We will all die. It is the great equalizer among all of us. A common denominator that does not differentiate between class, or color, age or culture. Whether wealthy or poor, famous or anonymous, beautiful or hideous, embraced by many or isolated and alone.
A life lived full, one that pushes ones creativity and individuality, one that fosters the true expression of who we are as individuals. A life that is able to embrace love of self and love for others then experienced fully; that is the point. What will your legacy be?
That to which we pay attention
All relationships are built on currency.
A shallow summation I know but true no less. You have something I want, I have something you want. Let’s do a trade. If I’m attractive and your not, you must offer something else, another currency I require. Your intellect, your sense of humor, the sexual experience you provide, or it even can be your wealth, and often but not enough, it’s love. The vibrations that are created when your together that oscillate a million times a minute that forge an explosion of joy or peace, or safety, or better, the feeling of being home in your heart. Love.
So it seems that the overall goal is to have a currency that is wanted and valued by all. Then you are the one who seems to always have people wanting to engage in your company. Everyone wants to trade with you.
Your currency can change when you change as a person. For example what you once valued becomes of little value. A young woman marries early in life, in retrospect to get out from under her parents for one reason or another. Later in life, that person who provided her the currency of freedom then disguised as love, is the same, yet she has changed. His currency is no longer valued by her. She seeks a new currency and now requires something different, he doesn’t know how to give it to her. Often this is when people come into therapy
(I am over simplifying but you get the idea). A man who is on his second marriage late in life, finds that he requires a more attractive woman to make him feel better about himself. His initial need for a solid marriage with a good woman who “attractive” and to have children have been completed. The weight his wife has put on or the spunk she once had is gone. Suddenly his currency has changed. Maybe hers has changed as well. She loved that he was not the kind of man who ran around and drank or partied. Now, he’s become a couch potato. That currency she valued as him being routine and predictable has become drone and boring. The TV being on all the time, his preoccupation with other things and his not feeding her emotional needs just doesn’t work for her now. Knowing what your currency is and knowing what you value and need throughout your life you is important. For your emotional well being as well as for the survival of your relationships. If your mindful of this you will know when your needs change, and hopefully be able to communicate this change. Whether it be with your partner, your job, your boss. business partner, a friend even your hair stylist.
What’s your currency ?
I was in the dog park talking to a
gentleman who is Vice President of sales of a multi million dollar company in the US. I asked him if he experienced more difficulties with the companies youngest employees, (the millennials range in age roughly from age 28 and younger) then his generation X employees (ages 29-44 roughly) or even the Boomers (ages 45-63) ?
He said “No doubt, the millennials are very difficult to manage and their expectations are ridiculous. They usually want a starting salary of $100K a year when they have very little experience. It’s insane!”
I have been listening to a lot of clamor about this for sometime behind the closed doors of my office. Managers business owners, HR professionals, those in the DC area who work in high security/high tech companies and the like, grumble and protest about their painful experiences managing this age group as employees. I don’t see much in the literature about this topic yet it’s a HUGE problem in todays workforce. How did it happen that this age group became so very difficult and entitled?
Here are some of the other things I have heard:
“I’m sorry I don’t file”
“Umm I really need longer then one hour for lunch I need to work out”
“Does it matter what time I come Into work? It’s it more important that I get things done? Maybe it would be a good idea for me telecommute”
“I cannot work on Fridays”
The sheer sense of over self importance, harebrained expectations, negative attitude and vitriolic competition (females) with co workers are but a few of the big problems facing managers today. This age group has a very different set of challenges and issues that uproot at work then any other age group to date. The parents, mostly Baby Boomers, who raised these very bright, and tech savvy employees, “over gave” and “over shared” in parenting their children without much if any expectation in return. Often these parents were disrespected and mistreated by their children or might have felt confused as to why their child was so entitled? Not all, but most of this age group were handed everything to them rather then earning or working for whatever they wanted. The good old fashion way. It was a given that they had access to often the best experiences, privileges, education, and vacations as children and teens because the Boomers wanted to make it “easier” then it was when “they were kids”. I hear “I didn’t want my kid to work as hard as I had to”. You know the ones with paper routes at 5:00am or who worked on weekends to actually earn some money for their senior trip.
