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See your annoying misery transform into a really inspiring story...

The Art of Not Always Being Right

Ego, we all have it. It is a part of our defense mechanism. Nature has ingrained upon us an intrinsic capability to defend ourselves from harm. But ego is more than protecting yourself from physical harm; it is a trait of human beings to project an image that they are better than anybody else -- that they are not going to allow themselves to be stepped on.

Again, it is natural for you to shield yourself from something or someone whom you deemed as hurtful and dangerous to your reputation. That having said, there are times when the best way to safeguard yourself is to not let your ego be the bulwark of your mental and emotional state.

Can Arguments Really Change Minds?


Have you chanced upon memes on the Internet similar to this?

meme-about-arguments

Well, I have seen several. The thing is, how many of you engage in an argument with the intention of being enlightened? I bet you argue with a person because you want to prove his/her belief is wrong -- meaning, you want that person to be enlightened, not yourself. Yet, that person also wants you to agree on what he/she believes is right. Even if you have not begun your discussion yet, both of you are at the disposition that you will not change your minds on account of the other’s arguments.

No, I am not discounting the capability of debates and forums to encourage democratic exchange of ideas, especially when there is a need to make new or revise old policies, rules, and laws that govern societies. In fact, debates do have a power to enlighten minds but mainly on the audience listening and watching the discussion, especially when it is done in public fora.

If you are a lawyer, politician, or policy maker, then arguing your ideas is your best tool to get your message across and fulfill your duty to your clients and constituents.

The Enjoyment You Get when You Prove Yourself Right


Human beings has this deep-rooted sense of (self) righteousness. How pleasurable it is to feel smart and to project an aura that you are ahead of others even in minute yet petty aspects, such as winning arguments. Vanity is almost always enjoyable especially when it is satisfied.

The thing is, being right is not the end of the satisfaction; the other party must acknowledge that you are right and he/she is wrong. Until the other side bows down to your will and accepts his/her defeat, then there will not be any pleasure in that.

Yet, how many times have you ruined your peace of mind just to shove your doggedness on a friend, sibling, coworker, partner, or spouse? Does it delight you when you wound and leave a scar on your relationships? Instead of making friends and solidifying alliances, you create hostilities against your reputation.

Have you ever lost your appetite during dinner because of a heated argument with a family member? Or have you seen people ruin a happy party because they let their emotions take control due to some wrangling they are involved in?

There are times when battling people in an argument is not as beneficial as you think. Wisdom and utmost humility is needed to choose which battles you need to win or simply walk away from. Do not let strong emotions govern your words. Learn how to disengage yourself from heating up lest you burn yourself and those close to you.

golden-rule-of-arguing



Photo Credits:

I Am Right - You Are Wrong - Change My Mind meme created/edited by I.T. Romulus via Memegur.com

Golden Rule of Arguing quote meme created/edited by I.T. Romulus, image from Pixabay.com c/o 3dman_eu

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Types of Behavior when People Reach Middle Age

“Zero bitterness! … even if there’s less hair and a few more inches around the waist,” says a 40 (something) old man in a low-calorie beer commercial. The obvious thing about growing up to middle age and senior years is that it shows its evidence on your physical appearance (unless you are one of the lucky few whose body cells are resistant to it). For many, this is something they fear about; but there are those who welcome it with open legs. (Oops! That ain’t right).

The number 40 is a mark that someone has undergone a stage of processing and trial. In Judaism and Christianity, 40 is used as a symbol of cleansing, preparation, and instruction. So it goes to say that when a man (or woman) reaches the age of 40, he/she has gone through a lot of wayward things already. Well, probably not that many as he/she will continue to age and grow with more experience. Besides, maturity is not the same with everybody.

40-and-above-people

Unwittingly, people who are 40 and above are this website's majority of audience. Is it because its message is more applicable to 40 and up folks or is it because such audience are the ones who can relate to its teasing conveyance?

So, whether you are in your 40’s (and up) or you are about to reach this age range, here is something that you may want to be aware about -- the types of behavior shown by people who reach their 40’s.

Find out the miseries you may encounter once you turn 40.

1. The In Denial


How many people have you met who lie about their age when asked about it? Why are some folks (especially the middle age ones) get annoyed when age is being talked about? And why the heck is it offensive to ask grown-ups about their age when it is OK to do so if you ask a child or teenager?

The reason? Most of them are in denial that they are “not young” anymore. According to study, the stage of youth ends by your 35th-39th year. This is why we describe 40 and up folks as middle aged (with the exception of those who are 60 and above). The attitude of denying one’s age is not exclusive to middle aged people; you can find this behavior in individuals who are young as 20.

What is it in being young that many people want to associate themselves with? Humans have an intrinsic perception that youth begets strength, sharpness of mind, good health, and more opportunities; while growing old is incidentally linked to weakening of the body, deterioration of memory, and lessening of opportunities. The younger you are, the better.

