My addictions strangle me when I’m unable to cope with situations. Hearing bad news kills. Chilling, defined here as succumbing to any addiction, then feels acceptable. If you’re anything like me, we need to re-enforce our defenses, rather than ask that the constant barrage of life’s perhaps-positives and perhaps-negatives cooperate with us. It would be nicer to have a conflict-free life. That won’t happen. Let’s instead try figuring out how to build up our defenses.
I was feeling stressed out until Gogol Bordello kicked into the chorus of “Break the Spell,” just as I’m usually always despondent after hearing bad news, until I breathe in deeply and accept the circumstance. No one died, nor will die because of this. It’s unfortunate, sure, but that makes for good writing fodder, so get over it! That’s not meant to be callous or superficial. It’s just acceptance is the first step toward resolution.
I think we fear interviews because of uncertainties. There are infinite factors outside of our control, and remember to “relax, nothing is under control.” What might be under your control? Yourself! Control your physical fitness by resting, eating well, staying hydrated, and arriving early. Control your mental fitness by finding something humorous to enjoy beforehand. Control the interview by preparing yourself with one flexible story that you can build on throughout the conversation. Here’s mine:
I don’t remember what stressed me out enough to possess me to drive home on my lunch break, drink enough 190-proof grain alcohol to get wasted almost immediately, before driving back into work to finish my shift. That event’s cleared out of my memory. It was certainly trivial, like someone saying something in a particular way I didn’t like or some process not working as it should, because I’ve encountered many harsher situations while sober.
Today marks five years since I last drank. I’ve since been in many bars, been around many people drinking, but have had good enough friends to respect me, and steward me through. “If I saw you with a bottle in your hand, I’d knock it out and ask ‘what the hell are you doing?’” My external resilience has enough fortitude to endure pretty much anything now. I think it’s the internal weakness that kills us.
I don’t meditate like most people. Traditional practice asks that you should empty your mind, clear your thoughts, and calmly sit. While I’ve had some success with this method for reaching thought equilibrium, I’ve had more success in float tanks (or when I have downtime) letting the errant thoughts freely roam, with the most success occurring after going in with challenging questions that need time to develop, like a photo of an unclaimed optimal future.
Some offensives I still carry even years after the one I offended forgave me. Maybe that weight subconsciously helps me avoid making similar mistakes? Maybe I haven’t forgiven myself for these transgressions? Maybe that’s the sting of ego’s pride against my intentions of living a good and decent life? How about those we’ve wronged that we can’t reach out to again and ask for forgiveness? Can we assume through symbolism that they’ve finally forgiven us?
I used to profoundly respect anyone’s opinion. It’s not that I’m some kind of awful curmudgeon now. More that I refuse to freely accept anyone’s subjectivities about the world, or myself, until I’ve listened with my empathically critical ear to validate their true intentions. If the argument is reasonable enough, I’ll buy it. If not, I move on with my life. Why obsess over negative thoughts? Why not forget and carry on? That’s easy, right?
I have the technical aptitude, mental fortitude, and capacity to learn a few higher paying skills in my field. I’ve turned them all down. One director was stunned at my no. This is because I realized the work that will inspire me to wake up at 4AM to start my day is not and will never be their work. When you find that work, it’s easy. How do you find that work? Gotta dig deep.
199 pages leaves no padding to hide behind. Eloquent sweet nothings are not present here. “Jocko” Willink doesn’t pull any punches with Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. He is on a singular mission to teach us how to combat the lazy or unmotivated moments that unsuspectingly tempt us with “sugar-coated lies” found in fast food or unearned leisure. These are your enemy if you have any ambitions or if you want to keep what you’ve earned.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]