Fifty-Seven

57

Winners. Losers. Posers. Pretenders

Who succeeds and who loses in life has plagued far greater thinkers than I for eons. What aligns the stars to make stars and successes of some who go on to become the envy of others? What magic needs to materialize for prosperity to become reality? Is it magic or luck at all, or is it literal and figurative manual labor? Is it an entitlement sensibility, or is it sweat equity?

One’s definition of “success” has to come into play prior to hypothesizing the answers to these questions. Does money matter? Does privilege or power matter? Does any of it really matter? It does to those who’ve chosen to matter. It does to those who’ve made things happen, made an impact, and reaped a reward. And it does to those who agonize over these answers. And I’m one in the latter category.

I have some very successful friends and colleagues who’ve accomplished amazing things with the same approximate amount of time on this planet as me. They’ve made a difference by making different decisions, to arrive at different destinations. Sometimes this is a jagged little pill to swallow. Call it envy… it wouldn’t be completely inaccurate. It can make me jaded and jilted at times if I allow it. And truthfully, I have my moments, but overall I’m over my disillusion of my current destination. I’ve done what I’ve done with the decisions I’ve made. I do what I do with what I’ve got. And finally, I’ll do what I’ll do to get to wherever I’m going.

My challenge right now, and yours too if any of this applies to you, is to continue to work on enjoying the journey more than the jury of your peers.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Nice Wins!

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It’s not complicated. It’s not impossible. But it is an inside job.

Being “nice” is a lost art among many. Too many believe this is an outdated, unnecessary, and useless way to live.

I disagree.

“But you’re not always ‘nice’ with what you write and talk shiFt™ about here Tom.”

This is true. And the reason is that my work here is directed at those who are chronically not nice, and therefore causing others pain. They deserve to be handled differently. I’m being deliberately direct with them (i.e. not-so-nice), in the hopes of 1) raising their awareness, and 2) provoking behavior change that encourages improved communication skills, and basic common courtesy that’s often lacking.

As I point out in my talk shift manifesto, “… I’m not seeking consensus within this work. I’m seeking those who embrace critical thinking. I’m seeking those who aren’t afraid to honestly and fearlessly question themselves, and the world around them in order to improve. I’m seeking those willing and able to grow personally. Personal growth inevitably fosters professional growth.”

What about the old “nice guys finish last” adage?

Nice guys finish last only when they don’t know how to “finish.” By finishing I mean having the bigger-picture viewpoint to know when, what, and how to make the necessary moves to put themselves into advantageous positions.

“Proximity is power. Put yourself in position to make things happen.” ~ Robin Roberts

You don’t have to be hard-nosed to get ahead. Yes, there’s a time and place to stand firm and take a position, but this doesn’t have to be delivered ruthlessly or irresponsibly. I’ll go so far as to say being ruthless is useless. There’s simply no cause for it. There’s always a better alternative to accomplish the same thing. Being nice feels better than not. And every human being wants to feel better about themselves and their world. This is the opposite of fear that plagues so many.

So, at the end of the day nice wins. Always has, always will.

Agree or disagree; just no apathy.

Stay tuned-in…