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So, what major life lesson are you learning right now?(26 posts)

So, what major life lesson are you learning right now?js5280
Jan 29, 2003 10:11 AM
Thought I'd throw something different out on the non-cycling discussion forum. My, uh, free time has given me the opportunity to be more introspective lately. I was thinking this morning it would be interesting to hear what major life lessons people are currently learning or recently learned. For me, this one particular life lesson keeps going through my mind. Basically it's not taking rejection so personally and it has permeated most aspects of my life here lately. I never was one to take rejection too personally in the first place. However, lately I feel like I've taken it to another level. I think its freed me to be myself more and not worry so much about what others think. At the same time though, I feel like I'm developing more credibility with others, something else I'm working on.

For example, in my professional life, it's just been a matter of survival to deal with rejection. I've been out of work here going on 10 months. I took a little time off, I never did that before, to do some travel and have some fun, but there was a good 4-5 months were I was putting out 5-15 resumes a week for realistic job opportunities. I had only one positive response that whole time, and that was just a single email that never panned out. I slowed my search in Nov and Dec to look at Masters programs (long term goal) and found one (M.S. Management at Regis University) I really liked. Then I started putting out resumes and applications to local restaurants and a couple other organizations for decent paying part time jobs. Again, only one positive response. Went in twice, even talked to the restaurant owner, but no job offer. Have to admit, my ego has taken a bit of flogging. Fortunately I'm able to keep my head barely above water with student loans for the time being. It's a bit hard nowdays to stay motivated on the job hunt, but I try not to let things slow to a trickle. Conversely, I'm easily as happy, even much happier than I've ever been despite I only made about a 1/3 of what I made at my last job. I hated my last job but it paid really well. Still I wouldn't mind having the financial freedom I once had and I'm going to have dig myself out of debt financing here for the next few years. Regardless, this is probably my best year ever.

Not personalizing rejection has helped me a lot in my personal relationships as well. I'm a single guy, on the downhill side to 32. Despite not having a lot of cash I've been dating as often as I'd like (or can afford) with success. Not necessarily long term success, but women I genuinely enjoy spending time with and they don't seem to mind I'm a jobless bum with a cycling problem ;-) This past year or two, even when things aren't successful, I take it in stride and it's always been amicable. I remember taking relationships a lot more seriously and the disappointment I felt when things didn't work out. I'm kind of curious if this a 30s male thing. Women frequently talk about men in their 30s as being different. I probably wouldn't even recognize myself as I was about 2 years ago in this respect.

Another important result of not personalizing rejection is I'm finding a lot less hesitation to enter conflict. Something else I'm working on in both my own personal and professional development. I've never been a big fan of conflict, I had a pretty harmonious upbringing and I'm an only child, so no sibling rivalries to contend with either. Nowadays I'm not hesitant to seek out conflict, particularly when it's needed. Before I would probably shy away from those opportunities. When people don't agree with me, even though they're wrong (e.g. politics here at RBR ;-), I can accept that and slip into patient and persistent mode when I do need to get my point across. While it's been a disappointing year in terms of dollars and career, that's really about it. I think I'm much happier now and have a better outlook on the future and where I need to be heading
So, what major life lesson are you learning right now? (pt. 2)js5280
Jan 29, 2003 10:12 AM
Anyways, I was curious to other people’s experiences in their own personal development and thinking that sharing those might be of interest. However, if you want to flame on about Dubya, SUVs, those wacky Iraqi’s, lying millionaires, and Kristin’s hemline, those options are still available! Thanks for listening and your feedback over the years here at RBR.
Dating?Fez
Jan 29, 2003 12:15 PM
I'll bet one of the 1st things a date or a potential date asks is what you do for a job.

Is that awkward for you? If not, are the women OK with it?

