Tag Archives: negativity

Sticks and stones may break my bones…

But words will never hurt me…

What a load of utter crap! Honestly, this is possibly the biggest lie that children are taught as rhyming wisdom to carry with them through their life.

Most of us learned this in early primary or elementary school (depending upon your location). I get it. I truly do understand what the familiar, childish mantra is supposed to teach and convey. It is meant to remind us that who we are is what counts, that what people say about us doesn’t matter. It is supposed to remind the fragile egos within those developing young psyches that someone saying horrible things about you doesn’t make them true and cannot truly harm the person you are.

However, it is now in an era of horrible bullying and freedom of expression where people seem to have forgotten what it is to be kind or to even be polite that we realize that the words can do as much or more lasting damage than those imaginary sticks and stones ever could. In truth, physical injuries (except for those so traumatic that they permanently maim or remove body parts) heal. Even when there are the physical reminders of scars or the twinge when it rains that recalls the old wounds, it doesn’t generally plague the individual in the same way that psychological and emotional damage does. Physical injuries also seem to carry with them at least the garnered sympathy of others. Psychological and emotional wounds are invisible injuries and scars that even when known by others are often viewed as a personal weakness instead of the respect given to those who bear up under a physical ailment.

Why is it that we hold onto the negative so strongly? Why is it that our past mistakes, hurts, and humiliations haunt us? Is it that we are all psychological masochists reveling in self-torture (often in the wee, dark hours of the night or early morning)?

I have a couple of personal theories on this. First, I believe that it is an evolutionary feature of humanity to more easily recall negative events, stimuli, and experiences than their more positive counterparts. Oh my lord, why? Why would this be a strength design? Well, I’ll tell you. Most of our collective ancestors survived long enough to reproduce through avoiding death or impotence-causing injury. They managed to do so through learning that what hurts or makes for the unpleasant experiences generally didn’t bode well for continued health and well-being. How we’ve lost this avoidance-survival instinct is anyone’s guess, but that is meat for another discussion.

So, caveman Og finds an interesting creature and pokes it with a stick. Creature objects and shares with Og the error of his ways in the form of a nasty, and very painful bite. Og says, “Hmmmm, Og not poke at this type of creature again. That caused the ouch.” Creature lives. Og learns not to annoy things that cause potentially nasty infectious wounds. Uva, watching from the sidelines also learns this from the loud bellowing and evident discomfort she observes in Og, and thus, the learning. Same might be said for the pretty red berries that cause the nasty stomach pains and rather disgusting gastrointestinal responses… or from an observer if they realize that eating pretty berries resulted in death and death like symptoms. The point being that avoidance and remembering the unpleasant meant that Og and Uva’s children, grandchildren, and descendants lasted and reproduced far longer than the unfortunate others who saw the same snake again and forgot that poking it caused the painful response or eating the pretty berries meant that you breathe no more.

Ok… and because I write these posts in between life and other things that occur when we aren’t looking, I have to admit that I had an alternate theory that totally escaped out the window while I was watching the shiny squirrels raving away in my office. 

So, alternate and #2 theory not available at the moment. So, I’ll just say that from an evolutionary and learning perspective, we hold onto the negative because that is how we managed to survive. However, the upshot is that physical injury… by sticks, stones, and more damaging options… can still result in recovery and healing, and sympathy. People can see those things, and they see why we hurt.

But those words… Yeah, those words stick. Whether we want them to or not, we keep them. We record them, and we reflect on them years later. I can still recall words and names called on playgrounds decades ago. They plague us when we attempt new experiences, or merely try a new approach. We replay the harshest criticisms and every ugly jeer exclaimed. Sadly, the closer our relationship to the person who said the words, the longer they will remain in our memories; the deeper the scars. (Yes, scars are not merely a physical phenomenon.) Even so, a close personal relationship isn’t necessary. The random critical comment from a stranger can embed itself for years, cropping up at inopportune times to ignite insecurity and doubt.

