, then you’re not truly capable of embracing the love of another person.

My takeaways from these two articles for you are as follows:

Find a career you love, because you’ll be spending at least 50% of your waking hours working and why would you want to subject yourself to that feeling of misery for half of your waking hours?

Find security in yourself.  If you’re insecure and not in love with yourself (in a positive way, not in a negative, self-absorbed and egotistical way), then how can you expect to be truly capable of embracing the love of someone else?

In addition, I suggest you all read The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris, because I am really enjoying reading this book and think it does help you see your thoughts from a new perspective.

Buckley Blog Bits – August 15, 2016

When I don’t have enough material to warrant writing a blog article about a single topic, I’m going to periodically post articles such as this one, where I post a few sentences or a paragraph devoted to a topic before posting another paragraph about another topic.  I’ll call these articles Buckley Blog Bits.

  • I was driving to Toronto for the Blue Jays game against the Astros this weekend when I saw a car with a license plate that read “COPING” on it. It made me start to think about how I don’t really care for the term “coping” when people discuss their battles with anxiety because I don’t perceive the word “coping” to be a positive term.  I’d rather hear someone say that they’re “managing” or that they’re “controlling” or that they’re “defeating” their anxieties rather than hear them say that they’re “coping” with it.  To me, that sounds like you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck with your problems, rather than investing in a long-term solution for your battle with anxiety.  To me, the term “coping” just sounds like your anxiety is more in control of you than you are in control of your anxiety.
  • It might sound weird, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to be happy or not. Even if you’re not living your ideal life right now, you can at least find a new, more positive way to interpret your current predicament.  It’s your responsibility to keep things in perspective, especially during times of adversity.
  • I’ve been reading Jason Grilli’s book, Just My Game, for the past week or so and while I’m not finished with it yet (I’m about two-thirds of the way through it), I thought I decided to share a few of my thoughts about the book. Grilli discusses in great detail how he was torn apart emotionally by his season ending knee injury in 2010…until he met a high school soccer player who was forced to have her leg amputated after being hit by a car, and that meeting that high school soccer player helped him remain positive about his own situation. My main takeaways thus far from the book are the importance of staying positive along your life’s journey, as well as keeping things in perspective.  Your life rarely ever goes according to plan but it’s how you overcome those unexpected roadblocks and moments of adversity that really define who you are and how successful you are.  In addition, keeping negative moments in the proper perspective is an important aspect of maintaining a positive attitude and living a more positive life.
  • The overall message that I’m trying to communicate here is to keep things in the proper perspective, take responsibility for how you react/respond to moments of adversity, and understand that positivity breeds success (success doesn’t necessarily breed positivity).