On selling out (or life in a corporate world)

This article is inspired by this nice musing by a former colleague Rica Facundo.

Several days ago, I was out with friends and ex-colleagues. Most of them are working as freelancers, which means they don’t need to clock-in every day to an office; they don’t have to “dress the part;” and they don’t have a boss.

What struck me was their idea of fulfilment. To them, it was using your God-given talent for something more meaningful and NOT wasting it away in some 9-to-5 job.

This got me thinking, “Does my job suck?”

A wiseman once said the best job that you have right now is the job that you HAVE RIGHT NOW. For me, when people tell you your life sucks because they feel you’re comfortable and you get to go home early and spend the evening with your kids and wife, I would politely tell them to f&&*^ o*(.

Life sucks when you don’t have a job. Life sucks when you’re always chasing the next meal. Life sucks when your kids, partner or even family are wondering why you’re always working late, but everything around you remains the same.

I am resilient. But I’m also NOT refusing every opportunity that is thrown at me. At my age, I take stock at things. I weigh them and think of my family over my own. I muse a lot these days. I think of the days when I was younger, when life was simple.

Does a corporate job suck at this time? No.

As Rica wrote in her blog, it’s all about mindset and culture. Of course, the people are quite important. People leave their jobs because of people (i.e. they hate their boss). People stay because of people.

Perhaps the next time my friends ask me if I should consider life outside of this corporate life, I would tell them it doesn’t matter what job you are doing right now, as long as you’re happy, and your NOT neglecting any people who matter to you in life.

Life is what you make it, as they say. It’s a bunch of decisions with consequences. There will be trade-offs. You choose which ones you’re willing to give up. This time, I’m happy where I am NOT because I’m working for a corporation. I am here because I’m learning from the best people who know great things that I don’t know.

Sounds cheesy, but that’s the truth. It’s just a job. It’s up to you to make it FUN and fulfilling.

Why you need to take a leap

I made a leap a few years ago. It was a career shifting move. I took a path that was uncomfortable and scary, to say the least. It was an unfamiliar territory. I was starting from zero to 1.

Two nights ago, I was with ex-colleagues and friends. We talked about our current situations. My former boss told me I was one of the outliers who took the extreme path. I went out of my comfort zone to purse a career that I was uncertain if I would succeed. But then I remembered another ex-boss telling me this: “Know thyself.”

People will put you down. Your company will frustrate you and sometimes kick you out. But you should remain resilient. The journey is what matters. In this journey, never lose yourself.

I heard myself sharing this mantra to a new-found friend who was at a crossroad. He was brilliant and yet his company didn’t see that. What was funny was he felt he was being punished for doing things that are unconventional. He  gave it his ALL, and yet the company was NOT acknowledging his contributions. He wanted to quit!

The above stories are fairly common. You may know of someone who was in similar situations. And there is nothing you can do but listen.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know the answers to life’s problems. My lessons in life are different from yours. We will all face challenges. And we will all go through low-points.

Today, I saw a film about Steve Jobs. The guy was not only brilliant. He was resilient. After he was fired, he didn’t muck around and took pity on himself.

Instead, he built a new company that would eventually show Apple what they were missing. What happened next was history: he got hired back, and was made CEO again.

Jobs took a leap of faith because he knew who he was. He was a visionary. He only wanted to put a dent in the universe. To get there, he was ready to shake up industries. He made people around him uncomfortable. But this happened because he had this thing called “reality distortion field.” When he was focused on succeeding, he abhorred mediocrity. He believed he could make insanely great products.

And he did.

What inspires you

During job interviews, I would often pose this question to any potential candidate: What makes you wake up and get excited about the day?

Try it. Ask anyone. See how they answer.

This simple question will reveal how self-aware one person is about themselves. Their answers will provide you some sense of their direction and their purpose in life.

In my case, I wake up in the morning excited to work because I know I’m making a difference. It’s a bonus if that difference also made people happy and inspired.

Take a leap of faith. Have fun. Dive in. Take a plunge. Swim. Get wet. It’s never too late to try out something new and fail, than regretting NOT doing it. Quit now if you’re tired. Resilience is NOT equal to submission or inaction.

Take a leap of faith. Throw yourself against the wind. Swim the other direction. Be THE red fish in a river-full of blue fish. Think the opposite. Take a full-circle.

Never wait. You have little time in this world.

Do you still own your blog?

Ownership of a blog means you own the domain, and you maintain and have it hosted on a third party service provider.

I have owned this blog for years now, and soon I will again renew my domain. I haven’t been very active here. But I wanted to keep the domain mainly for vanity! Nah. I want people to find my online persona quickly during a search.

I haven’t had time to update this personal blog, as I’m always on social. I’m more active in newer blog systems like Medium or this recent addition exposure.co.

So, do you still own your blog? Is it still necessary? For what purpose do you have it, if you cannot make money out of it?

My old-school self tells me, I’m going to keep this blog going for a few years. I just need to force myself to write more stuff here that would make sense for readers–my handful. Ha!

Okay, that’s one update. It ends here.

Movements & Change

Inertia: a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

When there’s movement, there’s an external force that is applied on matter that breaks the inertia. That’s one of the lessons I learned in physics.

Movement helps us stay healthy. Movement keeps music interesting and unpredictable. Movement makes pictures dance.

With movement, there’s change. And this is one fundamental reality of life in this universe. Movement allows us to experience night and day. Movement forms new continents. Movement equals life. Movement is hope.

Movement disrupts, shocks, and is discomforting. Movement can be radical and painful. Movement is inevitable.

We love and hate movements. As a child, I’ve always been told to keep still. Being steady was once marvelled. Today, no movement means boring, ho-hum.

As physics defines it, “this tendency to resist changes in their state of motion is described as inertia.” No movement is a choice; no a deliberate action, where action in itself implies movement…of the mind. Decisions…decisions…decisions.

Virtual reality is fake without movement and sound–sound is created by the movement of little hair follicles inside our ears caused by the waves of audible sound.

We cannot stay put. Our hands, our feet, and our body are all meant to move. We are once hunters and gatherers. We were nomads. We moved a lot until modern society forced us to sit down for eight hours in front of a blinking screen, answering every moving binaries translated by the movement of light in a contained in an emitting diode.

We experience movement when we give life. Movement gives life. Life is movement. But in movement, there’s time for rest.

Newton has indeed found one of the most fundamental truths about our universe. Our world is NOT capable of being in inertia. Movements will happen. Change HAS to happen.

This week, CHANGE did happen, and I have to welcome it with open arms.

 

New home, old domain

I’m moving to a new host (home), but retaining my old domain name. Now, I have to find more time to write new blog entries.

Welcome, welcome to my humble, virtual abode!

Just Me,

Erwin