An Inspiring Story Of A Man And A Car Wash

An Inspiring Story Of A Man And A Car Wash

I wanted to share with you a great story I read on Quora recently:

Why working in a car-wash (at age 44) was the best thing that could have happened to me

This really spoke too me, because in our modern economy we are always looking to take the next step forward, or the next step up the ladder, and if we’re not doing so quickly enough we look to pretend we are still heading in the right direction. Struggling to admit defeat, ask for help or start again from the beginning.

So this article by Micheal Aumock, was really refreshing to read. His attitude change from simply showing up to a job he disliked and wallowing in self-pity, to trying to be the best in his role, is the exact attitude I am trying to develop.

I may not be the best blogger out there.  My opinions at the time of writing may prove to be incorrect, or I may misinterpret the intentions of another writer. But isn’t that how we grow?

If you have a spare 5 minutes I would strongly recommend having a read of Michael’s story.

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Ruining A Company With Socialist Rewards

Ruining A Company With Socialist Rewards

Like it or not the world runs on free market capitalism.

If your product is too expensive, of inferior quality, or lacks a unique selling point.  Then there will always be someone cheaper/faster/smarter looking to take your customers, and leaving you to find a new way of making a living.  To compete you have to adapt, constantly improve and price your products for individual customers/markets. As there is no overlord making sure each company in your market gets an equal share of business.

So why is it, that many companies still feel it is acceptable to implement company wide rewards schemes, where everybody is rewarded equally regardless of effort, attitude, or contribution?  I appreciate the thought process that the company success out ways any individual accomplishments.  But where is the motivation of the most skilled employees to dedicate themselves to the company, verses jumping ship for greater rewards and recognition?

If you take proper socialist countries like Venezuela, you find that the one thing socialism ensures is that everyone outside of the top government officials are equally poor, and the productive/valuable members of society who could get the country back on track have fled for greener/capitalist pastures.

You can even look at parenting for a more simple example, give a child the choice between cleaning their room, or playing video games and regardless of their choice, they’ll get ice-cream.  Which task do you think they are going to undertake, given that they are not going to be rewarded for completing the less pleasant task?

So in the corporate world, if you expect one exceptional worker to watch as their lazy co-worker gets the same reward for significantly less effort, then don’t be shocked if your company ends up looking a lot like Venezuela where productivity is not rewarded.

Do not be shocked, if that graduate who worked their socks off, researching and developing their skill set outside of the office, leaves for much greener pastures when you decide their effort is worthy of a percentage increase in remuneration on par with the 5th year worker who arrives late, leaves early, and spends most of their day on social media. A percentage increase in remuneration which also means that the gap between the two workers actually widens!

So if you are in a position of power, consider the next time you apply a generic reward to company employees, if you’d be happy if everyone worked as equally poorly as your worst employee. As that is the message your best employees are seeing.

Is Social Media more damaging than Porn? – Anger at your fingertips

Is Social Media more damaging than Porn? – Anger at your fingertips

Continuing on my topic of social media potentially being more damaging to society than porn.  I now want to focus on Anger and our interactions with people (usually strangers).

If you have any sort of following on Twitter of Facebook, and you post anything other than cat or baby pictures i’m sure you’ll have received some level of abuse.  At the lower end if may have just been a friend calling you an idiot, but at more sinister end of the spectrum you can have hundreds or even thousands of people calling you every name under the sun, threatening your life, and posting your personal details online allowing the hatred to spread into the real world.

If a right leaning politician posts a comment on a local issue, you can be sure he or she will be called a racist / a nazi / part of the patriarchy / a one percent er etc etc by the nicer trolls out there. In today’s society the same is true when comments are made by Feminist scholar Christina Sommers or Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro post fairly reasonable arguments which should be debated.

The worrying thing about this online hatred so many of us are spreading, is that half the time the person doesn’t even need to write the comment themselves, they just have to be accused of making a comment by a virtue signaler, and before you know it the bandwagons have been jumped on, and this person is desperately trying to defend the name and save their career.

