If This Is A Test, We Are Failures

If This Is A Test, We Are Failures

I remember when it all started,
24 hours times seven, never apart
even all of the dull moments
were shared at the start

days later now, i forget to tell
all the important moments,
now become memories
locked and loaded, hidden now

when im weak and i share
you listen but dont hear
tell me what i just said
do you even care

TIME is diminishing
24 times seven is now a myth
i dont speak because its not right
or not what is right for you

Presence shouldnt be a consolation prize
or an apology for diminished priority
5% is probably too generous
if this is a test, we’re failures

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The Challenges of Being A Young Leader

The Challenges of Being A Young Leader

After almost exactly two years of being a young corporate leader, it seems fitting to reflect on the challenges I’ve faced and how I’ve overcome them. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard, so damn hard, but also very very rewarding. 

1. I knew my biggest challenge would be gaining the respect of older team members. Coming into a leadership role at the age of 24 wasn’t very well received. Not only was I young but I used to be a peer, just to rub a little more salt into the wound. I knew I deserved it, I’d worked really hard for two and a half years to climb the corporate ladder but when you’re the age of some people’s children, it can be a little hard to swallow. Early on, I heard many comments about not having life experience. They’re right but I taught those staff that that’s why they are so valuable, because they can help me with their advantages and knowledge as well. 

2. Most of my old peers came and left so the peer issue seemed to dissipate quite significantly however, those that remained found comfort in each other formed an army and finding a diplomatic solution is a challenging problem. It goes without saying that you can’t fight fire with fire, and you should even really fight, so often even just accepting the inevitable is a challenge in itself.

3. Changing the way you use words. This was a big one for me. I have a very dry and hard to read sense of humour. I had to reign this in and often my jokes could be misconceived. To counter this, I also made a concerted effort to get to know my team on a personal level so we can understand who each other is really is. 

4. Having a life outside of work. I realised this very recently when my partner asked me what my hobbies were and I realised I didn’t really have any. This was a wake up call and encouraged me to change this right away where I now go to the gym every lunchtime, learn keyboard, have dabbled in hip hop dancing, and am studying to be a personal trainer. 

5. Not caving into to corporate segregation. When you’re fighting for time, resource, money and everything else hard to find, it’s easy to come very “us and them”. I refuse to lose sight of the one-team goal which I hope I never lose. 

6. Discipline causes deflection, and you often become the target. Performance management is a hard job for everyone however, this continues to remain my biggest challenge. I am still open to finding ideas and solutions as to the best way to effectively performance manage staff members who blame their shortfalls on you failing them as a leader. 

7. I’ve learnt everyone will dislike you at some point. Whether it’s because you notice they’re always late for work, you have to decline their leave, or they’ve made the same mistake a few times. You just can’t sweat it. 

I have to admit. I still don’t know if I’m succeeding but I know I’m growing and upon reflection, I can see I’ve developed some fantastic, successful people. I’m sure I will continue to learn the more I carry on.

If you feel like you’ve been in a similar scenario or have advise and learning, feel free to get in touch. 

Political Melodrama : A bit of a lecture

Political Melodrama : A bit of a lecture

I have to admit. I am really getting over the anti-Trump sentiment going around at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I believe he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed and also pretty sexist and derogatory of almost every type of person that is not like himself and also someone with some pretty whack policies. However, what I find most entertaining is the lashing out at people who are not on the same bandwagon.

It is interesting to see how so many people are ostracising others just because they don’t hate Trump as much as they do. In my humble and certainly not expert opinion, this makes you just as bad.

Trump lives to outcast members of society that do not fit into his very narrow-minded list of conditions that make a particular type of person valuable. Are we not being just as bad by severely putting down people whose values don’t align with ours?

The sentiments I hear I often find disgusting like when people say a Trump voter must be homophobic and sexist, derogatory and racist. You should be ashamed of yourselves. The extremely high number of people who voted for Trump are predominantly good people. They voted for someone who they felt could do a better job of what is most important to them. They are not bad people because they ignored his nasty remarks and chose to vote for someone who they believed will give them their jobs back and create a future for their children. A critic will say this won’t happen but these voters were opportunists and they were voting against what had not been working for them for eight years.