Years ago, when I was leaving an old career and starting a new one, I took a few months off and I became aware of how much we are defined by what we do. Almost everyone I met asked what I did for a career. I never noticed while I was still at my job, but I took notice once I was no longer at the job.
Dating?js5280
Jan 29, 2003 12:57 PM
I'm straight forward whenever I meet anyone new, I'm unemployed. It's limiting in the sense I can't wine and dine women traditionally. Something I enjoy and miss, my happiness comes in part from being generous with the people I care about. That generousity though is only limited in terms of the wallet for right now. There are some women it's just not practical to date right now even though I don't consider them to be materialistic in the least. You need to be roughly on the same path so you're not asking the other to make significant lifestyle sacrifices. Hopefully though they realize that it's not like I was a construction worker making $19K without a reality TV show. I made good money in technology consulting and there are LOTS of people like me who are out of work. We still have a lot to contribute, but that sector has been absolutely hammered along with every other sector. When that happens, it's extremely difficult to switch fields because employers have their choice of well-qualified candidates already. Have to take the bad times with the good. Some women have been unemployed themselves so they know we're not losers, it's just the reality of the times.

You do have to be more creative and have someone more accepting. Those are definate positives in a mate though. Work is a large part of our lives, but hopefully we males have other redeeming qualities besides our current income. Women don't necessarily need a provider anymore. They can take care of themselves financially. I think I have a lot more to offer now than when I had a great paying job I hated. In my experience, if you dislike your job, that will carry that over to your personal life and it will be diminished. Right now, I'd much prefer more clarity and sense of purpose in a job I enjoy vs. one that I'm just paid well for. This whole experience will make me a better person, guarenteed.
ongoing and new lessonsDougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 10:17 AM
1. Your child is the most important thing in the world. Everything else is secondary.

2. Not everyone will agree on anything. It's ok to have beliefs that others disagree with; there is no avoiding it. Some people see the entire universe from a totally different perspective, and it can be impossible to reconcile their beliefs with your own. You can still get along, though.

3. Some people are just plain jerks. Nothing personal.

4. Things always seem to work out ok in the long run.

5. If you like where you are, don't gripe about how you got there.

Doug
you're single and don't own a house right?ColnagoFE
Jan 29, 2003 10:43 AM
with a wife, 2 young kids, and a mortgage to pay i don't often have the luxury of ditching my job to go travel. i ditched my previous job for a variety of reasons and eventually got a higher paying but not really more satisfying job. during the time i was looking for another job i didn't really have a lot of fun because i felt i needed to spend all my time looking for another job and felt guilty for just bumming around. right now the life lesson i'm learning is to suck it up because the alternative of not having a job or having to work somewhere for peanuts with no benefits is not a great option at this point. then again if i was truly miserable i know i could eventually fins something else, but i'd have to give it a bit more thought than if i was single since it's not just me that would be affected by my choice.
Nope, own a townhome. . .js5280
Jan 29, 2003 11:31 AM
it's nice (3B/2B) but modest, I bought it 7-8 years ago so I don't pay much more than you would to rent a 1 bedroom. I don't have a car payment although I drive a 95 Altima. Not exactly bling-bling. My health insurance is a lot cheaper now through school but not nearly as comprehensive. I agree having a family does change things significantly. That's why I went on the trip; you don't always get time, money, and freedom so I took it. I didn't exactly ditch my job, I was laid off, no new projects for me to work on. Other than being laid off, I haven't taken more than a week and half off from my career since 1994. I'm not exactly the free-living, irresponsible type and if could find a decent, or even moderately so job, I'd take it.

Being single isn't all its cracked up to be financially. You can go a lot farther on a dual income. Buy a nicer house which appreachiates greater value, split fixed expenses like phone, cable, internet, etc. and have some additional efficiences of scale for food and insurance, except health insurance sadly. You have more discretionary income available for retirement, kids, trips, fun, etc.