The thing is, that is not the whole picture. Growing up and growing old is also associated with better and more positive things, such as maturity, wisdom, and resiliency. Besides, all those bad stuff mentioned above can all be avoided (or delayed) by applying all the knowledge in health and nutrition humanity has accumulated throughout the years.

2. The Health Paranoid


So much for adults denying their age… So you acknowledge that you are in your middle age. With such acceptance, you become aware of the changes in your health needs. You become conscious of every body pain you feel, thinking that it might be a symptom of some major disease associated with ageing. So you gorge yourself with every bit of literature online and offline regarding medical research on such sensations.

Instead of being appeased, you become more paranoid as you begin to be aware of health disorders you are not even sure you have. The best way to resolve this issue is to go to the doctor and have yourself checked. Yet, instead of doing so, you retort, “No, I don’t wanna go to doctors. They might ask me to go through some blood test and whatever hoola-hoola test there is. Then the tests might show some sickness I never heard of. Gosh! I am afraid.”

The heck! So you are afraid of doctors that you would rather rely on some medical website to provide you all the answers to your health questions. Well then, go ahead and feed your paranoia.

3. The Look Worrier


They say #3 in this list is more common to women than men. Well, I doubt it. I have observed both men and women become (overly) conscious of the changes on their physical looks once they reach or are about to reach middle age. Vanity depends not on gender but on the disposition of each man or woman.

Everyone wears an “emotional” mask. Yet, the easiest and most obvious way to mask yourself is through your physical appearance. Combine this with the “in denial” syndrome and you get to stew your mind on how to best hide those wrinkles and silver hair coming in. The thing is, who the heck in human history started to connote wrinkling and graying hair as unsightly? Mind you, there are many people who get better looking as they age.

If you are 40 and up, no need to worry about your looks because there are surely bigger things to think about (wink). Remember the age-old saying...

what-is-beauty

4. The Unaware


On the onset, the unaware and the in denial will behave the same. The difference? The latter deliberately shows it while the former is just not aware that they are 40 or up. Oh yeah, they probably are not oblivious of their actual age; it is just that they are ignoring the many changes happening with their body. They still party all night, drink (alcohol) excessively, smoke, and do other vices thinking that their bodies are the same as when they were in their 20’s.

Aside from ignoring the fact that such vices are taking a toll on their health, they are also behaving in a manner that marks the lifestyle of a callow teenager. I just hope that this kind of behavior does not lead them to a life-threatening disease brought about by an untempered way of life.

Learn how adults can think and act like a teenager.

The unaware adults think that age is just a number, which is rightly so and they should be commended for it. However, they just cannot comprehend that there are some things a 40 and up person should avoid on account of family life and good health.

5. The Wisdom Monger


There is no definite age for maturity. It comes differently on different people. You may see yourself as mature but others may not find the same. Or you may think of someone as immature but, in reality, he/she has accumulated wisdom you do not even know yet. Experience and environment mold a person’s maturity, and wisdom is a friend to those who have experienced much struggle.

The thing is, you cannot deny that 40 and up people have many years of experience and struggle is not a stranger to them. In fact, they recognize that struggle is inevitable as long as you live in this world. They have come to the realization that there are more important things in life other than gold and glory. They have become wisdom mongers.

Wisdom mongers desire to embrace life with all its imperfections -- not ignoring and not denying that they too are imperfect.



Photo Credits:

40 and Above People c/o ThinkStockPhotos.com

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Meme created/edited by author via Imgur.com
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Bitterness Can Make You Sick

The only thing bitter I know that’s healthy is the ampalaya vegetable. Besides, your mouth will instinctually reject anything that tastes bitter. Nature has given your tongue a capacity to abhor bitterness, because oftentimes, something bitter is an indication that what you put into your mouth is poisonous.

You might retort, “Do you mean that I should not take medicines because they taste bitter?” Well, in fairness to medical professionals, you are not supposed to take meds if your doctor did not advise you to do so. Any medication can become a poisonous drug if it is not prescribed by a trained and licensed medical specialist.

ill-man-tormented-by-life-miseries
An ill man next to his empty hearth tormented by the miseries of life

Bitterness is not only something tasted by the tongue; it is also an emotion felt by the soul. It is a feeling that can disturb your peace and contentment. Here is the thing, many people would rather savor the feeling of bitterness to the point that it would cost them their happiness, than get rid of it from their system.

1. The bitterness of loathing and unforgiveness


How many people have been destroyed because of an unforgiving heart? The thing about unforgiveness is that it consumes the one who harbors the grudge rather than the person who is the object of such loathing.