Because we have an even broader arena these days with social media, I find that words have even more power than in days gone by. The pen might be mightier than a sword, but the keyboard and mobile app can go nuclear. Many have said that younger generations are fragile or lack strength of character to stand against the “just words” their elders faced bravely and without any perceived injury, but under a barrage of negative, hurtful words, any of us might falter. People underestimate the power of words, even in the light of what can be accomplished with just a mere 140 characters at a time.

And with that…

Words have power. We need to remember that and use them wisely. We need to remember that what we say (or type) can be put down for posterity… and not just because the internet remembers all. The human mind keeps a record. How do you wish to be remembered? Words can harm… or they can build. They can help and they can hurt. Words an inflict injury and malicious intent; but the words we share have the potential to also impart knowledge or wisdom or joy or mirth. Choose your words.

And with that said:

Sticks and stones can break my bones; but words can mark forever…

Use your words. Use them wisely. They may be more powerful that you know.

If you’re happy and you know it…

…Come tell me how you did it. Seriously. Share that stuff.

Actually, less important than the how or even the why is just the sharing part. One of the things that has become abundantly clear with the spread of media and social media is that moods, emotions, and general vibes are contagious. I’m talking bubonic plague levels. Most people reading that will scoff and take the stance of “Airy fairy hippie wants to tell us all to ‘not worry and be happy.’” Nope. That’s not what I’m saying at all, but it is incredibly short-sighted and naïve to believe that we go through life carrying around our emotional baggage all on our own and it never impacts another living being… in our incredibly social culture and ridiculously small and ever-shrinking planet. Think about it.

I just failed a happiness quiz. Like, literally, one of those stupid little click-bait pseudo-personality-test things that tells you which Disney character you are or what animal you were in your past life? Yeah, one of those. This one was telling you what percentage of you is happy. If it were a final grade for any academic class on the planet, my percentage was a failing mark. I really should not have been at all astounded by these results. Seriously, would a truly happy person even take a ridiculous quiz like that. Beyond the consideration of my willingness to test the concept, how much faith would I actually put into quiz that some kid hopped up on orange soda probably put together on those auto quiz generation sites? And… that is a pretty significant question.

In my case, I looked at the results and thought, Can that be right? Am I that miserable? I don’t really feel that unhappy? Then, of course, I took the quiz again. It wasn’t me trying to scam the results. It was more that I wanted to pay more attention to the actual questions and answers. That’s when I started to get uneasy. The problem with the quiz was that the questions looked almost valid. I recognized various entries from mindfulness training and even depression inventories. There were a few that looked like they had been derived from one of those articles about the habits of happy people, but as a whole this particular quiz didn’t feel like bunk.

So, what did I do with that information? Well, I’ll tell you. I waited, and I took it again on a different day. I actually put a note in my planner to this effect. I also took it at a different time of day. Guess what I found… the results were slightly different, but on the whole too close to be a significant difference. Does that mean that an internet social media quiz can accurately judge happiness? Nope. I don’t believe it for a second. In fact, regardless of the results of that quiz, I do not believe that I am technically an unhappy person. I believe that I have a lack of satisfaction with certain aspects of my life and I worry too much about stuff that I cannot impact through my own actions. In short, I am a control freak. (And yes, there are some of you reading this that just said, No kidding.)

What I also found is that there is an awful lot of extraneous and worthless bull-pucky rampantly displayed and forced down our collective throats by the media and by social media on a daily basis. For the most part (minus puppies and kitties), the tone of this monumental tide of information tends to have a negative flavor. That includes giving an inordinate amount of fame and attention to complete asshats What? You thought by posting, reposting and saying look at what these hateful types are doing was a disservice?!? Hate to break it to you, but all attention is good attention for terrorists and extremists. Infamy works for them just as well as adulation…. But I digress. The news reported focuses on horrible behavior of humans against each other and diatribes from various hate (or power) driven entities. People rant and rage at each other for having differing opinions and outlooks… and they blame. While the world of social media has given birth and rise to a more monstrous “me” generation than the 80’s ever thought about, people use their right to free speech to fling abuse and general negativity with excessive abundance at their fellow creatures; and while they exercise their individuality and rights to hold opinions, they also crucify right left and center entire populations of other individuals en mass for holding differing beliefs and opinions than their own. They group all people who look the same or fall into the same race, ethnicity, or culture as if they are identical and could not possibly have individuality within those groups.  People who hold similar opinions or political beliefs are suddenly not distinct from one another. Friendships are torpedoed because of the expressed opinions or behaviors of complete strangers, and everything… I mean everything is offensive.

