Tell Me the Future

“Futurists always measure their batting average by counting how many things they have predicted that have come true. They never count how many important things come true that they did not predict” — Peter Drucker

This is also true for fortune-tellers and clairvoyants. It’s part of what makes their skills seem real.

Where did that intent come from?

I am always surprised by the intent that people assign to others behaviours. Looking for ulterior motives behind good behaviour. Seeing malicious intent in bad behaviour. Listening to some of the conversations at the water-cooler, you would think that we live in a world full of Machiavellian sociopaths. Truth is, sociopaths are rare and human behaviour is mostly for immediate results.

Opportune Happenstance

This morning I looked at the track number of the song I was listening to in the car and it put a smile on my face. The song: Stairway to Heaven; Track Number: 69.

The lyrics started taking on new meanings:

“Your head is humming and it won’t go
In case you don’t know
The piper’s calling you to join him

Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow?
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?”

I arrived at the office with a huge grin on my face.

You Don’t Respect Me!

The other day, I saw this video show up in my Facebook feed:

I loved the animation. The ideas were not new to me and still watched it to the end.

Earlier in the day, I had spent some time working on increasing my revenues and I asked myself, what is motivating me to ask for more money. My answer: “I’m not paid enough for the work I do.”

Enjoying the company of my conversation partner, I kept it going: “Why is that important? Competition?”

“I am comparing myself to my peers, but I not trying to get more than them, so I don’t think it’s competition.”

I thought that this sounded like jealousy and ruled this out because it I was only using my peers’ earnings as benchmark. I am not trying to get as much as the highest earner, or the second highest. The emotion was simpler, I want to get paid as much as my peers.

I want to get paid fairly for my work and my definition of fairly is my perception of the average earnings of my peers. If I am not keeping up with the Joneses then you think less of me than you do the Joneses. I would feel dissed. I am presuming that because you use bonuses as a motivator, you use money as a yardstick. If you don’t pay me as much as my peers then you don’t respect me as much as you do them.

The conclusion from this little voyage of self-evaluation: Not only does money not work as a motivator, if you are using it as such, people will expect and claim their fair share of the pie.

Not Indifferent

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” — Elie Wiesel

A common French way to express feelings towards someone is to tell them “you don’t leave me indifferent”. The negation of a negation – the infamous double negative. The French-speaking Swiss do this a lot. Things aren’t good or delicious, they are not bad. If something is really good, it is not bad at all.

Using the double negative to say something good is wrong to me. It is a fear of expressing true feelings and opinions. I wish I could find something that has the subtlety of the “you don’t leave me indifferent”. Saying “I have feelings for you” sounds like the guy who is too scared to say “I have this mad crush on you”.

I guess that I am stuck with the phrase with the double negative. Between the wimps that kill the positive version and the meaning infused into the phrase through years of common usage, there really isn’t a better way of saying someone doesn’t leave you indifferent. It even seems to work in English 😦

Safe Isn’t Always Better Than Sorry!

There is a French saying: “il vaut mieux avoirs des remords que des regrets”. This loosely translates to: “it is better to be remorseful than to have regrets”. It is about choosing to do something rather than regretting not having tried.

The action may or may not turn out be right thing to do. If it was the wrong thing to do you may feel some pain or sorrow about the act.

If you did nothing, you will regret it not having tried.

The difference: Remorse you can get over, regret will stay with you forever. Remorse can torture your conscience, regrets attack your ego.

When the lizard brain is telling you better safe than sorry, ask him: Sorry enough to live with the damage to my ego?” defines ego as “the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.

Do I want to live in my head?

The psychoanalytic definition given is “the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.

It’s starting to sound like “better safe than sorry” is about the id, the lizard brain, trying to kill off the ego.

If it is a sorry I can live with, then safe isn’t better than sorry.

Life is Not a DVD Player

Life doesn’t have a pause button. You can’t stop everything while you grab a drink.

Life doesn’t have a rewind button. You can’t go back in time and, it should be said, rewind doesn’t change the story.

Life doesn’t have a fast-forward button. You can’t skip the bad parts to get to the happy ending.

Life has only has one button. Play!