The deceptive satisfaction that you get when you are angry at someone is that you think you can even the odds once you get your revenge on the person you have a grudge with. Yet, even if you do get your chance for it, you only worsen the ill-feeling you have inside. It does not dissipate. You thought you had your retribution? No, you only exacerbated the cycle of hurt and resentment.

The only way to get rid of the bitterness of hate is to let go and forgive.

2. The bitterness of unquenchable envy


What makes the feeling of envy stings is that it causes you to ignore your own blessings while coveting what you see as others possess, thereby abandoning the happiness of savoring your own peace of mind. It gives a gypping perception that you are inferior than the person who is the object of your envy.

Beware of this bitterness because envy is both a ghost and a monster than can eat up even the happiest human being if such emotion is not contained and subjugated.

Read and learn about the Two Heads of the Green Eyed Monster called envy.

3. The bitterness of unfulfilled desire


Having an ambition is not bad. How can it be, especially if you are aspiring for magnanimity? Desiring to be in a better state is something to be commended for.

Google Dictionary defines the word “desire” as “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.” Woah, a strong feeling of wanting -- that is a very impetuous phrase! Imagine how frustrating and disappointing if such feeling is never requited.

Read and find out How to Contain Frustration and Disappointment.

There are 2 ways to avoid this kind of bitterness:
  • You let it go (especially if it is not realistic).
  • You act on it so you can reach its fulfillment.

A man by the name of Joel A. Barker once said, “Vision without action is merely a dream.” So it is with any plan or goal you have; if you do not act on it, it remains but a mere dream -- a dream that can hound you obstreperously even in your restful moments. Yet, you are apprehended from acting on it. Is it because you are afraid to fail? You should not be, because it is better to fail in pursuing your vision rather than not knowing whether you can accomplish it or not. Your failure may even teach you a lesson or 2 -- something that can benefit you eventually.

4. The bitterness of despair


The worse bitterness of all is when you have lost all hope. The thing is, given the harsh reality of the world you live in, it is hope that is keeping you going. It is the fuel that pushes you to love and act upon what makes you fulfilled and happy. Without it, it is tantamount to losing life itself.

Who does not know Judas Iscariot? Scholars say that history’s condemnation of his character was not because he betrayed his Master. It was because he despaired and, by doing so, he eventually took his own life. Judas underestimated the power of the Master’s benevolence and mercy.

As a final note…


Whether it is unforgiveness, envy, unrequited ambition, or hopelessness, emotional bitterness is not something to be proud of. You only have self-ruin ahead of you if you let it get over your head. Doctors and health experts believe that bitterness is a contributing factor to cancer, cardio-vascular diseases, mental illness, and weak immune system.

Some people have a hard time flushing bitterness away. If you are one of such folks, you may want to talk it out with someone worthy of your trust or, if the necessity comes to it, seek the help of a trained behavioral specialist.



Photo credit:

"An ill man next to his empty hearth..." by http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/d1/d7/571bdd658b816c78487dc8702a24.jpgGallery: http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0011143.htmlWellcome Collection gallery (2018-03-23): https://wellcomecollection.org/works/rb8qcw79 CC-BY-4.0, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36461096
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Wise Quotes from Good Bosses

Kind and compassionate bosses are a rare breed these days. Not that they do not exist anymore, it is just that they are so rare most employees see them as folks to be feared rather than admired and respected (note, there is a big difference between respect and fear). Besides, the culture of hierarchy in many companies compel managers to command “respect” from their staff. Yet in fact, they are just eliciting fear and not respect in its real sense. I find it sad to hear people connote fear as the same with respect, but this is not supposed to be so (and I will deal with this in a separate occasion).
steve-carell-michael-scott-the-office
The Office:
Michael Scott played by Steve Carell

In my many years traversing the professional sphere, I was fortunate to have had bosses who were compassionate, humane, and family-oriented. Not that I had no share of bosses who were a-holes, but in this write-up, I focus on the good guys and write about what they said that inspired me to be more human and alive. They made me realize that being a leader is not about exerting your authority all the time, but also making sure that you walk with your feet still on the ground. While your job may keep you away from getting hungry, it does not mean that your world should revolve around it -- there are other aspects of your life that are equally important if not more important.

"Don’t send an email on a Friday afternoon and expect a response and action ASAP."


I have seen people get upset because they want their request to get proper and immediate action -- never mind if it is a weekend. The thing is, these people themselves do not want to be disturbed on weekends. They like other people work their way through their off days so they can get the output by Monday, yet they themselves will rest their asses beyond satisfaction.

This boss of mine who said quote #1 had taught me to respect people’s off-days and holidays.

"I don’t like frequent meetings; managers who do have nothing to do."


Managers set meetings to make sure the objectives are clear to the members of the team and to clarify assignments and manage expectations. They can be regularly done, but doing them too frequently is wasteful to company time. The time that should have been spent doing the tasks and achieving the goal is being spent on chit-chat because of frequent and lengthy meetings.