Take for example the outrage shown by your parents/ grand-parents when they share the fake posts warning you that “Facebook is going to start charging for its service unless you share this message”. Or the protests in America which were organised by Russian trolls.  Both are examples of online information that people have taken at face value, and have caused mild annoyance in one case, and orchestrated violence in another, simply because people are taking what they see online at face value if it fits their agenda.

Now if a friend has said to you in the pub that Facebook is going to start charging, you’d ask to see their evidence, but read about in a tweet from a stranger and it suddenly becomes the gospel truth.

It feels like people are so eager to take offence, and so eager to virtual signal, that they are sat by their computers / phones just waiting for that next piece of news to get them all riled up, and give them something to rant about.  Heck, from some of the comments I read on Twitter I can only assume I am doing it wrong, by following people I find interesting, instead of following people I know say things I disagree with, who I can then heckle behind the safety of my computer / phone.

So my current view-point is this.  Instead of trawling through social media posts and news content looking for the next thing to offend you, so that you can make someone else feel bad by ranting at them, or make yourself feel good, by having other virtue signalers tell you how brave you are to be offended by some writing.  How about you follow in the foot steps of Boyan Slat the young inventor who saw a problem with plastic pollution of the worlds oceans and focused his time and energy on developing a solution.  You’ll find life that much more fulfilling if you go out and look for solutions to the problems you identify, as opposed to ranting at the people who disagree with you.

Is Social Media more damaging than Porn? – Let kids be kids

Is Social Media more damaging than Porn? – Let kids be kids

In this next post on the topic of social media and it’s effects on society I want to focus on the use of social media by those under the age of 18.

My reasoning for this series of posts is because I do believe that with regards to children, social media can be as least as damaging if not more damaging than porn.  From my perspective it sets unrealistic expectations on life,  and leaves people craving an online fix or approval above actual human interaction.

In a way I was quite fortunate in that social media didn’t become a part of my life until I was 20 years old. So preteen/teenage peer pressure for me was a small group of friends asking you to drink a beer, or a crush looking to meet up for a romantic encounter, and usually this pressure could only be conveyed face to face, or over a 1 to 1 text message.

However these days, a lot of kids are feeling the burden of being a social media star.  They are “friends” with their whole school, and suffer with constant anxiety as they think of ways to get their next set of “Likes” or “Retweets”.  Without this constant validation they do not feel like a valued and worthy part of the collective, especially when it has never been easier to statistically analyze your popularity within your peer group.  “Sure Kathy from Science class may have got 162 likes on a picture of her cat”, but what kids (and even adults) don’t see is that Kathy is at home eating cat food for dinner, because her family are in crisis.  All we care about at that moment in time is the number of likes she got that day, and how much more popular she is than us.

Even worse than becoming click-bait monkeys looking for likes and retweets, is the collective and invasive peer pressure children with access to social media accounts have to suffer. Before the advent of social media, if a group of friends invited you to the park, you could decline and walk away. But these days you cannot walk away, the constant buzzing of your phone reminding you that they are either talking about you, or insulting you for rejecting their request.  Once you’re safely home from rejecting their request they can still get to you through technology even if you’re locked safely away in your room.

Because so many children have easy and free access to social media and pornography, and because group peer pressure is 24/7, it is becoming increasingly hard for children and young adults to separate what serves them as a normal functioning member of society and what is self-loathing group think approval. This is why I believe we are seeing such a sharp rise in children falling victim to revenge porn.  Never has access to pornography been so easy and never has group peer pressure been so prevalent and intense. If everyone else is claiming they are sexting each other, and everyone else is telling you that’s what they are doing, and you are getting pressured via messages on your phone to do it while sat at the dinner table with your family, when you’re alone in your bedroom, and when you’re walking home from school.  Well eventually it’ll become the expected norm to send a school mate an explicit photo of yourself, without considering the long-term impact or consequences.

This is why I think we need to seriously consider restricting some of the features and applications available to those under 18, or at the very least start engaging them on the differences between real life and the pressure filled online world of sudo friendships.  We need to let them learn how to build meaningful friendships where you actually care about the person behind the avatar and how they are feeling on a daily basis. Let them learn that it is more important to have 1 or 2 close friends who will look after your cat when you’re sick, as opposed to only having “friends” who will like pictures of your cat, but cannot be found when called upon for help. Let them learn that what they see online is only what people have allowed them to see, which is usually only the best bits of ones existance. Let them understand suffering, humility and sorrow, and how to handle their negative emotions without hiding behind the quick fix of a few likes from a motivational quote they retweeted.