Because these parents wanted to “give more” they forgot to include the life lessons involved. Example: reciprocity. Unfortunately, a great many moral and emotional lessons were missed. Many of these millennials have an extensive amount of interpersonal difficulties. For example, negotiating conflicts at work. Now mind you I’m talking simple conflicts, that require some social skills and especially emotional tolerance. I treat this age group and it always catches me off guard when I need to explain why it’s important to “try and be respectful” to co-workers yes even if you don’t like them” Or “..this is your job, you are being paid to be there, probably not a good decision to just call off because you don’t feel like going into work because you were up until 3:00 am partying”.
Of course wanting to make your children’s life better then you is a wonderful gift. That being said, parents; please remember to teach your children what YOU learned. How & when your children demonstrate respect for you, your things, their things, their siblings and neighbors, will be a future predictor of how they treat others as adults, particularly in the workplace. If you can instill in them the following:
1. Money is earned. Should be saved and managed. Please assume you have no net if there is an emergency. Mom & Dad can’t bail you out forever.
2. Demonstrating appreciation and thanks goes a long way. It will help you more then you know and even make you more like able and invited back.
3. The universe doesn’t owe you anything. Your effort put in is a direct result of what comes out. Period.
4. Don’t expect to be given “a break” when you make a mistake and your being paid.
5. Have emotional boundaries. Not everyone wants to hear everything about you and your personal life.
No one cares that much anyway.
6. Use a filter when you talk.
7. Be kind even when you don’t feel like it.
8. Be on time.
9. If you have trouble with a co worker keep it to your self until you figure out how to handle it. Talking about that person will end up ruining your credibility.
10. Respect your parents on all holidays. Cards, small gifts, are expected. Because you are on your own doesn’t mean you get to not show the same love and respect that was shown to you.
It’s hard to know how to argue. We learn from our parents, and if that tells you anything like most of us, it’s a skill that requires learning. If you follow these basics I promise you that communication becomes easier. I’m talking about how to talk not solving the issue itself.
1. No Name Calling: Do I need to list these? Nah
2. No Interrupting: Let the other person finish. Interruption when a person is trying to share their view STOPS the process and doesn’t allow the other person to be heard. Bite your lip. If you are talking or thinking about what to say next, you are not listening.
3. No Character Assassination: These are allegations that the person you are fighting with might be a bad or unpopular member of his family, have a bad relationship with his or her friends, co-workers or children or is not respected by his colleagues. Or that he/she had issues with his or her X that was similar. Not nice, not needed.
4. No Physical Violence: No hitting, throwing of objects, punching, scratching, spitting, you get it.
5. No Leaving the Room: Unless you are going to give yourself a time out to cool off, leaving in the middle of an argument is a power move and avoidance. It makes the other person feel unimportant, disrespected, and cut off. If you feel things are not getting anywhere and escalating, tell the person you’re arguing with that you need time to cool off AND (this is key) TELL THEM WHEN YOU WILL RETURN TO FINISH THE DISCUSSION AND WHEN It should be within 24 hours at the latest. An hour or two would be best. Or if you’re really good 10 minutes should do. Otherwise the topic never gets fully discussed and goes subterranean. Only to come up another time, most likely in the middle of your next fight
6. No Switching: This occurs a lot when I see couples and it sounds like this:
Person A ” When you leave stuff on the floor in the bedroom, it makes me feel irritated. I have asked you to work on this and you keep doing it! ”
Person B “OMG are you kidding me? You leave your dishes everywhere in the house, your one to talk”.
Switching STOPS the process and will easily send you both onto another million tangents that you both are angry about. Lots of couples do this. If you want to bring up an issue bring it up SEPARATELY or at another time. Not this time.
7. No Abusive Language: In other words no cuss words or vulgarity. It’s easy to say things like this when we are angry. The only thing this does is give us release but in doing so, it shows disrespect toward the other person and STOPS the process. Use words that mean the same thing. I know it’s hard to find another work for “fuck!” (My personal favorite), there are a zillion other things you can say when things are heated.