So, a psychologist sends me an email in response to our blog post on toxic behavior of yesterday, says, “Good start, Big Red Car, but you left out a few key ideas.”
“Oh, I did?” says I.
“Yes, don’t be such a snowflake. Take criticism as it’s intended — for your own good.”
So, here are the things I left out:
1. Stop being a drama queen. When you see the storm clouds on the horizon taking a dramatic form — run, don’t walk, away. Drama is part of the other stuff, but it is a different package.
2. Don’t be overly competitive — meaning don’t always have to win; don’t take things too far; recognize when you are rubbing people the wrong way. That creates friction. Friction absorbs energy and starts fires.
3. Kissing cousin of being overly competitive is becoming arrogant when you begin to believe your own press clippings. It pushes people away when you brag, humble brag, virtue signal, and put the tiara on your own head.
It also makes you appear self-focused the polar opposite of being compassionate and selfless.
4. Don’t sacrifice great gobs of your life to technology. It is, frankly, addictive (except if you are a Big Red Car writing a blog, then it is enervating and relaxing — NO, Big Red Car, wrong).
Addictions cost something — like having a genuine life with genuine relationships. The crypto currency of richness of your life is healthy relationships.
5. The world is changing at an increasing speed. The constant is change which calls for all of us to be flexible. The other day a chap says to your Big Red Car, “Swim in your lane, Big Red. Been doing this for 40 years.” Type of chap who doesn’t read instructions.
Turns out the home boy had been doing it wrong for 40 years. He then exhibited the humility to say, “Well, I’ll be damned. That’s how it’s supposed to be done.”
Be flexible and do not be stubborn.
6. Do not allow worrying about the future to consume your life force. Plan for the future, but don’t worry about it. Hard to do, easy to say, but something we all need to understand.
You can control the future more than the past — duh! You have to live in the present. You can plan the future. Get some help doing it.
7. Carry a mirror and don’t focus it on yourself. Do not be the first one in line for your life. When you consider the straits of others, you have to drop the mirror and focus on them. No selfishness. Respect. Mutual respect.
8. Understand the stages of grief and don’t get stuck. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are real, but you have to know where you are; you have to make progress through the continuum. Do not get stuck.
Ask for help when you get stuck. Make progress. Refuse to get stuck in one stage. Grieve well, but make progress. Know you will finish the journey, but you have to keep your feet moving.
9. Do not be afraid to speak out when you see something that requires attention. Pro tip: ask if someone wants advice before giving it.
“Would you like a side of advice with that cheeseburger?”
Bottling things up inside — talking to you “hate” — exacts a penance on the vessel, meaning you.
10, When you tackle the world do it in your own voice. Find your voice. Use it. Make it a sincere voice. When you deceive yourself, peace and joy are not welcome. People will love you for who you are. I promise you.
As we said before, the only normal people in the world are the ones we don’t know very well.
11, Do not manipulate others when you figure out what their buttons are. Don’t punch people’s buttons. They will eventually wake up and figure out who you are and what you are doing. They will not be happy and neither will you.
12. Greet the world with open arms, every day. Just as change is the constant, new experiences define change. Seek out new experiences like an explorer before the change is forced upon you. You will develop a skill in dealing with change and new experiences.
13. Saved the most important one for last — take care of yourself before you are in the hospital with others taking care of you. Know where you head is from the perspective of stress, energy, intellectual perspective.
Bring yourself back to some measurable equilibrium of physical condition, medical condition, energy balance, relaxation, and a reward for living.
Life is not supposed to be a hair shirt. It is not supposed to be a celebration of itching. You can have a camel hair blazer, but you don’t wear it camel hair side against your skin.
Be good to yourself even if it requires you to step back from your life to recalibrate your headspace and timing — haha, headspace and timing is some mojo about machine guns. Where did that come from?
Because if you don’t correctly set the headspace and timing on a machine gun, it doesn’t work. Not at all.
Same thing with you, amigo. If you don’t care for yourself, you will cease to function — first at optimum efficiency, but ultimately on the ragged edge of system failure.
Read that book. Take that walk. Go surfing. Get that massage.
So, there you have it, dear reader. Cut the toxic behavior II. Here’s where we started yesterday. Test in the morning, y’