Self Actualisation

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A few weeks ago, I started a process, quite by accident, that I realised today how to describe it:

I am going through self-actualisation through critical thinking, using my shedload of curiosity and open mindedness.

In short: I am self developing from scratch.

I can’t pinpoint the moment this started exactly, but in the past few weeks, I started to change how I viewed my life quite drastically. I started to truly listen to myself.

I realised I had attachment issues for instance and really wanted to get to the bottom of that. This resulted in cutting all connections, one by one, that were toxic, but also “noisy”. The ones that got me so engaged about someone else’s behaviour that I forgot to look at myself.

I started to listen to my thoughts, ideas and feelings, and started to look out there for people who discussed that kind of stuff. For instance, I had a lot of thoughts around religion(s) and so I started to seek what other people said. In doing so, some of my thoughts were confirmed, others developed, some were dropped.

It’s an amazing journey. The rewards some will tell you is attaining enlightenment. I believe that. Because I got a taste of that during my “episodes”. But this isn’t why I am doing this. In fact, I couldn’t tell you why I am doing this, it’s as if my psyche has decided to undertake the journey and I have no choice but to follow.

And it’s also really fun, because it takes you on a discovery journey. Near enough everything is new, and it’s up to me to discover what is true and what isn’t, and why it is so.

The people who are currently helping me on this voyage that I would recommend, listed in the order of my discovering them, are:

Attached – I fell on this book whilst searching for “Friend Zone” on Google. I bought it and quickly realised I had major attachment issues. I felt the only way to confront them was to detach myself from everything I could. So, hence the new Facebook account I mentioned, and removing most of my FB contacts on my standard account (I think I am down to 25 now): to gage my reaction and truly understand how those issues affected me. And of course start dealing with them, and you can’t do that surrounded by “noise”.

Live in the Moment – I fell on that when searching for “how do I stop missing someone”. And got hooked for a while, I read enough of his blogs that I “got it” (why living in the moment is a good idea). I haven’t revisited since but a great introduction to the basic idea. And it has a very simple exercise to get you to get it too.

You Are Not So Smart – I read both his books and they were an absolutely eye opener about “set” human behaviours that we aren’t aware of – the first book in particular explained what “synchronicity” was, it’s called Confirmation Bias (well actually there is a sub section to this bias the name escapes me at the moment and I have lent the book to a friend so it will have to wait).

This was a turning point for me because I suffered from this deeply when I was in psychosis mode and it messed with my head. I wouldn’t accept the theory that “my brain chemicals were messed up”, something particular happened there, which many psychotic people see as a sign from god or something, and I just wouldn’t buy that either. You will never understand how it felt to finally read in a “clever” book somewhere that there is particular term for this experience. And it is perfectly normal. (albeit in psychosis mode, it is so powerful it confuses you).

I haven’t listened to his podcasts yet but if it is anything like the books, they will be amazing.

Sam Harris – I fell on him via a comment someone made in a thread I was watching on a Science page from my new FB account. I decided to look him up because of how the person presented him to the owner of the page (who has an agenda I have realised I don’t adhere to) – “check him out you might learn a thing or two about how science and neuroscience and blah blah can work together”. I had been quite annoyed by the “Science” pushers by then and so I decided to look him up. Loved what I found. Absolutely. This guy takes open mindedness and reason to another level. I have listened to hours of his stuff! I am on a pause from him now but I have a book about Morals on its way and downloaded an audio book called “Lying” which I have paused. I have also bought “Islam for dummies” thanks to him because he has real strong views about Islam, as do I, but I wanted to check whether they could be “justified”. which bring me to:

Islam for dummies – get it if you want to understand about Islam. They (even Sam Harris ;-)) say “read the koran” but stuff that, the Koran is similar to the bible and it would bore me to death. And I want to truly understand what it’s all about, the Koran no doubt would confuse me. This by the way is a side line to all this – I have kinda moved on from caring about religions now, but I always had a curious interest about Islam so had to be checked out. So far loving the book. Very clear, very unbiased (ish).

Currently though I am immersed in this guy:

Leo – This guy absolutely talks my language. End of. I try and I try to find stuff that doesn’t make sense to me, and I just can’t. I did pick up on one thing though, he takes 50 supplements a day, bit of an overkill there 😉

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Why I Love My Job

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I work as an IT Service Desk Analyst and for the first time in my current job (four years ish) and really, ever that I can remember working in IT Support, a customer I was dealing with put the phone down on me mid-conversation.