I can totally understand the pressures of being the sole family earner, it's unfortunately a tough job with tax burdens and child care expense nowadays. Unless you're both well paid, it's usually cheaper to be single income. There are certainly benefits to that though. At least you know who's raising them. Also, you get to raise a child and have them in your life, what's that worth to you? I bet a lot. Someday I think I'd like to have kids but it's not a pre-requisite to my own happiness. Got to find the right women first and see if it's in the picture or not. Life is for living.
you've got a great attitudeColnagoFE
Jan 29, 2003 1:06 PM
I wish I could have been as level headed as you seem to be when I was looking for my last job. Near the end things got a bit panicky and I was getting mighty depressed at the thought of having to go apply at McDonalds soon. Actually my wife works part time as a personal trainer so she has really flexible hours. If I got laid off (a real possibility these days in the tech sector) she could just work more and I would watch after the kids. So in that sense it relieves me somewhat. Very true though that working a job you hate is a bad deal no matter what you get paid. I'm not crazy about my current job, but weighed against losing my income and the state of the current IT job market it looks pretty good so I think I'll stick around unless they decide to package me.
Trust me, all it would take is a car payment or no student loansjs5280
Jan 29, 2003 1:32 PM
and I would be WAY into panic mode. Appreachiate your accolades but I'm not superhuman. A little bit of luck, I was going to buy a new car the same month I was laid off, and a little bit of planning, what hell can I do to pay my bills without having to take whatever job I can? If you don't have a degree or Masters, it's good option when times go sour. I wanted to go back to school anyways so it was win-win. Stafford student loans are about 3.5%, much cheaper than credit cards. Also I've heard if you go to night classes, so you can still look for a job full time. You can get student loans and unemployment to help you through. My employment ran out some time ago and I'm not eligible for the extension. I'm very happy I live well within my means otherwise my life would be absolute chaos. I'm not out of it yet, I'm just treading water for now. Can't do that forever.
Bravo,eyebob
Jan 29, 2003 11:00 AM
As a fellow (though slightly older) 30-something I too am learning these same things. My take on it is this. I think that many many people are brought up with a lack of self-esteem (to one degree or another) and that this is the root of many of our personal, job, social short comings. It took me a long time (and therapy after my divorce to finally BEGIN to understand why and how I acted up to this point. I am different in my 30's than I was in my 20's, but the same too. That isn't a paradox. I didn't change as much as I just allowed myself to recognize why I acted as I did and that brought me to a higher awareness of what I really want to be like. My abilities to act with this higher awareness were always there, but needed to be brought out. I finally stoppe fighting the self-esteem stuff, took it by the horns and got on with life. Confrontation isn't a problem, I'm not passive aggressive (how many of us are still?!!!) and I'm not anxious about what I cannot affect.

This is what's changed and the lesson that I've learned. It's pretty interesting to see what type of people I attract (actively and passively) into my life because of this "change." I look forward to more awareness and to see where it takes me. One thing's for sure, I'm not setting my feet too firmly into the gound because I don't want to miss the next bit of my life.

BT

PS Excellent topic young man!
Watch out! We're getting deep, insightful, and sh$t.sn69
Jan 29, 2003 11:18 AM
Czardonic and Doug won't know what to do with themselves!

Truth be told, it really is about the journey rather than the destination no matter how cliche or pretentious that sounds. I'm also 30-sumthin' and previously married (gawd...this is starting to sound like a 12-step or a bad Dr. Phil episode--like there're any good ones).

I think I learned that awareness is only part of the equation, though. The other two critical elements are direction and openess. The former suggests that we actually have to set goals and targets in life, but the caveat to that is found in the sublime brilliance of the latter. That, in turn, suggests that if/when we don't achieve a goal, we shouldn't turn it into a negative, for new opportunities often abound if we're open-minded enough to realize them.

Those were the largest lessons I learned from my first marriage, and I sincerely think they put me on a path that eventually lead to my second marriage, which by all measures is terrific.

Remember...when life hands you a bucket of sh$t,...make poop juice.

=)~
I shouldn't rant/rage on message boards nmPdxMark
Jan 29, 2003 11:20 AM
Oh, come on. Call me an idiot again!OldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 12:03 PM
LOL - an apology - we had a bad election day here in ...PdxMark
Jan 29, 2003 3:04 PM
Oregon yesterday. It's not an excuse, but the context for my testiness. And then to see that I was baited!! So, I guess it's OK that you reproduced, afterall. Glad I could give you a good laugh.
Bad day in Oregon indeed, andOldEdScott
Jan 30, 2003 7:11 AM
on the issue of taxes/schools too! I guess I DID choose a bad day to feign tax nihilism!