The above is comparable with saying that voting for Clinton (a continuation of the Obama administration) means that you justify the beheading of James Foley by the Islamic State. The government at that time chose not to pay the ransom or trade off hostages to save them. They even enforced their law so proudly that would not let the family raise the ransom either by telling them they will be prosecuted for funding terrorism. The $123 million ransom sounds impossible but I wouldn’t have discounted many Hollywood celebrities happily giving funds to attribute their legacy to the releasing of hostage held for two years (save the world and all that). Ironically, after these beheadings, the law was eased to allow families to discreetly pay ransoms in similar situations to those of James Foley’s. A bit late after he’d dead right?

You’re probably thinking “well, that’s just extreme to think that because I call myself a Democrat I support the brutal beheadings of hostages?” Well yourself, listen to your own rhetoric. I repeat, VOTING FOR TRUMP DOES NOT MAKE PEOPLE RACIST BIGOTS.

I have had enough of listening to the blatant put downs of good people who do their best to put forward their point of view as much as the others. Those who are the perpetrators, your behaviour is unacceptable.

And before you get too carried away, I’m not a racist, sexist, homophobic, islamophobic, democratiphobic, everyonewhoisnotmeaphobic bigot. I didn’t like any of them. In fact, I don’t even like the draconian system they still continue to operate in and the thing I find surprising is how either candidate even managed to get the microphone in the first place so place your focus on changing the system, not the people who were merely smart enough to make the most of it.

Conspiracy Theorists and Mental Illness 

Conspiracy Theorists and Mental Illness 

It was a long train ride this morning and I was scrolling through Facebook seeing all of the ridiculous articles posted about conspiracy theories and I was trying to figure out how we can all be so similar yet think so differently about things, some to complete extremes. I started to think about a correlation between those who strongly believe in conspiracy theories and state of mind. I’m not talking about those crazy conspiracies about how we are all really extraterrestrial reptiles or something, we all know they are actually crazy. Im talking about those ones who don’t believe what they hear or see at face value and believe there must be more to it. I’m thinking those who believe AIDS was created to wipe out minority races and people who can’t believe JFK was shot by someone nobody knows. 

I used to just believe that these people feared that their autonomy was at stake and because they are so afraid by their assumption that governments control them, they try and find ways to find that very control accountable for all things evil. It is not worth the debate with these proponents of conspiracy theories as they can always make their theories even more elaborate and take into account new observations and pretty much any contradiction to their belief can be countered with “of course they want you to think that.” 

After a bit of research today, I’ve learnt that conspiracy theorists and mental illness is a very real correlation but much deeper than I ever thought. I never would have thought that many conspiracy theorists are narcissists with low self esteem. I didn’t even know that these two things could intertwine but it made sense to read that narcissists are often masking how they really feel inside. Many of them are also victims of troublesome childhoods who often felt controlled and abused leading to a very common distrust of any sort of authority. They are then able to use confirmation bias to confirm things that aren’t really there and join dots together that are, in fact, miles apart. Cherry-picking, for lack of a better word. Some even compare conspiracy theorists to right wing authoritarians such as Nazis and Fascists due to their such strong level of disdain for a particular part of society. This part is just a little too far for me. Many simply suffer from simple anxiety and paranoia disorders.

One of the more believable psychological theories is that these people are afraid of things that can’t be controlled. You can’t control a terrorists attack or a major infectious outbreak, but it’s almost comforting to believe that it was set up by someone or something that has control over it. It reduces your fear of the unknown or the uncontrollable. 

There is a lot of research out there so I hope it interests you as much as it interests me. Have a look and insight some discussion. But just remember, some conspiracy theorists earn up to $90 million a year and every time you click on that article that a tin foil nutter has posted, you are probably earning them a bit more money. But hey, maybe the government has put the conspiracy theorists out there to distract you from what they are really doing behind the scenes….

Thank you for reading. 

Stalling

Stalling

It has been a while since I wrote a blog, not for any particular reason, I have quite a lot of spare time. However, now seems to be a fitting time to write as I near the end of 2016 and try to work out whether I actually accomplished anything and what I want to do going forward. I’m struggling to find motivation at the moment and feel like I’m kind of cruise control and I don’t really like feeling comfortable. I’ve always thought there is no such thing as living if you don’t always feel just a little bit uncomfortable so I need to think of a new challenge. 

