Monday, April 14, 2014

Success and Respect

First, take a look at the top 0.01% wealthiest people in America. They run the country, they set the rules, and they break the rules. Filthy.

Next, the much larger group and more well-known are those in the top 1%. First class everything. Brand name from head to toe. Disgusting.

Going further down the pipeline are those in the top 5%. We see these types of people every day and life just happens to be easier for them. Gross.

Then you have the average Joe's earning roughly around $70,000-$80,000 annually, and even lower are those who earn $50,000 or less. The majority.

What does success mean to you? At what point do you consider yourself "making it"? Well many times, how much you strive to earn depends on your debt-to-income ratio, correct? If you're struggling to survive, it just means you have to find ways to earn more money. Simple logic--don't die.

Except, too often do we hear people twist the logic around and say, "I am neither, nor do I want to be, materialistic, and therefore, I do not strive to make more than I currently do."

Similar logic to those who say, "Well, I'm smart, so obviously I'm going to put in less time and effort to complete the task at hand." Obviously, no need to achieve more than the task at hand either, right, buddy?

The result is the same: you give yourself an excuse not to be a better person than you are at your current state. Oftentimes financial success is directly correlated to materialism and/or slaving away the best years of your life. (I must admit I was guilty of this way of thinking for the first 20+ years of my life)

Eventually, and hopefully, you grow up.

Money is a necessity in this society whether you and your free spirit like it or not. Yes, you're happy now and you want to live simply and happy your whole life by achieving mediocrity in your career and spending more time and effort into your life of cheap leisure. Here's a small dose of reality: if you don't improve yourself in your current state, someone else younger and fresher than you several years down the line will take over your position and strike you out.

However, let's back up and stop this negative thinking, because how realistic would that be anyway, you idealistic, optimistic, silly souls? Instead of attaching financial success to basic survival or attaching financial success to materialism, how about attaching financial success to the overall success of yourself as a human being?

It is not, by all means, equivalent to 100% of your livelihood or all that makes you "successful." After all, what good is a financially successful person if he cannot connect and give back to society or to his dearests? At the same time, however, what good is a person if he has the kindest heart in the world but requires other people to support him financially?

Maybe you have a backup. Maybe you're a trust fund baby. That's fine and I'm sure it brings you lots of attention from those to try to get a piece of your pie. It means you're rich, and really, that's all it means if that makes you complacent.

In reality, if you're not trying to improve yourself career-wise and financially, you're lacking one aspect of life that is so crucial in society, and that is: respect from others, in addition to the more important--self-respect. How much more you've grown in your career or financially shows in a silly way, how much you've grown and gained as a person, and how ambitious you are.

Go ahead, watch TV, surf the net, and log on to Facebook all day. You're smart and financially comfortable so why change your way of life to slave away and make unnecessary earnings? Let's see how proud of yourself you will be in 10 years? Or if it takes you even longer to grow up, how about 20 years? 30 years?

It's such a dangerous world we live in today where young kids are told that 30's are the new 20's, and that we should all take our time to grow up. Even worse is that we are all brought up feeling like we are trying so hard, and yet, it's nothing compared to what our ancestors had to go through for basic survival. It's only after you grow up that you realize you wasted away many precious years and that financial success is so much more difficult starting now than it would have been had you begun 5 or 10 years ago. People make it sound like to have a dream means to become successful. In reality, prompt and proper execution of your dream means success, and most people seem to forget that.

Let's all make a pact to "make it" by the time we reach 30 years of age. And if you've already reached 30+ years, let's make a pact to "make it" within the next 5 years.

Besides being a fun, kind-hearted, smart personality, what have you got to show for yourself, your parents, and society?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!

On New Year's Day, after endless nights of gluttony and excess partying, we all resolve that this year will be "better." Eat healthier, workout more, read more, spend less, make more... By the following week, all resolutions are forgotten, much less, achieved.

Studies show that resolutions are easier kept when written out and constantly visualized so that one is accountable to herself for the promises she makes to her own self.

Come on: if you can't even keep the promises you make to yourself, how do you show you can keep a promise to anyone else?

Ultimately, we make New Year's Resolutions to either 1) become a better person, 2) achieve more in the game of life, or 3) both become a better person and achieve more in life. It's all the same. So to all those who make nearly unattainable New Year's Resolutions, here's something that might help:

On a personal note, around Thanksgiving of 2013, I had a revelation. So dramatic, right? Something about my career and my personal life needed a change. In regards to my career, there had not been much movement up. The only thing I had built myself into looking forward to was the little bit of money trickling down from the industry, to the company, and then, finally, to me. For two years already, I found myself saying, "Wow, I'm in a rut and I don't know what to do."