It has been said that 2015-16 is the era of the offended, that no one has a sense of humor anymore, and that people need to learn to ignore and move along. I can agree with that to a certain extent because planned ignoring  is the best way to deal with immaturity and acting out. I personally have a strongly developed ability to just scroll on by, unfollow, or block ridiculous or inflammatory crap with which I do not agree, and guess what… I don’t have to waste my energy getting offended by it in the process. On the other hand, I also believe that we’ve somehow lost the art of just having good manners, empathy, and the ability to consider others as individuals with just as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as we have. It seems that the whole world is caught in an enormous game of grossout/one-up/yo-mama with a side of “me first!”

And now, I’ve strayed so far from my original topic that I may never find my way back… um… oh, yeah… happiness. Too many people in the world think that happiness is a goal or a destination. William S. Bouroughs said, “Happiness is a byproduct of function, purpose, and conflict; those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war.” That one works pretty well. Eleanor Roosevelt said it better (in my opinion), “Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.”

That’s the ticket, isn’t it? When we live our own lives and stop worrying about or comparing it to what others are doing, I personally feel that it puts us in a better frame of mind to actually appreciate our present. Too many in this world talk themselves out of happiness or contentment by impatience or envy. We look out at the others around us and fail to see things that may be in our own lives. We look at circumstances and aspects of the world in which we live as if every single element is somehow impacting us personally… often when it has absolutely nothing to do with us at all. In moments of true contentment and peace, rather than just enjoying and being in that moment, we question our right to happiness. We literally talk ourselves out of the moment. We look for reasons to be sad, upset, disgusted, or outraged. Why is that? Is there something programmed within each of us that says that we are not experiencing life as a real event or with purpose unless we can find something to bitch about? Seems like a waste of a good life somehow, but I do it, too. So, I probably need to consider this the next time I’m talking myself out of enjoying a moment.

Something else that I have observed both in person and on social media is the negativity and venting vindictive spleen is not terribly helpful. Sure, the occasional extemporaneous rant can be a great release on pent up rage and swallowed disappointment. Sometimes it can be highly entertaining… but I said occasional. The more frequent or constant that the negativity is spewed forth, the more it begins to feed upon itself and become not so much a catharsis, but a spinning whirlpool of rage, hatred, or depression that sucks the spew-er in to drown in their own horrible mood and soul-sucking negativity. It often result in friends and family avoiding said individual (and/or blocking and hiding newsfeed). Misery may love company, but it tends to run off friends and family and seriously dissuade potential romantic interests.

Everyone has a bad day. To tell the truth, many have a lot of bad days that string together into larger measurements of time. However, the ones that seem to do the best with it aren’t dwelling on the negatives or comparing their own experiences with that of others. They do what I will call their “legitimate suffering” and get on about the business of living their lives. They acknowledge that the bad stuff happens. They let themselves feel the bad, and then they move through it into feeling not so bad and eventually better. Those that have more difficulty moving beyond the negative and get stuck occasionally need help figuring out why they are stuck and figuring out the best way to be unstuck. Sometimes that assistance can be from natural supports like family, friends, or faith. Sometimes it needs something more in the professional line.