Go Ducks!
The basic onesmohair_chair
Jan 29, 2003 11:39 AM
- Life isn't fair
- Dreams don't always come true
- Sh!t happens

Call me a cynic, but once you accept these simple truisms, life stops being about the end-game and becomes the journey along the way.
re: So, what major life lesson are you learning right now?Alpedhuez55
Jan 29, 2003 11:41 AM
I am trying to learn put myself first again. Three years ago I had a real tough time in life. I moved back home to help take care of my mother after she had a stroke. I was in a miserable job situation. I had an ex-girlfriend who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with dump me at a very low point in my life. I stopped caring about life and my health and well being suffered.

It took me more than two years to start feeling passion for anything again. I made a lot of sacrafices over the last few years. I needed to start living my own life again. To be happy, I need to start putting myself first more often. Hopefully the coming year will bring me a new job, a relocation to another part of the country and a fresh start on life.

Mike Y.
re: So, what major life lesson are you learning right now?Fez
Jan 29, 2003 12:27 PM
What's with being less hesitant to seek out conflict?

And I hope you mean nonviolent situations where real issues exist and not a stupid situation involving a drunk in a bar just trying to pick a fistfight for no reason.

As I age I find myself avoiding conflict, unless the situation really warrants my attention.
Confrontation, not Conflict.eyebob
Jan 29, 2003 12:38 PM
Not the in-your-face senseless bravado B.S. that the word may imply, but more the sense that you (as a person) should want to address the short-comings you see. Whether in your own life or in others. Confrontation more resembles "standing up for you (and others)" more than "picking a fight."

BT
OK, but the original post said "conflict"Fez
Jan 29, 2003 12:43 PM
Maybe the original poster can clarify.

But I think if you are talking about addressing shortcomings pertaining to yourself, I think you what you mean is grabbing the bull by the horns and NOT living in denial.
Conflict in the sense of confronting ideas not physicality. . .js5280
Jan 29, 2003 1:07 PM
A little secret, only children make for crappy fighters. We miss out on years of hand-to-hand combat training and bruise easily :-)

Actually this seems from a class I'm taking. How many of us are stymied in our jobs, or lives, because of some underlying issue that doesn't get addressed? Why don't we address it? Fear of conflict? Fear of failure? Fear of being judged for our opinions? That doesn't mean be an obstinate jerk or shove your opinion down everyone's throat. Those are most likely the people most fearful of conflict thus use intimidation to get their way.
The key is Fear.eyebob
Jan 29, 2003 1:36 PM
Not the traditional fight or flight type of fear, but the insideous type. The type that leads to the self-doubt. That's the key. To get beyond that once you recognize it is the key. To really get over it probably isn't practical, but to recognize it in your life (kinda like recognizing that procrastination directly stems from this insideous type of fear) and work with it is all that you can do.

BT
Sounds like you're figuring it outcarnageasada
Jan 29, 2003 12:40 PM
One of my favorite writers is a relatively obscure philosopher named Cioran. Most of what he says is readable though it often goes over my head. To paraphrase my favorite qoute: "The only lesson one must learn in life is how to lose."
How true. . .js5280
Jan 29, 2003 1:51 PM
The challenges in life are indeed losses. Loss of loved ones, loss of health, loss of ability, loss of hope, etc. Those are the truly difficult lessons of life. I saved the quote and will have to read more about Cioran (first name Emil right?) Thanks for sharing it.
Step 3.Spoke Wrench
Jan 29, 2003 3:19 PM
"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood Him.

That's from page 59 of the AA big book. I suspect that I'm a quite bit older than you, but it sounds to me like there are a lot of similiarties in our life tracks. Anyway, I attribute the progress I've made on Step 3 with generating a lot more serenity in my life. The material aspects of my life seem to be progressing better than they did when I tried to control everything too.
Parents don't sleep.Matno
Jan 29, 2003 3:48 PM
I used to think it was just parents of new babies...