Given the modern and hi-tech means of office communication, one can just shoot a message to the intended party and generate an action all at once. It is sad that sometimes meetings are not maximized to what it is supposed to be used for; it is instead abused to the point were those who have nothing to do can pretend that they are doing something.

"If you receive an emergency call from home, just go; your family is more important than me."


I sure hope that you know the reason why you work. You may say you that you have this ambition you need to fulfill or that you need to fill up those pockets of yours. The bottomline is you have (or going to have) a family to support. You work because of your loved ones.

good-boss
So do not let your ambition or your longing for money cloud your sight on what is truly significant in your life, unless you think family is of less importance than anything else you perceive to be.

In your deathbed, it is not your officemates who will be there beside you -- it will be your family.

"The world does not revolve around your job; don’t carry its weight upon your shoulders."


It is a pity when people allow their jobs to take a toll on their health. They save their hard-earned money just to spend it later on hospitalization and medicines. It is sad that we see people succeeding in their careers only to find out that their family and emotional life is a wreck.

There should always be a balance between career and your life -- that is the ideal. However, in the case that you are prompted to choose, then choose the one that will still be there when your work is done.

"If you have an urgent task, don’t rush it -- just expedite; rushing will jeopardize your work’s quality."


Most people are agitated by tight deadlines, and that is normal. However, when you are focused more on finishing the task at hand, you tend to undermine the quality of what you are doing.

This is why work timelines should not be stiff or too short; they should be planned ahead. Besides, most stress in the workplace are wrought because of tight and unrealistic deadlines.

As a final note, we look up to leaders for direction and even inspiration. How lucky you are if you find such leader -- one who acts as mentor and motivator. Yet, in the end, you need to remember that they have their own lives to meddle with; outside of the workplace they are not responsible with how you conduct your life. Still, you are your own life's motivator and director.

 

Photo credits:

Meme created by author. Photo from "MichaelScott" by Source, Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MichaelScott.png#/media/File:MichaelScott.png


The Good Boss c/o Lukas / Pexels.com
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Reputable and Dependable Ad Networks for Bloggers

Blogging is a serious business. Well, to me it is. Self-proclaimed online gurus advise the it does not matter if you do not get anything from blogging as long as you enjoy writing and sharing your thoughts. I resent that! If writing is all that you want, then might as well do it on a notebook or diary and then keep it inside the closet after you are done writing. No, that is not what I want!

What I want is for people to read what I jot down on my notebook. I want it to get published online for people to see, peruse, and commented upon -- and I do not care if they agree with my ideas. If they read through my piece and finished it until the last punctuation mark, then I got them where I wanted them to be. If they do not like what I wrote, it does not matter -- I sparked their interest and got them to read -- that is my ROI (return of investment).

online-readers-equals-revenue

Now, does that end there? Will you be satisfied by the awareness that people are reading your work? Of course not, I want them to be influenced by my insights. You might say, “How the heck can you influence people when you said you do not care if your readers do not agree with you? Surely, your readers should agree with your ideas if you want to shove you influence on them.”

Oh no, dear Reader! People do not need to agree with your insights for them to be influenced. If you sparked their interest, prompted an argument, or disturbed their conscience, you have sure made a mark on their minds.

Is Getting Readers Enough?


So you have gotten people reading your works and shoved your influence on their minds, what is next? Is that all there can be about blogging? Naye, there is one more -- and that is REVENUE.

Many professional bloggers will recommend affiliate marketing as the best way to earn money from blogging. Affiliate marketing is when you link some texts or images of your content to products sold online. You encourage your readers to click those links so they can eventually buy the items. You get commissions from the purchases made by your readers. Yet, the thing about affiliate marketing is that you have to orient your articles so as to make you readers buy the product (or service), like a product review of some sort (for example).

What if your forte is writing your ideas and insights for all the people to see (as I elaborated previously)? What if you write stories or current events? Is affiliate marketing going to work well with those types of write-ups? You can try your luck. I am not going to discourage you.

For those types of articles, I recommend using CPM and CPC ads. CPM means cost per impressions -- you get revenue for every ad seen by your readers. CPC means cost per click -- you earn when your readers click the ads. Of course, you need to have lots of continuous traffic to your website in order to gain a substantial and sustainable amount of earnings.

Yet, be warned! Not all ad networks offering CPM and CPC are reputable. Many of them can ruin your readers’ user-experience. Some can even prompt Google to deindex you from its search results. These unruly ad networks have malicious mobile redirects and annoying website pop-ups that lead to webpages of certain products and sometimes to sites with dubious morals.

In the service of SDR’s readers who want to dip their toes into blogging and are interested in making some money, I have listed down 5 ad networks which I find to be reputable and dependable.

