Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Before I started this business, I did my time in corporate America. No me gusta! Not like I'm going to pretend that being self-employed is a non-stop combination of pony-rides and having multiple orgasms. But I
sold my soul worked for years in TV news, so even my worst day of being self-employed is better than having to, for example, sit in tedious meetings with certain shrewish, on-air (cough cough) "talent."
One thing I learned is that a great deal of surviving and even thriving in corporate America is learning the mind tricks which give you a psychological advantage over the hoi polloi. If you can focus on the positive, and ignore, as much as possible, the stupidity, the negativity, the endless meetings, the illiterate emails etc....well, you can actually succeed. For example, my friends in TV, who have done the best, have cultivated the ability to immediately stop thinking about the daily sh*t show that is their employer, the minute they walk out of the building. They leave the network for the day...and they leave that network, and all its nonsense, behind them.
Me, on the other hand? I'd be home, pacing, seething with rage, feeling my blood pressure dramatically rise, choking on my bile etc. I'd have made Ted Kaczynski want to say, "Hey, whoa, relax, get some perspective, it'll be okay, damn!" My friends? Oh, they'd be gardening, playing with their pets, enjoying their lives.
So, next time, you find yourself getting ready to waste another minute furiously brooding over some work "colleague," instead of placing an add on Craigslist, looking to hire a paid killer--which never works, trust me-- please try this at home, kids:
1. Identify to yourself the main person who make your life miserable, the worst offender.
2.Now: put aside, erase, forget, hit the mental delete key all your negative perceptions of him or her. It's as if you never met this person before. The next time you see them in the office, you have NO assumptions as to what he or she going to do or say. You're a professional, you expect them to be. You keep the interactions as short as civility allows and once it is over, it. Is. Over! No brooding, no nasty comments, no eye rolling.
3. If you are not interacting with this person, you will not allow yourself to think of them. No matter what. Your brain is a chalkboard and any memories concerning them and their unpleasant, hurtful behavior are letters written on that board, letters that are automatically wiped clean with a sponge. It's gone. Or else, if you find yourself brooding/worrying/cursing their behavior, you immediately STOP and start thinking of anything else: a good book, what you're going to eat for dinner, how nice it would be for Idris Elba to serve you breakfast in bed, a happy memory from childhood, porn, lyrics to a song,...ANYTHING. You do this until you have trained yourself not to think about these person. You do this until you've liberated yourself from wasting your time.
Listen, this is not rocket science--thank god, right--it's simply learning how to break the negative patterns that are holding you back. Because, guess what: when you waste time hating someone else...you're wasting your own time.
True story: when I was starting out in TV news, I had one certain co-worker, who seriously drove me insane. (Admittedly, not a very long drive but whatever.) This girl irritated me beyond belief. Just the sound of her voice made me start daydreaming about strangling her...slowly. V-e-r-y slowly. In hindsight, I think it was because she was so incompetent...and she didn't care. She eventually married a relatively big name at the network, but since she was so horrendous at her job, even marrying (kinda) well, didn't help much, and her on-air "career" ended pretty much as it began. (No, I'm not giggling with evil glee. Please. I'm roaring with laughter that she couldn't even f**k her way to the top, I'm chortling, I'm doing a happy dance at what a moron she was. Come on, you know me: I own this shit!) Anyway, do you want to guess how many hours/days/weeks I spent complaining about that girl to everyone and anyone? I wasted days hating this chick. Days of my life which I shall never get back. Think she wasted any time on me? Exactly. She was off flirting with the man she was about to marry, she wasn't worrying about me and my rage!
This is how you break negative patterns: you train yourself not to engage in them. You train yourself to do the hard stuff, which in the end, turns out to be easy, since it's much harder to remain stuck in negative patterns. These people are not going to change. Such is life. But you can change how you let someone else's behavior
if you're going to let another person's behavior affect you.
Because these people know that they have the power to make you miserable..and so they do it. On the other hand, if you were indifferent to them, if you truly never thought of them...they might change their tune, or you might see that they're just like you, and that they're simply trying to make themselves feel less powerless...
Want more hints or fun TV stories? Sure you do! Email me @firstname.lastname@example.org