I was pretty stunned. As I said, this has never happened to me before and I always praise myself that I give the best service ever to my customers!

What would you have done?

Well, I carried on dealing with his request, find the answers he was after, which I said I would but he cut me half way, and get back to him to let him know the outcome – he was asking for access to a licensed application I know our firm has decided to remove access to as people had been given other options. Still, I knew that decision hadn’t been put in stone just yet and I knew if I asked for him to still be given access, my wish would be granted – It’s funny, I am now realising that colleagues from other departments respect my opinion these days, and if I ask whether something can please be granted for a particular person, they trust me that it’s ok to say yes, They know I ask only when I feel there is a need and because of that “rules” can be bent for me slightly – Bent that is, never broken, I would never put anyone, let alone myself, in a position to have to break any rules at work.

In the time it took for me to check with the appropriate manager whether I could give that guy access, I got back to my desk with my answer (“Yes” :-)), I unlocked my PC and there, in my inbox, was an email from that chap apologising for being rude.

😀

That made me so happy. I replied thank you for your email and I understood he was frustrated. Then I told him I could give him access to the software and what was his mobile make/model to make sure I sent him the right one. He replied with the details, I replied, all done, let me know if any problems, and closed the call.

Voila.

I know for a fact that most, if not all my colleagues would have gone “fuck you” and forgotten all about it.

I couldn’t do that. See, I had seen he was out of the office on long sick leave earlier that day, I saw that because yesterday, I rescued an email from him with this request from a non-monitored mailbox where unfortunately, genuine emails fall in by mistake, so I took it upon me some time back to look at it every so often and deal with emails in there. It’s mainly out of office messages but occasionally some customers email it direct with their issues, when they shouldn’t use that address. The email address is not advertised however some people have seen it as it is also the email address our call logging system uses when we email directly from logged tickets. Nobody cares about that mailbox. I do because I think it’s bad customer service – we know there is a fail in the system that really isn’t our customers’ fault so it should be monitored. It’s mainly rubbish emails to be honest so just to be deleted, and really we don’t get many in there, maybe 4/5 a day. So it’s no effort to look through it. And all I do is reply, from the mailbox, to customers telling me to log it via the Portal or call the SD, and then I delete them so colleagues, should they bother look in there, not think they are just sitting there – I had asked for a process to be introduced to take it in turn for us to check it but it seems nobody gives a shit so I am the only one doing it.

Yesterday when I checked the backlog of emails in there, I had seen this chap’s request so had sent him the usual “log it via x or z” email and he replied (Grrr, didn’t he read my email, I said don’t use this email address!!) saying he doesn’t know how to log it via the Portal and should we consider removing the email address if it landed in a non-monitored mailbox.

So today, from my own mailbox, I emailed him back explaining where the portal was and why the address can’t be removed. That’s when I saw he was out of the office on sick leave (his Out of Office message popped up).

About 2 hours later, I pick up a call and it’s him – chances of that, since we are 7 on the same line!! So I know the history already, I greet him as if I knew him and what he wanted, starts talking about the email address thing and he said he doesn’t really understand what I am talking about but to forgive him he is high on drugs. Ok, so I explained to him his request is not straight forward because the company is removing the software and therefore I would have to check. He gets upset and explains he is off sick and he finds that software better than xx and could really do with it. And, just about when I am saying I would check, he puts the phone down on me! Half way through my sentence too! My mouth was actually wide open for a while, I was so stunned!

Again, what would you have done?

First off, no-one in my team would have got it because no-one does what I do (work behind the scenes to make sure customers are happy, eg monitoring that damn mailbox) so they wouldn’t have known the history so not understood his frustrations, ie getting an email saying log it another way, then getting told he couldn’t really have it anyway when he follows the right channel. Second, I can promise you they would have gone “Fuck you” and moved on.

Well, I just couldn’t leave it at that. I knew what he was after, I knew I could get it if I tried, so off I went and got it.

I will admit though, I really wasn’t sure how contacting him to tell him the “good news” was going to go, because I was still pretty stunned about his behaviour and wasn’t sure how to approach this. I was so so relieved when I saw his apology email…..

This is why I utterly love my job. Occasionally, you get a challenge where you get to prove how good you are, even if just to yourself. I only shared that story with the manager who had authorised the software see, I told him this guy had put the phone down one me – shock horror, but because me being me, I was still wanting to help him so could he please ok me giving him the software. I did tell him straight away too that I had got an apology.