Timing is everything. By Thanksgiving, the HR director from a much larger company asked me in for an interview and offered me a position. If the company size, structure, income and future opportunities are better than the previous, why not? I decided to take on this opportunity for the New Year, but that wasn't enough. There was still something I was doing wrong in terms of my career, and a new job did not change this fact.

In regards to my personal life, it must have been the sappy moods that Thanksgiving season typically brings on, but I suddenly realized that I'd been an uncaring and selfish friend, daughter, sister, dog mom, colleague, etc. Yes, at age 19 I had vowed to make my twenties my own: it was the selfish decade of one's life and I was determined to make it so. I've been doing exactly that; only, before completing this decade, I've come to the realization that I don't want to proceed this way anymore. Not everyone in your life will stay in your life, so why would you not want to give the most happy, loving, generous side of yourself to them?

So here comes the New Year's Resolutions part.

My New Year's Resolutions for the past few years were based off of limiting myself from negative actions, and increasing positive actions. Yes, I had achieved most of my goals, but overall, I felt like I had not improved myself as much as I'd like. This year will be different--I won't focus on limiting myself as much as striving to push my inner fire.

  1. GET MY PRIORITIES STRAIGHT. How many times in my life have I focused on the wrong thing and realized only afterward that I completely neglected a person or situation that I should not have? Straightening your priorities will (hopefully) smooth out your life.
  2. IF I WANT SOMETHING, MAKE IT HAPPEN. NO EXCUSES. Similar to the "Always Be Closing" line in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, the idea is that if you desire something enough, you will put the talent and hard work sufficient in obtaining it. Not only that, but suddenly the other fun aspects of life will seem trivial compared to obtaining your goal. With a strong enough desire for something, you will automatically participate less in unproductive events and more in "getting it." And if you don't get it, you just don't want it enough. In which case, don't even mention it anymore. 
  3. KEEP MY DESIRES CONSISTENT. For someone who is so inconsistent in every aspect of her life, this is my biggest challenge. So for the New Year, once again: NO EXCUSES. If my desires aren't kept consistent, I don't want it enough. In which case, return to Resolution #2: Don't mention it anymore.
If I'm able to achieve these goals, I'll have greatly improved my relationships with friends and family, have a beach body by Summer time, and experience a large income jump by year's end. GET IT.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Oh, you're BAD~

One who is capable of doing evil and chooses not to, triumphs one who is incapable, for the one incapable has not realized if he/she will choose to do it or not. (There is almost always a desire for the unknown...) Therefore, leading to the idea that one should never judge another for his or her past, since one realizes he/she is capable only after a faulty past action or two.

To be capable, is to be competent. To choose not to, is to be virtuous. To be competent and virtuous, is the ideal. Sadly, we do not live in an idealistic world. How difficult it is for us to surround ourselves with the right people.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Looking Glass Self

Every so often, you need to step away from yourself to reflect on your life and decisions you've made. Perhaps you are not satisfied with the relationships in your life (i.e. your friendships, your bonds with your family, or even simple interactions with new acquaintances), and cannot understand why.

In 1902, Sociologist Charles Horton Cooley presented the concept of the "Looking-Glass Self", in which our self-schema is produced in our social relationships. We get an image of ourselves in each situation based on others' reactions, but at the same time, we bring to the situation a more stable and enduring conception of ourselves as a certain type of person. People try to reaffirm the type of person they are, every time they interact with others.

You can easily explain to your close friends and family when you "aren't acting like yourself" on a rainy day and still have them accept you for the "real you" that you've always presented previously. For example, a shy, mild-mannered person who suddenly explodes in an emotional outbreak can tell their receiver, "I'm sorry, I don't know what happened, I'm usually not this emotional," and the receiver generally genuinely believes that an external factor may have caused this emotional outbreak--not caused by the person himself/herself.

If you are consistently having problems of social interaction with multiple people in your life, it's time to look within yourself. What are you doing wrong? What portrait of yourself are you trying to paint? Is it consistent with how others see you? What went wrong, from the idea to your execution to others' reactions?

However, initial impressions should be handled with much more caution. Once someone has the wrong idea of who you are, it takes much more time and patience to reaffirm the "real" you. If you aren't getting the respect you feel you deserve, it might be your own fault. It's disappointing when someone new misinterprets you based on a couple poor judgments you've made. The good thing is we are so densely populated that it is easy to start all over again to give a fresh first impression to someone new--as long as you realize how you were wrong and improve the way you present yourself to others.

Do you know who I am?