Just let them be kids!

 

Is Social Media more damaging than Porn? – An observation

Is Social Media more damaging than Porn? – An observation

Social media is a wonderful invention, it allows us to keep up to date with family and friends from around the world, giving us the opportunity to instantly share a photo or thought with our nearest and dearest instead of waiting months/years for a face to face opportunity to engage them.

It’s opened us up to more information then we could ever imagine, be it awareness of a social event happening in a neighbouring town, finding a local group who partake in a hobby of yours, or keeping up to date with decisions being made by a local government agency.  Social media has become a one stop shop for information.

However scratch a way at the surface and I believe that social media may be causing a number of problems within our society.  As a collective we don’t think twice about starting a witch hunt against somebody who offers a differing view on a sensitive subject.  As individuals, we drive speeding metal killing machines while our eyes our glued to our Facebook feeds, for fear of missing out on the opportunity to like a friends baby photo. Amongst friends and followers we feel a responsibility to identify another photo opportunity or “check in” to show just how awesome our life is.

All of these issues are stripping away at our empathetic sides, mentally weakening ourselves, and turning us into click bait machines looking for a reason for somebody to “like” or “retweet” us, even if at the expense of another person. So over the next week or two i’m going to dive deeper into these areas, where I think social media is doing us more harm than good, and offer my thoughts on what we can do to identify and overcome these issues.

The Burden of Inaction – Summary

The Burden of Inaction – Summary

To summarise my thoughts on overcoming the burden of inaction, from my recent set of articles listed below:

The Burden of Inaction – An Observation

The Burden of Inaction – A negative example

The Burden of Inaction – A positive example

1.Take action

Find 2 or 3 of the easiest tasks you know you should be completing on a regular basis and make them your first priorities. No matter how simple, be it washing the dishes, making your bed or eating a piece of fruit.  Find those easy, reoccurring tasks and start smashing them.

2. Write it down

Stop trying to remember everything you need to do, write it down on a piece of paper or put it in your phone. Not only do you free yourself up to think and do other things, you also avoid the risk of forgetting something important, or chastising yourself as you remember to do something to late in the day, or after the event needed to occur.

3. Rinse and repeat

Like any good shampoo / habit, the way to improve is to keep doing it.  You may forget on day 2 to complete your easy quick win tasks, or may forget to add something to your list on your phone.

But after a while you’ll start developing a habit which not only makes you more productive, but also lightens the load we all place on minds every day.

 

The Burden of Inaction – A positive example

The Burden of Inaction – A positive example

A great example of what I mean when I write about the Burden of Inaction is from a day this week where I was working from home, and not due to start work until 8:30 am.  I got up 20 minutes earlier than I would have had I been travelling to the office, and managed to tick last nights dishes, a load of laundry, and emptying the kitchen bin from my to do list before 7:30am. This enabled me to crack on with my working day earlier than planned and with a caffeine free buzz of hitting the ground running, knowing that no matter how my work day started I had already ticked three things off my to do list.

I’ve found for an early bird such as myself, ticking one or two items no matter how small off of my to do list nice and early has a snowball affect.

For example, I frequently cycle to work, but went through a stage where I couldn’t be bothered, of course not completing this task resulted in some internal disappointment.  However I eventually got back on track once my mornings this task became the 3rd or 4th item on my to do list instead of my first.  By the time I had to decide whether to cycle to work, or take the lazy option and drive, I had already listened to a podcast, made breakfast and washed the dishes, so I was already warmed up to the idea of smashing through the next item on my to do list.

This snowball affect doesn’t just stop with the individual either, because those I share a home with are also positively affected.   Eventually somebody would have to wash those dishes or put the laundry in the washer.  So not only am I helping lighten a burden from inaction on their side, but I am also opening up free quality time to spend with them after work, as we’re not spending that time doing chores.