Media.Net (Yahoo-Bing Network)


Given that it has the combined expertise of Yahoo and Bing, both reputable names in the Internet industry, surely you need not question Media.Net’s authenticity. Depending on the quality and highness of your site’s traffic, it is one of the best ad serving networks when it comes to revenue and ROI.


Chitika


Beginning bloggers may not be familiar with the name Chitika, but it has been in the ad serving industry for many years. It has access to top tier advertising partners such as Yahoo, Homeadvisor, and Supermedia. Professional bloggers (and that include yours truly) can attest to the reputability of Chitika. You can be sure that no pop-ups and redirects will annoy your readers when they visit your website.



Viglink is quite different from the other CPC platforms because it is known more for its text link ads. It gives you a code to be placed at the footer of your webpages so it can make ad links out of relevant texts. This text links function as ads to various products and online shops. Your readers will need to click those links in order for you to earn, plus if they buy the product, you can receive a commission from the purchase.


Amazon eCPM


Amazon is more popular with its affiliate marketing. Lately however, they have added eCPM as one of their offerings to online publishers. So for those who do not find themselves doing affiliate affiliate marketing, Amazon gives you its eCPM banner ads. Yet, even if you are an affiliate marketer, you can still opt to apply Amazon eCPM on your website.

Google Adsense


Last but not the least is Google Adsense. What makes it reputable is that it is owned by Google itself. And because it is Google, it is also the most popular among the ad networks out there. The thing about Adsense, though, is that you have to generate some high amount of regular traffic before your site gets approved to display its ads. Aside from that, they have a team that will review your content to check if it is legitimate and original, not spammy or duplicate of other sites.

Yet, if you have Adsense in your website, it just goes to prove that your site is indeed legitimate -- given the strict protocols of their approval process.



Photo Credit:

Online Readers = Revenue c/o JuralMin / Pixabay
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On Goals, Failure, and Choices

you-cannot-get-a-job
People prepare for a number of things. In youth, you prepare yourself for adult life. So you go to school and study well with the hope that, by getting a diploma, you can get a good job and see yourself in a thriving career. When you get older, however, such things will be superseded by more aggravated concerns.

Graduating from school is in itself an achievement, but eventually you need to move on from savoring the moment and get a job. At this stage of life, it feels like everything you have dreamed of is finally coming through. The thing is, reality dictates that you have to compete with other job seekers - some of them may even be more aggressive than you are. You will realize that finishing school and graduating with flying colors are not the real peak of your goal seeking. You cannot be complacent because they are just the icing on the cake - the tip of an enormous iceberg.

Because of the stiff competition among fresh graduates and old timers, some job seekers may have to settle applying for a job not even related to what they took in college or are not really their expertise. The need to earn money for a living - so you can pay the bills and rent - is manifesting itself to be more important than fulfilling your passion. Getting your dream job and establishing yourself in a career you want will have to be put in the back-burner for awhile. The thing is, your soul will be burdened with restlessness and ill-content until your heart finds its dwelling. If it takes too long, you become unsettled and, eventually, unhappy.

Some Goals Are Futile


What you thought would give you happiness, when you were still striving for your goal, was in fact futile now that you have achieved it. You now realize dreams can become void when they have finally been fulfilled. Yet, the struggle does not end there; you have forgotten that they were your dreams in the first place.

A Filipino capitalist and diplomat said that the secret to his success was he never rested on his laurels. Once a goal has been achieved, he would move on to another one and begin another quest. There is truth to what he said, not because it is a wise advice, but because it sums up prettily the reality of your life’s journey.

All kinds of happiness that you experience on this Earth are all but permanent. They are always fleeting albeit in varying durations; some lingering while others span a short time, yet all of them are temporary. Examples of lingering happiness are being in the company of loved ones, being cared for by family and friends, and caring for them in return.

Yet, even if you are experiencing such lingering happiness, the minute details of life may distract you and superimpose themselves on your face, thereby blinding you and reorienting your focus to something of less importance. You once again feel unhappy because you allowed yourself to be engrossed on things that may not really matter to your life.

Which Is More Important, Journey or Goal?


Some people say that the journey itself is more important than the goal. I say both are equally important; you should enjoy the journey and you should also savor the moment when you have finally reached your goal. But what if you failed in achieving your goal? Does that mean you have not gained anything? Of course not, failure in itself has its own benefits. It teaches you lessons of what went wrong, it makes you embrace humility and see the reality of your humanity.

“Speak for yourself, Kiddos! Who the heck wants to fail?” You react. The thing is, wise men and sages of all ages preach that failure is the one thing that makes our greatest human values manifest. Humility, hope, prudence, determination, and even magnanimity all come out because of failure. The greatest feats, discoveries, and inventions of mankind were all wrought because of failure.