The modern society has become very polarized in many ways about the experience of things that are perhaps less than happy. People are expected to “get over it and get on with your life” or be diagnosed and get medicated for it. I am the last person on earth to advise against professional assistance when it is warranted, but in the same line it is also completely normal to feel down, sad, or angry under certain circumstances. People do not perpetually walk around on sunshine with bluebirds and rainbows all the time. Everyone has times when they don’t feel so very chipper. It is also completely natural to have varying timeframes for the normal denouement of such emotions. Not everyone handles events such as grief, pain, loss, or trauma in the same way or within the same time. It is generally up to the individual to determine when “enough is enough.” When the experience of legitimate suffering is impacting the function of life in a significantly negative way, it might be time to seek a little assistance. For some, the energy to seek that assistance has run completely out, and that is where those natural supports can help, too.

And I see that I have once again gotten distracted from my point which was about emotional contagion and how we impact ourselves and others by our very act of sharing. I was actually going for less negative and more about the impact of sharing positive experiences with others. I do not believe that the whole world needs to embrace an overly cheerful, Polyanna-like approach to everything they experience. I personally enjoy sarcasm and the occasional prolific rant when things generally disgust or displease me. However, after years of over-venting, I know that cathartic outlets work because they are a pressure valve of letting things go in a blast and be done. If the process is repeated too often or too long, the exercise loses its potency and the negativity loop feeds on itself just becoming more and more nasty and miserable over time. However, when I share something that makes me feel good or laugh, I feel even better than when I just keep it to myself. When friends do the same in sharing things with me, I like to think that they get the same benefit (and I get to see something else that may make me feel good or laugh). It’s a much more positive cycle. So, that is why I say, if you’re happy and you know it, come tell me about it.

Rant: No one is safe from the fat-shaming media

gerardbutler

So, I totally got sucked in the other day, like Alice down the proverbial rabbit hole of the interwebs. It started with a perfectly innocent article about iced coffee popsicles (that is innocent, I swear by all that is holy… and by the first bean of the blessed caffenation… ). However, as frequently happens (well, as happens to me that is) a side link caught my attention “GORGEOUS STARS THAT GOT FAT AND HIDEOUS!” (or something along those lines). Try as I might I could not resist the temptation to see this travesty of modern celebrity, and so, I clicked. And I found to my surprise that my temper flared. Once again the paparazzi and media hounds have pissed me off to an extent I didn’t think possible outside political arenas where they have no knowledge and generally speak from their posterior orifices.

Now, I’m going to digress a tad. I’ll try to keep my tangent to a brief ramble. So, bear with me. I have never been what might be considered a willowy sort. I was, at one time called a skinny kid by a grandparent here or there or others of a generation that knew The Great Depression years and thought that being able to see certain bones in a child meant lack of nourishment. I was never emaciated and I was certainly never without enough food to eat. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had gardens and my mom’s magical abilities to make quite hearty meals appear on the slimmest of budgets. At any rate, I was never one that would blow away in a good wind. I was a solid, athletically built youngster that probably fell in the lower to middle range of those damnable BMI charts… in other words average. That being said, I was never what might be considered thick, either. I tended to be on the long scale. However, with age comes wisdom… and then it presents some more unpleasant gifts. One of those less positive side effects of age is what I will call the thickening. I’m not talking about mere weight gain and adipose tissue acquisition. I’m talking just the pure and simple fact that some of us just get visibly and measurably wider/thicker/whatever as we get older. I believe it has something to do with hormones and genetics and such (at least that’s what all those required biology and human physiology courses I took said), but it is just a fact of life. Neither diet nor exercise will fix it. Some lucky folks seem to dodge this bullet in comparison to their peers, though even they show some change from their own earlier years to some extent. They tend to be those willowy types that no amount of childbirth, years, or desserts seems to change (yeah, I want to stab them, too. It’ll be ok. Just put your head between your knees until the urge passes), but for the rest of us, there is just no avoiding the middle aged spread. We can impact body fat percentages, how we feel, our physical health, muscle tone, and energy levels with judicious dietary choices and appropriate exercise, but despite the efforts we will still never become a bean pole (even if we were in youth). Whether I like it or not, without surgical modification, I am never going to be what I was in my younger years. And with that foundation… on we go.

