Posts by josephsacco

Part time philosopher and full-time project manager. I enjoy yoga, meditation, blogging, reading, and strength training.

Listening to Ego

ego quote Richard Rose

It often starts like this “Well I need a healthy ego to bolster my self confidence and achieve things in the world”.

Here is a definition of ego that I think is pretty good:

a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
“a boost to my ego”
synonyms: self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-image, self-confidence

I highlighted self-importance because this is where the destructive side of ego is unveiled. We get ourselves into all kinds of life limiting thought patterns, when we are controlled by our egoistic mind. Here is where we come up with ideas like I’m better than someone else, or I deserve to have something. To start out with your not better than anyone else and you don’t really deserve anything. Our ego will limit what we do because instead of working for something we end up  trapped in our egotistic thoughts and become resentful thinking we deserve it.

Here are a few examples of ego driven thought patterns:

  • My boss is such a moron and doesn’t deserve his or her position. I’m much smarter than them; why am I stuck in this mediocre job? – Now that’s a nice judgmental attitude and to top it off a bit of entitlement thrown in for good measure.
  • You tell yourself that I’m so fit and healthy, and when you see that overweight person walk by, you think to yourself wow they are fat and should lose some weight. Nice now your ego facilitates physical comparisons, judging people by how they look without knowing anything about them.  
  • You are driving your 10 year old car and you see someone with a new 100k Tesla, and you think why don’t I have a car like that? Again a sense of entitlement mixed in with unhealthy comparison.
  •  Everyone is an idiot, the conservatives and liberals in this country are completely clueless. Everyone in government is corrupt and worthless. Sure you are qualified to be the judge and jury for just about anything.

Do you see a pattern here? As you let your ego drive your thoughts a few patterns of behavior emerge. The egotistic mind results in being judgmental, critical, comparing yourself to others, and a sense of entitlement. All of these thoughts prevent you from doing something productive with your time and will only chip away at whatever level of happiness you currently have.

Stop this shit!

You don’t deserve anything. If you want something go out and get it, but quit thinking you deserve it, because you don’t. You not entitled to anything that you haven’t earned.

Stop judging people! You just met someone and you begin judging how smart they are or how attractive they are. This is bullshit and you know it. You just met them so you don’t know anything about them; quit judging and get to know them. You might be shocked at how reserving judgement allows you to get to know some really great people.

It’s your ego that keeps telling yourself that your better than everyone else. Another ego trip that we indulge in is we begin to think we are the role we play at work. Maybe this role is well compensated or comes with a big office and lots of perks. You feel pretty special as the Director of ______________ (fill in the blank). Your sense of identity and most of your waking hours are wrapped up in living out this role. The egotistic mind loves it when you become some role, as it just makes life so much simpler.

Stop kidding yourself, that role you are so fond of is temporary and you know it. What happens the day you walk out that door and are no longer the Director of x? If you are driven by your ego, you may be crushed or madly searching for another role to attach yourself too.

Just for a while observe your own ego and catch yourself when you become judgmental or begin comparing yourself to others. You will come to a realization that your ego is getting in the way of you having a real life. Kill the ego and begin enjoying your life.

Namaste

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Man’s Search for Meaning

Inspirational Book Reviews

Viktor Frankl 2

This happens to be a review of an audio book that I have listened to a couple times. Man’s Search for Meaning was written by Viktor E. Frankl (26 March 1905 – 2 September 1997) first published in 1946. Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. As I have mentioned in the past my book reviews tend to focus more on what you can learn from the book than some blow by blow account of the work. This book is broken up into two parts with the first part being Viktor Frankl’s experience at the German concentration camp Auschwitz and the second part being an overview of his psychotherapy method Logotherapy.

Auschwitz1(picture of the entrance into Auschwitz)

Auschwitz was probably the most notorious of the Nazi Germany concentration camps where thousands of people were either killed in gas chambers, shot, or starved to death…

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The Cure for Expectations

house_sitting_expectations

I recently wrote a review on the book UnFu*k Yourself where one of the authors rules for life was “I expect nothing; I accept everything”. As you think about this for a while it begins to make sense. Expecting things to turn out a certain way or for people to act a certain way is the road to disappointment. To start out with it takes you away from the present and instead you are living with expectations of the future. Let’s take a few examples:

  • While I’m driving I expect people to follow traffic laws. Little things like stop signs, traffic lights, speed limits, etc. Now this is one hell of a stupid expectation. When humans get behind the wheel of a car they turn into complete morons.
  • I expect that I will be recognized for my work at my place of business. Occasionally this happens, but never enough to live up to our expectations.
  • I expect that my significant other will appreciate the things I do for them. So what is it that they must do to live up to these expectations?
  • I expect that my children will be as motivated and driven as I am. That’s a real crock of shit.
  • I expect that my government will spend my tax money smartly and not build up trillions of dollars in debt. How silly is that?
  • I have expectations for myself surrounding being constantly happy or healthy. Set the bar high my friend and disappointment will find you.

These are just a few examples of how we all live with expectations that are literally sucking the fun out of life. There is no better way to mess up living in the present than by having all these stupid expectations. I’m not advocating that you don’t have dreams or goals, but be aware that if these are laden down with heaps of expectations you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Things rarely turn out the way you expect, often things turn out much better or much worse. You have so little control about how things will turn out, or what someone thinks of you, and planning on how things will turn out is a risky proposition. Do the best you can but don’t be so definitive about the outcome.