Failure provides the discipline to aspire for better and more important things. Ironically, it is also the cause of discouragement to not a few people. I guess it all depends on people’s choices.

failure-road-to-success



Photo credits:

You Can't Get a Job c/o matamoros / Pixabay

Failure Is the Road to Success edited from image c/o geralt / Pixabay
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Reasons Why Your Boss May Eventually Dislike You

Normally, your direct manager or supervisor should not dislike you. In the first place, he/she is the one who recruited you and got you onboard. Practically, he/she is also the one in charge to ensure your growth and development in the workplace. So why in the world would your boss eventually dislike you then?

What if your boss was not the one who hired you and did not go through the process of screening you until you pass the recruitment, like if he/she got promoted from a lower position or if he/she got hired directly as a manager or supervisor and was appointed to lead you and your teammates? There are circumstances when a team leader never get the chance to choose his/her team members by interviewing new recruits.

In any case, whether he/she is your lead person from the the start of your stint in the company or he/she just came in as a newbie, there is still the possibility that he/she may dislike you eventually. Of course, the ideal is to maintain a good and smooth working relationship with your boss. The thing is, certain personality traits may get in the way of such relationship. Sometimes, even if you have done so much to avoid friction, how the other party reacts and responds to your attempts may already be outside of your circle of control and influence.

your-boss-does-not-like-you

1. You appear to be more competent than your boss


In most cases, competency can be measured. When it is measured, it becomes an objective trait. Sadly, there are some people who think that they are objective in assessing competency when, in fact, they are very subjective about it. Sometimes, being competent is confused for being likable.

Depending on how secure the person is, ego can be a sensitive nerve that tingles inside when it is touched even just a little. When you appear to be better in skill and knowledge than your boss, yet he/she regards the people under his/her supervision as inferior, then you are in for a treat - a bad treat that is.

2. You are well-loved by the boss of your boss


You do not have to be competent to be lovable. In fact, “competent” people can and may act like a-holes. What if your being lovable does not limit itself to your inner circle? What if such lovability reaches the higher echelons of management?

Well, then you become a threat to your direct managing officer. His/Her fear may not be substantiated by succinct evidence, but the mere perception of you being favored by upper management may hurt your boss’ pride. He/She surely does not want to be swiped out of his/her commanding position.

3. Your salary is higher than that of your boss


There is a reason why most (if not all) companies have a policy of keeping salaries strictly confidential. It keeps jealousy and envy out of the system. Mind you, such emotions are very demotivating to an employee.

Many people think that, if you are a boss, your salary is supposed to be way higher than your subordinates. The thing is, that does not always happen. There are some instances wherein the subordinate has a higher salary grade than that of his superior. There are variety of conditions why such is the case, but I tell you, it happens.

Ideally, this should not be a problem since salaries are a confidential matter. It will become a dilemma only if you tear up its concealment. So be careful not to be boastful about your emolument.

4. Your personal and professional values contradict


When family members are not in the same wavelength and there is no room for compromise, they open themselves to much bickering and unruly conflicts - they become a haven of intolerance. If it happens within families, surely it occurs in the workplace. Reality will be pounded by difficulty if this is how you describe your relationship with your boss.

We all know that morals are important; they guide our decisions and actions. They become even more significant when they define your relationships with people. It can either knit your minds together or convert your supposed allies into hostile frienemies.

Lastly…


The best way to avoid a toxic work relationship with your boss is to remain humble. Always allow your boss to shine because, when he/she does, then you too will have to spark the light.

If your daily bread that is supposed to energize your passion at work has become rotten and poisonous, then you may need to leave it behind already and move on. There is a popular proverb that says…

"If you cannot take the heat, then get out of the kitchen."



Photo credit:

I Do Not Like You c/o 84264 / Pixabay
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Superficial Goals that Distract You from Worthwhile Ones

face-of-ambition
I believe happiness is both conditional and decisional. Yet, basing your happiness solely on conditions and circumstances can be a sign that you have no control over yourself and that you are not the master of your own fate. You should decide to be happy, because that is the ideal. The thing is, due to human limitations and our naturally ingrained needs, our senses and emotions become dependent on conditions and situations. The mark of a really strong character is when a person decides to go above feelings and choose to count his/her blessings. This is difficult to do if your current state of affairs do not facilitate contentment and gratification.

Sickness, rejection, and failure bring pain and sadness to people. The latter two are likely because of some goals that were not achieved. The duration of painful experiences need not be lengthy, but it all depends on you. Yet still, the best cure for pain (due to failure and rejection) is for you to move on and learn from the mistakes - no more, no less.

Sometimes, our goals and ideals get mired by lofty desires. Instead of fulfilling your real passion in life, you become distracted by superfluous longings to be praised by people, be unbeatable, or gratify a lingering anger.