I think this is why I love my job so much, I feel a true sense of empathy for our customers and every single interaction is rewarding to me. Oh and from the feedback I get, for my customers too.

And I guess because I don’t have that in my private life, ie pretty much no interactions with people, kinda my choice these days mind, I just can’t be bothered with people outside of work, it makes me appreciate my job so much more. I’m glad I am in a position where that innate feeling I have to help people, all sorts, is a major advantage. I never get frustrated with my customers – ever. I wish I could apply this in my private life 😉

A New, Better Facebook

Since my best friend and my husband walked off in the sunset some four years ago now, I am realising I have felt let down by people ever since.

And so recently I have made some adjustments in my life to get rid of that feeling. I no longer chase people’s frienships for instance, I have also learnt to accept that people are people and so that’s just the way it is, deal with it.

The biggest change however was removing all the local people from my Facebook account, along with dead weights or highly frustrating people.

I got fed up with having people on there who clearly didn’t care about what was going on in my life, yet were very active on Facebook for instance. You know, if you put something out there on your wall, you are kinda reaching out to your “friends” for their input. If you never get any input then it’s like talking to yourself in front of everyone you know. Pretty pathetic. Sometimes even awkward.

That’s the thing about Facebook: the fakeness, the hypocrisy, the fear of upsetting someone with a comment, the self-righteousness, the passive aggressive, plain aggressive, sarcastic, or preachy comments, the selfies, the fishing for likes, the “not a clue what you are talking about” statusses or attacks, the provocations you can’t respond to as you know your “friend” would get really offended by your views……the list goes on.

When you start looking at it with a bit of reculeas I have because I have very little to do in my spare time (mainly out of choice though, turns out I am a very lazy person on occasions) and so can look into that world in depth.

After a major clear out, nothing much happens on my newsfeed these days and I am finding myself less and less logged into my account and that is not a bad thing.

There is one thing about Facebook that I really got into for a while now though: I love reading comments, and sometimes contributing if the occasion fits, on Facebook pages, especially the most popular ones – Lad Bible being one. I also profile-surf: check out someone’s profile if I like their comment, and sometimes find a whole new world of stuff I haven’t come across before. Real good fun. Some profiles are so open you can really get into those strangers’ lives, it’s quite fascinating, a bit like when you meet someone for the first time in real life and find out more about them. (Except of course, it’s all virtual)

I find it really entertaining, and very educational. It teaches me a lot about human behaviour, and also my own behaviour. It has taught me to look at every side of the argument before making judgments too.

But I came across two problems.

One, peeps on my friends list could potentially see one of my comments appear on their newsfeed (and some of the pages I post to can be quite rude or un-pc), and two, you are really exposed when you comment on those threads, I have seen many an attack on people and they are brutal. I kid you not, a lot of people out there are pretty scary how nasty they can get.

Basically, I started to realise Facebook was turning into a massive forum, except historically, you contributed to those under a username, anonymously mostly. On Facebook, you are opened to the whole world, even if your profile is locked down, your name and profile pic are still available to everyone. And I tell you what I have seen enough shit going viral that there is no way I want to open myself up to the whole world like that. I couldn’t handle it.

Sooo I decided to create another account for the sole purpose to contribute however I see fit on those pages, under a nom de plume (actually, not that clever, just an everyday jo(e)).

Face Book

It took some adjusting – with no friends, it felt like being in a big empty room with no windows to start with – but now I have subscribed to a few choice pages, oh my god: I can be me, I can post/like whatever I want, where ever I want, I am allowed to make mistakes and not feel bad and I am loving it! I’m also starting to get likes from total strangers, for no other reason that they just genuinely liked my comment enough that they wanted me to know, how cool is that for the ego? 🙂

Being able to post what I want is extremely liberating. But do you know, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. For, even if anonymous to others, their comments will affect the real you so if you are going to put your thoughts out there, you need to be prepared for what comes back. Afterall, these people are not your friends, so they too can be however they choose to be. So not only you need to learn to express yourself in a measured way, you also need to be able to handle any crap that comes your way. It’s a skill. I am very cautious still, I think long and hard sometimes before commenting, especially during difficult threads (threads that have escalated) but do you know, it’s not a bad skill to learn, to think before you talk…a rarity on Facebook these days!

I am not in it to troll though so I have managed to stay out of firing line. My purpose is not about getting flamed or pissing people of. My purpose is about learning more about myself, people, and just being able to be myself 🙂