What on earth I am still here for?

Drowning among her piles of books and journals, of the newly arrived order that Angie had to assemble and transport to her office, she wondered: “What on earth am I doing here?” She has been having dark days, not because they were necessarily dark (i.e. gloomy or sad) but because she has been spending an average of 8 hours underground in her office, and because she has been having some thoughts of leaving everything behind and moving on, letting on and facing her fears, breaking free and leaving this dim sad place alone… Pain in her shoulders was reminding her every second of her long day, of the boxes she had to carry, move and transport on a trolley to her office. Pain was reminding her, that after all, she is a beautiful mature smart young woman who has more qualifications than what her boss was acknowledging and what that stupid storekeeper was perceiving. Angie wondered why on earth her boss who has been great in everything so far, was acting that way. It only daunted on her a few days ago: “well, my boss could be jealous. After all, I am just her assistant. The person who assists. And no matter what, I am just someone who is supposed to do what I am being told to do. Angie, Angie, you are taking all the initiatives and doing all the thinking, do you think people above you in the hierarchy in this limited bureaucratic institution would appreciate that? Where do you think you are?” 

A few days ago, her boss came into her office, without evening knocking on the door and gave her a paper to read. Angie’s boss was about to have a meeting with the big boss in a few minutes, and she wanted to discuss a few things with the big boss regarding the department, one of them included a raise or a promotion for Angie. By the way, Angie has been waiting for this raise for two years. And BUH, fortunately or unfortunately (I am becoming fond of these two adverbs) had only managed to raise Angie’s salary of a whole 20$ per month. (Oh, GOD! BUH must have spent a fortune in that raise!!!)

The paper that Angie had to read had to do with the tasks that Angie and her boss were performing in that department. And to Angie’s surprise, everything that Angie was doing was: “assisting her boss”. Some tasks were removed all together. Some projects that Angie had initiated and worked actively on implementing were mentioned as tasks done by her boss and in which Angie was “only assisting”. Even one big project that Angie has been working on for almost a year, was mentioned under her boss’s name and Angie was only assisting. To Angie’s surprise students’ assistants were also assisting Angie. For the record, students’ helped with one or two volumes, whereas Angie worked on almost 40 volumes. 

For the last two years, Angie has been trying to change things in that department at BUH. She would think and get creative only to face another rejection. Her boss would give her all sorts of excuses: lack of money, lack of time, lack of personnel, … The most plausible excuse, the one that her boss usually uses, is, the lack of money. Angie would sometimes wake up in the night hearing her boss nagging about the lack of money and listening to her repeating over and over again that “the department at BUH cannot afford these things”… Her boss even mentioned that when she took the job of editor 9 years ago, she was supposed to run the whole show with almost no budget. And even with the change of big boss and changes in the institution, she still has this mentality of scarcity. 

A sign on Angie’s door, remind her every morning of the following:

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you will go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you’ve faced. All the battles you have won. All the fears you’ve overcome. All the chapters you have written. Remember the moments that came before when you had this same doubt and overcame it. You can go as far as you let yourself go. Let go and you will soar farther that you’ve ever imagined.” — Unknown

Thank you for reading.
S.Z.

What do we really need to thrive? (Part II)

What do we really need to thrive (part I)

In a previous post I promised you to define attention. So what is attention?

Connie Podesta in her book “Self-Esteem and the Six-Second Secret”(Corwin Press, 1990) defines attention as follows: “Attention is the amount of time and the amount of energy spent in any given situation.”

She goes on to explain:

“How do we decide whether our need for attention is being filled? By measuring the time and energy others spend when they are with us.

If I came home from work one day excited about what I had accomplished and said to my husband, “Larry, you won’t believe what happened today,” and he barely looked up from the paper and muttered, “Oh yeah, what?” I would begin to feel neglected. If I continued to talk and he responded (still reading) with murmurs of, “Oh, that’s nice, Honey,” I would give up and stop sharing. Why? Because he’s given me no time (minutes spent concentrating on me and nothing else) and no energy (eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, enthusiastic tone of voice).

In reality, if I come home bursting with news, I can count on Larry to say, “Just a minute.” He’ll go in the kitchen, fix us a cold drink, bring it in, sit back in his easy chair with a smile and say, “Go for it; I’m ready to hear all about it.”

Now I am having attention paid to me. He’s given me his time (nothing else is going on except our conversation) and his energy level (interest level, support, and concentration on me).

And boy, do I feel good!

Think about the last time someone really gave you their full attention, really concentrated on what you were saying. Didn’t it feel good to you, too?”

