the compromising of being as good as you can be

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“I don’t think that people accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable. “

David Lynch

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“Compromising dreams for the stunning reality of life. 🙁 “

mnmsnickers <twitter>

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Well. I almost called this ‘playing the game.’ Shit. I almost called this ‘scaring the world.’

 

“Scare the world: Be exactly who you say you are and tell the truth.”
The Shock of Honesty

When I think about this I think about hollow spaces and empty people.

dreams holow places empty peopleWhy?

Well. Compromising the wrong way, playing the game as it were, is all about filling a hollow space with empty people <or an empty job or an empty anything>.

But let’s step back a second.

Once you know what you are good at, maybe even have a clear sense of what attaining your ‘dream’ would be you kind of have a tendency to think all you had to do now was sort out the finer details.

Compromise?

Play the game?

The words never enter your heads.

Unfortunately we soon discover that life has other plans for us. I say that fairly sure that most of us do not grow up truly believing they could have it all — all as in a great job, a viable bank balance, a perfect relationship. But I do believe all of us grow up thinking ‘big things’ for ourselves.

Call them dreams.

Call them simply being better <or going farther> than our parents.

Call it hope for a good Life.

And no matter how we grow up I tend to believe all of us find that reality is very different than what we imagined or hoped. This is where we learn the concept of compromise. Learning to compromise is okay if it brings you back down to earth but not okay if it means compromising how good you can be.

The difficult part comes in trying to play the game.compromise never settle for

What do I mean?

Well.

You take a job because you have to.

You take a job because it ‘gets you in.’

You say something like this … ‘doing this isn’t something I would have considered before … but I have to believe that I’m bettering my chances.’

Ah.

‘Bettering your chances.’

Playing the game.

Managing your hope.

I will say from personal experience that after what seems like a zillion psychological tests in interview processes and maybe more zillions of seemingly endless resume ‘revisions to customize to specific companies and perceived needs’ and managing hope after what may seem like an eternity of unsuccessful job submissions, I have figured out all that really matters is the core. Core as in who you are and telling people what they are gonna get.

But that’s me. I won’t play the game.

Ok. How about there are certain things in the game that I will not play.

Look. I do know that research shows that compromising early on <maybe when you first hit the job market or maybe simply as you enter adulthood out of teens> hopes are in their most nascent and fragile form and they can easily be trampled upon with devastating consequences to our self-confidence and self-esteem.

compromise what is inside bronteWell. It takes on a mutated form in older adulthood.

It doesn’t attack the formative stages, it actually kills healthy esteem and confidence cells.

Maybe worse? It attacks your belief not in yourself, but in society and the structure you have prospered in up to this point.

My fear in today’s business world is that in seeking employment or even working within an organization we are constantly asking ourselves what we can do without and becoming masters in what I would call ‘psychological constructive compromise.’ Unfortunately it is actually destructive compromise. It destroys how good you can be.

Maybe better said it destructs real expectations of yourself.

Real expectations, the ones colored with some Life experience which are not sky-high and tainted with any sense of entitlement, are being challenged intellectually, financially or emotionally as now being thought of out of reach.

Huh? Out of reach? Being who you are and being good at what you do?

That is crazy.

And therein lies how ‘playing the game’ is simply a destructive game and one which I am surprised businesses and other ‘game managers’ allow to be played.

Let me be specific <because this is what got me thinking about this>.

Customizing your resume as you apply for a job.outcome results still fucked

I know … it sounds reasonable from a 40,000 foot perspective. But <and I will talk about odds later> most times we are customizing in ways that take a square peg of information and place it into a round hole of perceived need.

That’s playing the game.

Mostly because most employers are too lazy to see anything but ‘something that fits the round hole I have.’ And the prospective employee is simply thinking ‘once I get in I can be the fabulous spectacular square peg that I am.’

Simplistically you are playing the game to get in the game.

This is ludicrous. It looks ludicrous even as I type it.

