not being indifferent in an indifferent world

 

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“You’re beginning to dislike me, aren’t you? Well, dislike me. It doesn’t make any difference to me now.”

W. Somerset Maugham

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Paying attention.

First.

The world is indifferent to you. To anyone in fact. It chugs along doing what it does and forces you to jump on the roller coaster and hold on or forces you to decide to create your own experience.

Second.

That means you cannot be indifferent to the indifferent world or you will never make a difference (big, medium or small). More likely you will just get steamrolled by indifferent Life.

Third.

Not being indifferent means you have to pay attention. This is where it gets tricky. It gets tricky because Life squeezes you between events & people. Events happen and you have to keep your head on a swivel to not only see what is happening but try and get a sense of what is coming. People are, well, people. You actually don’t have to keep your head on a swivel because it is more like people just bounce off of you whether you like it or. Even worse? Someone you don’t even know who has made some decision in some place you weren’t even invited to is most likely creating something you need to be paying attention for.

Fourth.

So now we get to people. You can’t be completely indifferent to people, but you also can’t always let people make a difference on you. In Life we learn this lesson fairly early on <as soon as we walk into a grade school>. In business we get blindsided. We get blindsided because you think a lot of the school bullshit will not happen in the business world.

I could write a book on this topic but suffice it to say my message to the good people, the ones who want to play fair, maintain integrity and conduct business with dignity:

 

Someone will always find something nefarious in what you are doing.

Yeah. This sucks.

I will not call this conspiracy thinking but, in general, a business culture more often than not breeds a sense that <a> everyone is out for themselves and <b> there is no such thing as a truly altruistic business motivation. And while it would be naïve of me to suggest that avoiding those two thoughts as ‘stupid & untrue’ it is a little sad that those beliefs pretty much underlie every organization.

Please note, once again, the people aspect in everything I have noted. You may want to avoid things but you will find your destiny along the path you have chosen strewn with a shitload of people crossing your path uninvited and many unwelcome.

I say that because that is your career.

So let me suggest something <maybe a little contrarian>.

I would suggest that Life is best lived by not ignoring shit and avoiding shit but rather stepping into the world an deal with it. Sometimes that may mean side stepping some of the shit you don’t want to deal with and sometimes that may mean bludgeoning your way over and through some of the shit you don’t want to deal with but if you do this you actually have some control over your own destiny. I say that because the problem with trying to maintain your Life on a parallel track, and knowing that inevitably it will be crossed by people & shit you had been purposefully avoiding, is that you will always be reacting to the bullshit rather than proactively facing it.

Look.

While you may not care about business or business politics my point is my point you cannot avoid the world to conduct yourself in the ways & means you want to conduct yourself. You are stuck with the world, and in the world, whether you like it or not.

Oh.

The other thing you are stuck with is the fact whether you stay on your road of ‘how I’m gonna do things right’ engaged with the world or take another road to try and avoid the world you don’t like, well, you will meet your destiny.

 

The world is indifferent to the road you choose. So you should probably choose to not be indifferent and at least choose the road you want to be on rather than be stuck on one not of your choosing.

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Written by Bruce