So, this article/slide show that I happened upon had a title at the top of the page: “Celebrities that Couldn’t Stop Eating and Got Fat…” I started paging through the side by side comparisons of various examples, “Before” and “After” as it were. Both genders were represented. However, the more I paged through the some 30 plus slides, the angrier I became. First of all, there is that misleading title. It brings to mind images of lazy bodies shoving bon-bons in their mouths. At no point was there any evidence presented to support the claim that all of the changes pictured were the product of overeating or food addiction. Secondly, the majority of the comparisons were literally years apart and sometimes decades. Additionally, the “After” shots were by no means grotesque in the majority of instances. They looked like normal people who had traversed spans of time and life events and aged… pretty well actually. For instance, if I was male, I personally would not mind having the physique that Lawrence Fishburne has kept. Aside from that, the disparity between the studio publicity photos and other posed examples given as the “Before” shots and the more candid, spontaneous, and natural “After” shots was glaring. So, I was baffled. Why were these celebrities being shamed? And what exactly is being said by all the negativity?

I also noted that often the females presented not only were “victims” of time, but also had the photos taken after delivering children. Um?!? Yeah! Shame on them for embracing motherhood and pregnancy! I know that some people claim to bounce back, but I dare say there is a LOT of work and self-denial that goes into attaining pre-baby physique, and most NEVER DO! (Think Mammy’s conversation with Scarlett O’Hara who could not attain her former figure with the aid of a corset!) Many of the photographic comparisons were with 30-plus year differences, too. Seriously, people?!? Are you saying that in order to be safe from ridicule, one must maintain the body of the 20-year-old? One that surprised me by truly getting me to the boiling point was a caption in which the author/blogger/snarky-social-commentator made the “witty” chastisement of Gerard Butler on his deteriorated physique stating “Hugh Jackman can do it, why can’t you?” That sent me over the top, and I don’t even like Gerard Butler. Now, for one thing, I follow Mr. Jackman in the social media world (Of course, I do! I am female, appreciate the male form, and still breathing). I witness what it appears to take for him to maintain his Wolverine-like physique. He frequently shares images of his training sessions and dietary choices. This is not your average physical fitness routine. He puts a LOT of time, energy (and likely funds) into looking like that, despite any natural biological gifts and predispositions. Aside from that, who can say what additional differences there are in genetic makeup or body chemistry between these two compared leading men. (Not to mention all those government experimental mutation programs… just kidding). Not that Mr. Butler is any less capable of putting in the same efforts and resources to attain similar physical outcomes, but comparing one to another is just not fair. Besides, the picture showed as the “Before” for Gerard Butler was from the Spartan days… seriously, a still from the movie. Hello? Again, I say “Bad shot!” Let’s see? Movie magical film still with lighting and whatever other special effects vs. photo caught by sneaky photo-stalker with the long lens; not exactly an even playing field. Additionally, that was a bloody acting role people! I’ve seen, read, and heard about what some actors and actresses do for different parts. Look at Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron, and Renee Zellweger. That is just to name a few of the performers who have literally changed their bodies by gaining and losing and putting themselves through physical metamorphosis for the purpose of assuming a character. Do you really think that given the timeframes of filming, deadlines, and such that they did that in the healthiest way possible? I can answer that one: NO THEY DID NOT. For many of the stars out there, the physiques and image that they portray come at a sacrifice to their bodies and health (and sometimes minds). Alas, they chose that lifestyle and career, and we have to assume they knew the risks when they signed up. The pressure to fulfill certain expectations and ideal appearance is something that Hollywood has been rife with since the advent of moving pictures. Gerard Butler is no different. He bulked up and got ripped to play a part. Now, because he is not maintaining that same exact body form some little paparazzo/wannabe journalist is shaming him. Did he somehow become morbidly obese since playing King Leonidas? No, he just looks… normal (well, in truth the guy is considered by most to be quite handsome and probably not average, but you get what I’m saying).