Look. We all need to be taught to keep expectations in check. But in doing so we need to be sure … really sure … that our compromising isn’t simply a dismissal of our dreams to play the game. A dose of reality can be like a slap in the face. Uhm. Ok. Maybe more like an uppercut to the jaw. But sometimes you have to learn to take the punches.

And maybe give a couple back.

But you have to make some choices.

Hard choices.

No matter what anyone tells me I just cannot see how customizing your resume or ‘saying the right words’ or, well, whatever you are being told to do to get a job or get the dream actually increases the odds.

In fact I would suggest in the end it decreases the odds of getting what you really want <longer term>.

Well. The bottom line on anything to do with ‘odds’ is that … the odds suck.

relevance minorityBottom line.

The odds suck.

Why? Life is playing its game <even if a business or other people are trying to ‘game the system’> and you have to figure out which player you are truly playing against. I am not suggesting you should avoid considering anyone who is actually in the game. Just who is more important than another.

Why? Because you need to ask what is at stake in the real game’.

Because the one and only answer is … you.

Or what some people call ‘the authentic you’ <strip away the authentic bullshit and it just being true to yourself in a genuine way>.

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“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. “
Brené Brown

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The “authentic you”. I just call it ‘me.’ No fancying up with adjectives. You sometimes have to draw a line with regard to ‘me.’ And yes … this line drawing comes with consequences.

But all line drawing does.

You just have to identify what is non negotiable, i.e., what are you not willing to compromise on? In other word, find the pieces of your life vision & your character … that you want beyond all certainty. These are non-negotiable features you are not prepared to give up for anything.

While I am certainly a dreamer type, or maybe it is that I love hope, I will admit that this exercise can incorporate some foundational basic life aspects. Things beyond ‘being passionate with what I do’ <which I actually believe is useless tripe> like being a loving mother or father … or traveling regularly or checking something off on your adventurous things to do on your list of things to do.

That said.

Compromising in this type of thinking invariably comes down to what you don’t mind forsaking in return for having something else. And, in general, we suck at this type of assessment. We are typically to hopeful or ‘positive thinking’ in our assessment.

“If I take this job I can show them I actually deserve this other thing.’

Yeah. Well. It typically doesn’t work that way. The whole idea of negotiating or compromising on a dream or ‘how good you think you can be’ is a challenging reality. And it is even more challenging when you incorporate the concept that I strongly dislike … the term ‘be realistic.’

I am not overly materialistic so I can focus on other things <and everyone needs to think about that aspect>.

I have at least a thread of altruism so I am okay with pursuing some self desires <and everyone needs to think about that aspect>.

Therefore. It kind of seems to me when thinking about playing the game — why should I compromise being the best I can be when some people don’t even seem to be trying to be the best they can be <for themselves or for others>?

To be clear on being as good as you can be. It is not simply waking up every day, stretching, looking at yourself in the mirror <possibly with fist raised in the air> saying something like “I know I want to achieve adventure and fulfillment in everyday life.”

My own vision for life is fairly clear. And I admit that it has changed and evolved over time. And I imagine that is quite similar to most people. I also admit that it seems to get clearer every day as I figure out what’s important to me.

I know that I challenge myself to be even better. Every day as a matter of fact.

Yup.

Every.

Single.

Day.

That’s because being better or the best you can be is a work-in-progress thing. As for compromising or ‘playing the game’? I know the type of organizations and people I want to be a part of and to surround myself with. I will not apologize for how I choose to survive.

“You never need to apologize for how you chose to survive.”
Clementine von Radics

Oh. And by survive … I don’t mean putting food on the table … I mean character. A lot of people will argue with me on this topic.

A LOT.

They will suggest <with some truth by the way> I am not being realistic. And you know what? They may be right. But it is the line I have drawn for myself.

I don’t want to hollow myself out in some empty job. And that is what empty jobs do — hollow the guts out of you. Strangle your soul and character bit by bit. I would rather starve my body than starve my character.

I would rather … scare the world … and be exactly who you say you are and tell the truth.”

The stunning realities of Life force everyone to do several things.

Everyone needs to learn the line they will draw.

Everyone needs to recognize where compromise is done and ‘me’ is defined.

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Written by Bruce