1. Desiring the approval of people


If you are a student, it is but normal to satisfy the conditions required by your school. If you are an employee, you would do the same for your company. As a student, your goal is to pass your subjects; you need the nod of your teachers for you to do so. As an employee, your objective is to earn a living and to not get fired; so you need to deliver results that will meet the management’s expectations. Such goals are good, as those people have some kind of moral ascendancy over you (or are expected to be so).

However, when you desire the praise of other people even if they have no connection whatsoever with you, then you are surely opening your doors to many episodes of disappointment. People will not always find you pleasing; your efforts may not be enough for them to solicit their clapping and cheering.

When your happiness depends so much on winning the approval of people, then rejection is something you will not tolerate. This spells trouble for you and to those you come in contact with.

2. Wanting to get ahead of others


The best advice about being competitive is that you should compete with yourself and no one else. If your goal is to be better that everyone, and you want people to acknowledge that you are the best - trying so hard to get noticed by ensuring the defeat of the person next to you, then you may be becoming like a very loud gong overpowering all the sounds around it but annoying all those who hear it.

You may say that you just want to track your personal improvement, and you do not have anything to measure it with unless you contrast yourself with others. This method may somehow be effective as it pushes you to reach higher lengths. However, since your standard of achievement is getting ahead of other people by toe to toe competition, then you are setting your life to a never-ending encounter with dissatisfaction and frustration. The only occasion when this method is justifiable is if you are playing sports.

You can, in fact, track your personal growth without the head to head collision and hurtful competition with another person. That is by doing better today than what you did yesterday, and strive to do even better tomorrow than what you are doing today. It is about competing with yourself, remember? Of course, do not forget to live in the present moment.

Learn how to contain disappointment and frustration.

3. Seeking revenge on those you have a grudge with


We now go to the third superfluous goal. Setting your focus and effort so you can get back at someone you are angry with can indeed be a source of motivation. Not a few people were able to achieve their objectives and make something of themselves just because they are angry. They want to show the world how righteous they are because they perceive their fellowman as just nefarious. Self-righteousness is what we call this trait.

There is nothing crooked if you want to prove yourself right or to point out errors of some fellows when they are wrong (if indeed they are wrong). However, if your real goal is to inflict pain and cause humiliation, then this is nothing but vindictiveness - and no, it is not justice.

Quenching your thirst for revenge will almost always end up in hurting someone. Unfortunately, this can include yourself.

Chastising Your Goals


ambition-in-chinese
If this article sounds like it aims to ruin your dreams, I suggest you read it again from the top. Come to think of it, this is really about the purity of your intentions.

You attempt to achieve your aspiration and accomplish a goal. Will it bring about goodness to the people around you? How about the methods through which you are to do it; do they involve stepping on people’s reputations?

Think about it.



Photo credits

The Face of Ambition c/o aitoff / Pixabay

Chinese Sign for Ambition c/o Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay
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Who Reads Blog Posts These Days?

Ten years ago, I read an article in Panorama Magazine. It explained how both amateur and veteran writers were beginning to make money on their own, without the intervention of publishers. Yet, they were not doing it through independent publishing of printed materials - it was something new (at that time) and perfectly legal.

The Internet became an avenue where essayists, storytellers, and even shallow naysayers were able to pick some pieces of gold and silver. The terms online advertisement and affiliate marketing came into existence. These were the new means through which writers could extract some bucks from the Internet. Later on, established publishers and big publishing companies would come into the picture and claim their piece of the pie.

phobia-of-reading

I have no intention of discussing how to make money by blogging or writing stuff on the Net; there are quite a number of articles online about it already. By the way, if up until now you still do not know how the word “blog” came to be, then I may have to give you a bit of a service. Blog is actually an acronym of 2 words - web log. In quite a short time, the online community got tired of saying and typing “web log,” so they coined them into one. So now, we have the word blog.

The Blogging Boom


The years 2004-2009 were the time bloggers got their heyday. Those were the years when struggling writers become instant publishers, and ordinary enthusiasts - who were passionate about some certain lifestyles or hobbies - evolved into professional writers. The latter could also be called as chroniclers. Yes, they were chroniclers of different matters - politics, celebrities, current events, gossips, gadgets, gizmos, and anything under the sun.

Yet, most (if not all) of them were not even journalists by profession. The only background they had on writing was their ordeal during their schooling days. The thing was that their online works were being read by countless people hungry for news, trivia, and entertainment. The more people reading their stuff, the more money they got from the advertisers.

Of course, these things can (and are) still happening today. Blogging is (still) an excellent opportunity for writers and enthusiasts, who can write well, to showcase their craft and earn some bucks. The thing is, there is this feeling among online marketers that bloggers who got the first course of the meal have already eaten the entire course, and those who came in late would have to be content with morsels.