So, why do I give two rips about whether the media or one of their vulture-like representatives is bad-mouthing the A-listers? In all likelihood, those celebrities are probably thinking “Hey, attention is attention. All press is good press.” It keeps them in the public eye. So, they probably don’t care that some little whiner is saying that they aren’t brick @#$%houses anymore.

However, those celebrities are often the representation of our ideals in many ways. Even those among us who have been graced with wonderful ego strength, self-esteem and experience no twinge of doubt in the face of external recrimination can absorb some of the societal expectations and approbation to occasionally observe a paragon of physical virtue and think “I want my body to look like THAT!” That sentiment is typically the primary motivation for the majority of people to diet, exercise, and (yes) have surgical procedures. We have an image of our ideal body in mind. We want to look like the modern gods and goddesses of the public eye. We want to be attractive, and to be considered attractive and successful (yes, an attractive physical appearance often results in the assumption of success) according to the cultural norms. So, when some little hopped up photo-blogger or tabloid hack starts bashing someone who wasn’t prepared for a photo shoot and merely looks age-appropriate or like a normal, average human, what does that do in our subconscious and preconscious? Well, if you are a confident specimen who is happy in your life, it may do absolutely nothing… or possibly you believe that it has no impact to your self-perception. You may be correct. However, for the rest of us, it plants a little irrational seed that to be attractive, beautiful, desirable, loved… you have to achieve physical perfection. You cannot age. You cannot participate in the natural human milestones of life. You must conform to the image that the media has designated as acceptable, and the risk is there for making some supremely unhealthy choices just to avoid being too normal.

Health, wellness, fitness, and diet should not be something that is dictated by negativity or the avoidance of external negative perception. It should be something that we choose because it brings us more satisfaction in our lives. So, I say to the nasty little scandal rag jerks out there who love to put other people down (even if it is the Hollywood “royalty”)… Bug off! Or I might start a movement to encourage the victims of those long lenses to return the favor. How will you vultures bear up to the intense scrutiny and critique of your physique?

Here endeth the rant… at least this one (y’all know me too well to think it’s the last).

Landing the Job… It’s Only The Beginning

I’m going to go on a tiny little bit of a rant. It isn’t something I plan to do frequently in this “column,” but it is something that has been on my mind for a while. So, bear with me… I’ll try not to type too loudly.

I have been witnessing a trend for the last decade or so of people who see the acquisition of gainful employment as the finish line of their entry into the rat race. The people desperately putting themselves out there on the job market consider the welcoming job offer as the ultimate goal of their efforts.

This is possibly the most inaccurate attitude prevalent in the workforce of today. Over and over, I have seen people who put on their best face, clothes, and most professional behavior for the interview process, drop it like it’s hot when they are accepted into a position. The job that they worked so very hard to obtain loses the “shiny” once employment is achieved. The job that the employee was so excited to take on becomes unworthy of the effort to retain. Sadly, this attitude seems to mirror the thread of ingratitude prevalent in other parts of society today. The broad sense of entitlement is virulent in the hearts and minds of too many individuals trying to earn a living. People who were so grateful to have a job too soon lose any sense of believing that opportunity could just as easily gone to someone else… and still might.

It is not necessarily a matter of carelessness, incompetence, or even laziness. Most of the time the individuals in question will absolutely put in the amount of effort to do their job… but just that amount. And that is pretty much it. That is the extent of what they are willing to do, the bare minimum of job requirements. “Above and beyond” is not really part of the vocabulary. Again, this isn’t a matter of laziness, but these folks do not have any passion for their job, nor do they have any attachment to the organization for whom they work. As an employer, I see these as gypsy vagabonds… just passing through. They are not getting anything formative from the job, and they probably are not going to provide anything earth-shattering to any program, department, or company. No ill will harbored. This is just the nature of the individual. They are there until they are met with the first obstacle or any other offer comes along that might provide them sufficient reward. Lather, rinse, repeat. They move from gig to gig with no real sense of anything more than “Meh, it’s a job.”

