15 Minutes - Today is New Year's Eve Eve Eve Eve

Hi. It's Joe.

Today is NYEEEE. That is to say, it is the eve of the eve of the eve of New Year's Eve.

What's your resolution? I hope it is a proactive one, like learning a new talent, rather than a retroactive one, like stopping a bad habit. If it is the latter, all I will tell you is this, be the change you want. No one is going to do it for you. If you really want to change, you can and you will. Just decide. Make it a reality. For example, imagining being a non-smoker, while smoking, will not cut it. There is no easy way out. You just have to commit. Whenever I want to change a behavior, I think of it as a challenge. I pretend that there is an army of demons working overtime to make me maintain the status quo, but I refuse to let them win. I am better than them. Another more positive strategy, but one that is a bit less effective, I think, is to do it for someone you greatly admire. You kind of make a pact with yourself: "I am going to do this for my wife."

Then, whenever temptation (by aforementioned demon hordes) threatens to waylay you from your resolution, you just envision what your admired "hero" would think if you succumbed. This has worked wll for me in the past.

But proactive resolutions are much better than retroactive ones. In 2012 (well, technically at the end of 2011...), I resolved to learn jazz piano (and Welsh, but that resolution kind of tanked, even though I stuck with it for a while...I am not perfect). I found a teacher and I started diligently practicing. I have been consistently advancing ever since. I am not yet anywhere close to awesome, but I am way better and I have "the bug" now to keep doing it. It is a positive "habit" and I couldn't imagine not doing it on a regular basis. When work and life get the better of me, I jones for it, and I try to carve out time for it every week. It's fun.

My proactive resolution for 2013 is to write my book. It is an exposee of corporate America told through the amusing quasi-fictional viewpoint of a social athropologist who goes into "the field" to study the humanoid (but somewhat soulless and non-sentient) creatures who inhabit the white collar alter universe. At the same time, it will be something of a self help guide for helping people maintain a healthy work life balance while laboring in the oppressive environment of corporate America. There is actually a form of natural selection that takes place in corporate America. The individuals who are best at conformity and un-creative, inside-the-box thinking are the ones who get selected to move up the corporate ladder into "alpha" status (management). These are usually the most buffoonish and douchy indivivuals that no one would ever want to date, which is why it is an alternate, reverse natural selection when paralleled with biological evolution. Middle managers have "corporate fitness" but almost zero "Darwinian fitness," as biologically defined. Conversely, the outspoken, value-oriented, outside-the-box workers in corporate America are usually relegated to storage room B, and never promoted because they like to rock the boat. The corporate entity likes the status quo, because its soul goal is making money.


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