So what is the cure for this never ending life of expectations? I’m guessing if you read Gary Bishop’s book you know the answer. One little, but powerful word Acceptance is all you need to understand. By accepting things as they are, you are taking a big step towards living in the present. Give yourself a fucking break; you can often be accepting of others, but you can’t cut yourself some slack. If you can start living with a mindset of accepting life as it is, you will begin to really enjoy what you have and maybe even the things you do. Here are a couple of different ways to look at acceptance:

Acceptance-1Acceptance 2

You don’t need to throw away all your dreams or vision for the future, but don’t get so specific that you put yourself in a corner when things don’t turn out exactly as you expected. Throwing out those silly expectations leaves you open to a whole new perspective and to enjoy how things unfold. All of this can provide amazing levels of joy instead of comparing what happens to your expectations.

I will leave you with one other quote from Gary Bishop that really resonated with me.

“Plan for victory and learn from your defeats.”

Here are a few quotes on acceptance to ponder.

Happiness can exist only in acceptance. George Orwell

The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. Brian Tracy

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. Nathaniel Branden

My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations. Michael J. Fox

Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness. Eckhart Tolle

Namaste

Find Your WHY

Inspirational Book Reviews

find your why2“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born.”
– Mark Twain

FIND YOUR WHY was written by Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker. This is an interesting book and if you have ever watched any of Simon Sinek’s YouTube videos you will know that he often discusses the importance of understanding your why. This book starts with explaining the power of knowing your why and how it is a motivating force for both the individual and organizations.

The rest of this book is devoted to ways that you as a person can define your why, or if you prefer how your team can determine their why. This is really a workbook in many ways, with exercises to help you…

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Fitting in

fitting in

I find it ironic as companies search for talent to fill roles in their organizations they tout a culture of innovation and risk taking. It amuses me that leadership espouses these principles, but the reality is often a culture of conformity. We hire for cultural fit more than looking for individuality. We want to find people who believe the same things we believe, and act the way we want them to act. What most organizations want more than anything else is people that will fit in and not question the most recent management fad implemented in their companies. Gone are the minuscule privacy afforded by the cubicle and in its place we now have the open office. Note that anyone that actually did any real work would know that open offices are a joke.

open-office

Now this is awesome, sitting right across from someone all day. 

It is no small miracle that employee’s search for solitude to work in a conference room or god forbid working at home. My guess is that any company that summons its workers to come to the office each day is losing anywhere from 25% to 50% in productivity and on top of that they are pissing off the workforce. Brilliant!

I predict that this conformity imposed by many employers will drive away the most intelligent people to somewhere else. Where will these individualist land; that is difficult to know. There is certainly a trend towards people leaving large corporations and striking out on their own, becoming self employed, but not everyone is inclined to do so. Is it possible that there are some intelligent enterprises that can allow an employee be an individual and work when and where they are most productive? Maybe but I wouldn’t look to an employer that has more than 1,000 employees and in most cases around 500 or less.

Asking people to conform to every rule or adhere mindlessly to every stupid process does have ramifications. Let’s just say you throw lots of money at your people so that they feel they really can’t leave because the golden handcuffs have them immobilized. The dirty little secret is that the primary incentive for them is financial, and the quality of the work suffers as the employee becomes increasingly resentful. Again brilliant!

Instead of a team of inspired individuals you now have a pack of financially driven robots that follow every command. Think of it, you got what you wanted, all your people fit in, follow your processes, and believe what you believe. One little problem is that all  this conformity and culture fit has left you with a workforce of zombies where the only differences are gender or ethnicity. Good luck being innovative or dodging the next bullet that the business world has just around the corner.

If every day you have to hold your tongue, swallow hard, and kiss the ass of some moron then good. You now have a reason to do something better with your life. Quit fucking yourself over; you have one life and you don’t need to spend it subjugating yourself to someone or someplace that tries to turn you into something you are not.

Think about it.

Namaste

 

Unfu*k Yourself

Inspirational Book Reviews

unfuck yourself

Although this book has a pretty funny title, don’t let that fool you. I have listened to the audio version of Unfu*k Yourself at least 3 times now and it is incredible. The author Gary Bishop narrates the audio version and does an outstanding job. Whenever possible for me it makes sense for the author to be the narrator, albeit there are a few exceptions. Having read probably a hundred or more self-improvement books over the past decade I would rate this in the top 5. The introduction is great and it is followed up with 7 guiding principles to unfu*k yourself, and then there is a summary at the end that is nothing short of awesome.

Here is a brief summary of the 7 guiding principles:

  1. I am willing or I am unwilling. Self talk is a big issue. Change yours to I am instead of I will. Use…

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The Paleo Diet

Inspirational Book Reviews

The Paleo Diet book image

I few months ago I read a book The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain who at the time this book was written taught at Colorado State University. Let me first state that this is an interesting book that makes the case for following a diet that our ancestors did prior to the agricultural revolution some 10,000 years ago.

The premise of the book is that prior to the agricultural revolution homo sapiens were hunter gatherers and as such ate what was available in nature. Dr. Cordain makes a good case of why the hunter gatherer diet is superior to diets that contain lots of processed food or byproducts of agriculture. A paleo diet consists of foods that include:

  • Meat based protein – chicken breasts, fish and shell fish, lean beef, game meat
    • Note there is nothing processed such as lunch meat or any other bizarre concoction that we have…

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