‘The More The Merrier’ Has Become a Challenge


Consumers tend to patronize goods and services which have established brand names attached to them. The behaviour is pretty much the same when people surf the Net; they will often go to websites and blogs they are familiar with, believing that these would provide them better information and/or entertainment than those sites and blogs that they have not come across with.

Even Google, Bing and other search engines work using a somewhat similar principle. Their algorithm will index webpages in a way that favors the more popular ones over those with less (to no) popularity.

Getting Readers from an Audience of Watchers


So who reads blogs nowadays, particularly the ones owned by “uncelebrated” essayists and storytellers? Well, in fairness to the online community, there are quite a number of people who love reading articles on a decent blog site like this one. The fact you are here just proves you belong to this splendid group of Internet surfers.

Thanks to social media, you will not put a good content down the bin. I am not talking about the likers and followers (because they too are influenced by popularity), I am pertaining to the shares, which can make a post viral around the web. Virality results to more pageviews and an increasing number of readership.

Here is the thing, the competition does not limit itself with a blog vs. other blogs. Blog writers and publishers also have to compete with another type of content, one that is more dynamic and requires less reading (or maybe no reading at all) - and this is the online video.

Statistics show that people who surf the Web prefer watching videos than reading articles. For a writer whose talent lies more in putting his/her insights and creative narratives into written from, this is very much of a challenge.

How do you make people read your article if they have an inkling to watch and share videos rather than strain their eyeballs poring over your write-up? I do not have a clear answer to such question. Whatever product you produce as a writer - be it a novel, short story, essay, or poem (Geesh! Who is interested in poetry these days?) - the greatest gratification you can get is the knowledge that people are reading your works. The wider the audience who read them, the better the influence you gain.



Photo credit:

Reading Phobia created by author and edited from image c/o OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay
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The Power of The Notebook

If your first thought is that this article would be a review of a certain movie and novel with a similar title, then you are dead wrong. As of the moment I am penning this down, I have not watched the film nor read the book. Whether that movie (and novel) is about the literal notebook, I would not know. So what the heck are you reading about then, and what kind of power the notebook has that I want to discuss with you?

Well, it is all about the advantage of using the simple notebook as against the computer and/or tablet when writing an article for a blog (such as this one). “Baloney!” You may retort. “How the heck can you say you are blogging if you are doing it on a notebook? Blogs are on the Internet; therefore, you need to use a computer or something similar to create content.”

power-of-notebook-over-laptop

You are right, blogs cannot be published without a computer. Take note, however, I say the word “publish.” You will only need your computer if you are ready to publish your draft. When you are writing your draft, though, no - you do not need it yet.

I admit, it is quite tedious to write the initial draft on a notebook, and then manually transfer the text into the website’s CMS (or content management system). You will not have the pleasure of using the "copy-and-paste" feature on this instance. Given such effort, still I find the advantages outweighing the tediousness.

Learn why you should write for your readers and not for yourself.

When you write on the notebook, your mindset is to write and nothing else


For a blogger or writer who is in the act of writing, there is always this temptation to edit while you write. This is practically true if you are using your computer's word processor, given its propensity to alert its user when a wrong spelling or incorrect word usage is on the page. Of course, you can turn this feature off if you know how to. 😊

The thing is, when you are doing your first draft, your objective is to write your thoughts down - not edit. Writing and editing at the same time is one significant reason why many writers grind their teeth in frustration. Because of this, they are not able to finish their work properly. Proofreading and editing will have their time, and such time is after you have completed your work prior to hitting the publish button.

Since the notebook does not have the ease of having the quick editing functions and error alerts of a word processing software, the writer is forced to concentrate mainly on translating his/her thoughts into texts and scribbling them down on paper.

The tediousness of copying from notebook to computer can be an editing leverage


Writing is never for the lazy, much so if you are a blogger. To a witty writer, a stodgy effort can be used as something worthwhile.

When you are jotting down your thoughts on your first draft, your main goal is to write - and just write (as we have talked about earlier). However, that goal changes once you have drawn your last punctuation mark. Before you become eager to publish your work for all the world to see, you need to edit your piece. Your objective shifts from mere writing to making your work flawless.

Know how to best edit your online post and avoid Internet trolls.

Surely, you cannot publish your composition if it is still in your notebook. In this case, you will now need the computer. The effort may sound annoyingly burdensome, but the task of copying your draft into the word processing application (or if you want, directly into your website’s CMS) will allow you to see errors and notice words and phrases that may need improvement. More often than not, reading your draft and typing the texts on your keyboard sentence by sentence may trigger your jocose mind to come up with other ways to convey your message - thereby giving you some ideas to better reconstruct your sentences and paragraphs.

So yes, writing on a notebook and then typing it on your computer afterwards can provide you a better allowance to proofread, edit, and improve your work. In the end, it will all depend on you, on what resources you have at hand, and on what circumstances are there at that moment.

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