Sadly, there are degrees of this type of worker. At the mildest level, they do no harm, but they do no amazing good either. They are going to put in their 40 per week and are working for the weekends. They are passing through life, and work provides the funds to pursue their other activities and interests. They are not looking for promotion. They aren’t necessarily looking to move on. They are not looking towards the future, and certainly not planning for any sort of retirement. They will likely not stand out in the crowd around the water cooler. They live to make the fewest ripples. They live from paycheck to paycheck. It really doesn’t sound so bad, right?

There are others, however, who seem to be unable to exist without making waves. They fail to grasp the fact that just because you managed to get the position, doesn’t mean that you can stop working to keep the job. These people are your complainers, pot-stirrers, or drama induction specialists. They frequently request (or demand) special treatment, and they generally do not make any effort to get along with their coworkers. Sometimes, they deliberately sew the seeds of discord within the office to divide and provide a hotbed of drama on which they feed (but this usually requires more effort than they are willing to expend). Occasionally, this can go so far as to be reflected in a disrespect for the workplace culture, regulations, and even employers. They are quick to perceive slights. They are doing an extraordinary favor to employers and coworkers by merely showing up. Most of the time, these people are not deliberately malicious, just incapable of seeing past the tight circle of their own perception. It is more a lack of empathy. It is a perceptual myopathy that prevents them from understanding how anyone else might be impacted by their attitude or behavior. They simply cannot see things from outside their own perspective. Every action is formulated on the premise of “What will this get me?”

Sadly, these individuals seem to go through life with the attitude of “I was looking for a job when I found this one.” That isn’t a bad approach to avoid spiraling into a despair if a job ends. However, it also reflects a lack of appreciation for the job at hand. The end result for many individuals with this attitude towards their job is a remarkably checkered job history with a lack of any longevity or stability. While that might not seem so bad so long as there are no particular breaks in the employment history, many employers will see the lack of any duration as a less than stellar recommendation for employment. Most employers are looking for reliable workers who will contribute in a positive way to the work environment. Contrary to some misbelief out there, most employers are actually looking to benefit the company, organization, and the many that are dependent on the success thereof, rather than providing sole benefit and comfort to one individual.

I am the last person to suggest that anyone should put up with mistreatment at work. Bullies in the workplace do exist. Harassment is intolerable. People should never have to work in a toxic environment, but there is a difference between taking productive actions to improve your situation and defuse intolerable work conditions and merely adding to the negativity by complaining and badmouthing to others in the office.

There is an extremely fine line between confidence and arrogance. However, despite the arrogance and entitlement that leads people to believe that obtaining the job was the last challenge they will face in the pursuit of wage, sometimes a little effort put into keeping a job is of greater benefit. Every job has challenges, and everyone (no matter how much they love their job) will have days they just do not want to go to work. It happens. It is normal. Hopefully, it is an exception rather than a constant. Truth is that while there are some very rewarding occupations in the world, every single job has some aspect that may not be fun. In the world of occupation, it is my hope that you all can find something that is rewarding and provide you the opportunity to grow, learn new skills (or at least perfect skills you have), and provide the resources to support your way of life. It isn’t always the case. Sometimes, things are going to be difficult. Sometimes things may be unpleasant. There are tasks and jobs that are not pleasant, but they still have to be done. The job you have may not be the best job in the world or even a job that you are thrilled to hold for extended amounts of time. Coworkers may not be that pleasant, and the boss may be a complete jackass; but, in truth, is a bad attitude or lackadaisical approach to your job duties going to improve relationship with coworkers or employers? Will negative, complaining behavior make the job less tedious or less unpleasant? The point is that our attitudes make up well more than half of our own job satisfaction. Having a positive attitude can actually improve your job experience.

If all jobs were a constant party of social, leisure, and entertainment activity, it would not require payment. It wouldn’t be work. Getting a job is not the end goal. It is just the beginning. Any job accepted is worth some effort to keep. There are other people in the market who may value that job more and could easily fill the position. And who knows? Approaching the job with a positive attitude and good work ethic might make the job itself less of a chore.