I’m motivated by support in my challenges and I have to acknowledge that I’m not feeling it so much at the moment. I have great friends but I think once you’ve done something once the novelty wears off so even though every run is an achievement to me and every half marathon or marathon is a milestone, I’m not sure my surroundings feel the same. My current goal is to learn that not everything that is important to me is important to everyone else. Running is boring if you don’t like it very much and it’s easier to be tempted by things that are a bit more exciting so I need to find a way to be self-motivated without external encouragement, that is my goal. People are probably prett sick of me talking about it all the time anyway but it’s not really any different to people who post heaps of photos of their babies, their partners, their travels or anything else. I want to be encouraged by the feeling of elation you feel at the finish line which just means I need to feel it more often so I aim to complete many more events next year. 

It’s easy to think about what happened in the last couple of weeks and think hmmm I haven’t really done much but it’s important to look back further and think about all of the things you have achieved. This is my list for 2016:

– travelled around Europe by my strong, independent self. 

– completed the Paris Marathon. 

– moved in with my boyfriend and it’s still going alright. Entrusted my living situation in him while I was away. 

– worked bloody hard at my job. 

– stopped punishing myself for diet cheating (still do this a little bit but not as much)

– completed my second Auckland Half Marathon. 

Next year I want to have a bigger list so I’m in the process of discovering things I enjoy and intend on pursuing those going forward. Just as important as doing things is having things to look forward to and I’m stalling at the moment with exiting plans going forward.

I encourage everyone to highlight their achievements before the year ends, it really puts things into perspective. 

No Doubt We Are Living

No Doubt We Are Living

hands down, its crunch time
my soul is bursting into life
seething, im screaming
im alive, im alive, im alive!

the writings not on the wall
it echoes in my mind
round and round and round it goes
an everlasting rewind

the echo is a tale
not a story or a fable
where do we go from here?
a bullet to the chest
under no due rest
this is the last sweet cheer

crouching by the bonfire
uncapable of drowning
i have culpable hands but no demands
there is no right time

hands down, its crunch time
my soul is bursting into life
seething, im screaming
im alive, im alive, im alive!

Oh, To Feel Wholesome!

Oh, To Feel Wholesome!

I really do envy some people. Some people are so confident in who they are and what they look like and just don’t care what other people see. I think this is fantastic, no matter what they look like.

I’m battling my own struggle at the moment that sometimes takes over my life to the point where sometimes even I think that this is not healthy. I have never been in a situation where I am at ease with my image, no matter what I looked like. My first memory is when I was 8 or 9 and school took some of us paragliding and we had to weigh ourselves to do it and I saw my friends weighed 29 or 30 kilos and I was sitting at about 40. This was the first time I ever remember feeling embarrassed about the way I looked.

This continued quite regularly through high school. I think I wore my black jeans for about six summers because I wouldn’t wear shorts and I definitely didn’t go swimming in the ocean. I was able to get out of swimming class because I once reacted to the amount of chlorine in the water so I was able to get away with this excuse for years.

This continued through my university years and it was only when I turned 23 that I finally had an epiphany and really did something about it. And I really did do something about it. I lost 23kgs, got down to 59kgs and went to France and ran a marathon. It’s hard to believe but despite this otherwise awesome achievement, my mind-set never changed and it still hasn’t. Even when I was slim and 59kgs, I would critique myself and look for flaws. It’s like my mind and my body are two separate entities and to be honest, there are some really good arguments out there saying that they actually are.

The struggle I have now is that I put on five kilos after I ran the Paris Marathon. I obviously enjoyed those Nutella crepes just a little too much and I feel like I have gone back to square one. It’s hard for people to understand this. They just see me as someone who looks fine and has nothing to worry about. I know that by universal standards I am fine but by my own standards I am not fine but I also am unsure whether, by my own standards, I will ever be fine.

This is quite daunting and it’s fair to say I live my life feeling either daunted or guilty. I feel daunted that I have so much to do to get to where I want to be and I feel guilty when I drop the ball. I don’t really envy anyone battling this same struggle as it is inconceivably difficult to deal with feeling wholesome on any given day.

This is my focus for the remainder of the year. To get to a point of contentment within myself. I have absolutely no idea how I will do it or what this contentment will look or feel like but I aim to get there.