She goes on to say that: “Listening without judging is one of the best ways we can give another person needing attention.

and she continues: Every time we come in contact with someone, we make a choice to give attention in one of these three ways:

1. Positive: by choosing to treat people nicely through praise, encouragement, smiles or hugs.

2. Negative: by choosing to treat people negatively through anger, criticism, sarcasm, abuse, frowns, or disapproving looks.

3. or, Ignore (no time, no energy): by choosing to ignore people and not give them any feedback at all through silent treatment, indifference, rejections, or neglect.

Keep in mind that everyone who comes in contact with you also chooses one of these three ways to give you attention.

The worst thing we can do to anyone wanting our attention is to ignore him/her.

Lack of attention reduces our will to function, thrive, and even continue living.

One of the main things to understand about attention is: Positive attention is what we crave, but in its absence we will seek negative attention rather than be ignored.

She continues to state that: “We give most of our attention (time and energy) to extraordinary people  those who are extraordinary good and those who are extraordinary bad.

The message we constantly give is: When you do what you are supposed to do, I am very busy. But if you are in trouble, I will stop what I’m doing, I will stay home with you, I will do anything I have to do to fix you. I am never too busy to pay attention to you if you do something great or if you do something terrible. If, however, you are doing average—nothing extraordinary—I will probably focus on my own busy needs and won’t notice you.

Therefore, if someone does not feel capable of performing extraordinarily well in order to get positive attention, he/she will soon learn ways to perform extraordinarily bad to get negative attention, which is preferable to being ignored.

It is apparent to most of us at an early age that the “av­erage” person gets little attention at home, in school, or in the workplace. After all, average people are simply doing what they are “supposed to do.”

When are we going to learn that “doing what we are supposed to do” can be extraordinary in today’s world of sneaky schemes, questionable ethics, and scary behavior?

Look at the following examples to see how we down­play the earnest contributions of the hard-working, “aver­age” people around us:

  • Child: “I know I forgot to clean the garage, but my room is all straightened up.”
  • Parent: “But your room is supposed to be kept neat. That’s your responsibility.
  • Employee: “I wasn’t able to complete all the extra work you gave me, but the quarterly reports are finished on time and sitting on your desk.”
  • Boss: “So what? You always finish the quarterly reports on time. I really wanted you to give this new project your special attention.”
  • Wife: “I had a busy day and wasn’t able to get the oil changed in the car. But I did pay the mortgage and get your prescription, and I’ll get the oil changed tomorrow.”
  • Husband: “That’s just fine. If the car breaks down on the highway between now and then, I won’t have any sympathy for you. I’ve told you a hundred times how important it is to keep clean oil in the car, and you don’t pay any attention to me at all.”

So instead of the child feeling good about the room he’s cleaned, he’s feeling bad about the garage he’s overlooked. Instead of the employee feeling good about the consistent performance she’s turned in, she feels bad about not being able to meet an emergency deadline. Instead of the wife feeling good that she accomplished so much in her busy day, including taking care of two errands she thought were at least as important as the oil change, she is chastising herself for not finding the time to cram every possible errand into her schedule.

This technique of ignoring good behavior is a surefire motivation killer, and I can guarantee that if you don’t find time to give your “doing-what-you’re-supposed-to-do” child, employee, spouse consistent positive attention, they will figure out a way to get consistent, negative attention.

From the book “Self-Esteem and the Six-Second Secret”(Corwin Press, 1990) by Connie Podesta.

To live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy

In the comfort of her warm room, Angie opened a book and started reading:

“There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. If these basic needs aren’t met, we feel empty, incomplete.” 

“Human fulfillment”, she found herself wondering, “umm… I have been looking for answers about fulfillment. For some time, I thought I was the only one searching for answers regarding this subject. I wonder what are these basic needs. I will keep reading to learn more.”

“We may try to fill the void through urgency addition. Or we may become complacent, temporarily satisfied with partial fulfillment.

But whether or not we fully acknowledge or address these needs on a conscious level, deep inside we know they are there. And they are important. We can validate them through our own experience. We can validate them through the experiences of other people. We can validate them through our combined experience that stretches around the globe and throughout time. These needs have been recognized in the wisdom literature (which is the portion of the classic, philosophical, and inspirational literature of a society that deals specifically with the art of living) throughout time as vital areas as human fulfillment.

The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase “to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy.” The need to live is our physical need for such things as food, clothing, shelter, economic well-being, health. The need to love is our social need to relate to other people, to belong, to love, to be loved. The need to learn is our mental need to develop and to grow. And the need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.

How powerfully do these needs affect our time and the quality of our lives? You may find it helpful to think about the questions below:

* Do you have sustained energy and physical capacity throughout the day – or are there things you’d like to do that you can’t do because you feel tired, ill, or out of shape?

* Are you in a position of financial security? Are you able to meet your own needs and have resources set aside for the future – or are you in debt, working long hours, and barely scraping by?

* Do you have rich, satisfying relationships with others? Are you able to work with others effectively to accomplish common purposes – or do you feel alienated and alone, unable to spend quality time with the people you love, or challenged in trying to work with others because of misunderstanding, miscommunication, politicking, backbiting, or blaming and accusing?

* Are you constantly learning, growing, gaining new perspectives, acquiring new skills – or do you feel stagnant? Are you being held back from career advancement or other things you’d like to do because you don’t have the education or skills?

* Do you have a clear sense of direction and purpose that inspires and energizes you – or do you feel vague about what’s important to you and unclear about what you really want to do with your life?

And Angie read and re-read the above text. She thoughts about the basic needs and found them legitimate. She thought about the need to live which is the physical need and wondered if she is really alive. She pondered about how the physical need is met through “food, clothing, shelter, economic well-being and health.” And she found out that compared to a large group of people, this need is somehow met in her life.

And then, she pondered about the second need, the social one: the need to love. Was she relating healthily with people around her? Was she able to relate to other people? Does she feel that she belongs? Does she feel loved? Cared for? Is she entertaining nurturing relationships? And to these questions she didn’t want to examine carefully anything in her life. She wanted to flee, to stop reading, to run away from the book and especially from her own thoughts…

She felt her mind drifting to the third need: the mental need. Was she constantly learning, growing, gaining new perspectives, acquiring new skills at her work? Was she stuck in an unrewarding job? Was she in a stagnant environment where nothing seems to move? Was she growing? Was she climbing any ladder at all? Or is she walking on a long silent moving sands?  Is she making any progress in any area of her life?

With all these questions in her mind, the fourth need started to dance in front of her eyes:  Does she have any sense of purpose? Does she know where she was going, how or why? Was she feeling inspired by anything? How does she want to be remembered? What does she want to leave behind her?

So now what ? Angie thought to herself.

Thank you for reading

(The passages in italic are from the Book “First Things First” by Stephen Covery, A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill.)

Our lives are the results of our choices

“As one wise man observed, “The greatest battles we fight are in the silent chambers of our own souls.” We need to ask ourselves: “Am I willing to be a person of total integrity? Am I willing to apologize when I make mistakes, to love unconditionally, to value someone else’s happiness as much as I do my own?”

Part of  our scripting and history may say, “No, I’m not. That’s not the way I was raised. That’s not the environment.” But then our independent will says: “Wait a minute! You’re capable of this. You don’t have to be a function of your scripting or the social mirror and the expedient path others take. You have the opportunity now to decide your response to all that has ever happened to you. Whether others do it or not is irrelevant  You have the power to look at your own involvement, to observe your response, to change it.” 

To those who say, “Come on! Do you know what it’s like out there?” we say, “Come on! Do you know the power you have within you?” We don’t want to offend; we say it in love. Our lives are the results of our choices. To blame and accuse other people, the environment, or other extrinsic factors is to choose to empower those things to control us.

We choose – either to live our lives or to let others live them for us. By making and keeping promises to ourselves and to others, little by little we increase our strength until our ability to act is more powerful than any of the forces that act upon us.” 

From the book “First Things First” by Stephen Covery, A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill.

Scream Angie, Scream!!

I wish there was a place where people can stand up and scream, SCREAM, so that everything they have been holding back on their chests, in their hearts, in their minds and on their lunges will go away. “Scream Angie,” I hear myself advising my favorite and only character. “Scream Angie! Scream! Talk with me for God sake! Don’t hold back! Take all this pain out of your chest! Talk! Look at me, I know it hurts, I know it is suffocating you, I know that you can’t handle it anymore, I know because I have been there, seen that, lived that, experienced that… I know because like you, I have had my ups and downs, and downs, and downs in this life. I know because I have been to almost every drawback, every misunderstanding, every failed attempt to change anything, every initiative you took, every idea you thought about… I think I know because like you I have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or at least, this is what I want to tell myself when I look at all those years I spent with my previous employers.”

I want to think that screaming or talking or writing is self-liberating. I want to believe that once we take anything off our shoulders we send it to the universe so it can heal it, deal with it, or let it make more ripples and more stories…

I am angry you are probably thinking. Yes, I am. My dear reader, you are probably longing to the calm and peaceful writer who has been observing, watching and looking at things and at life passing by. I can no longer do that… I can, but I don’t want to do it anymore. I have been advised many times not to say anything when I am angry, I will do that on this blog, on this white screen and yes, I will send it to the universe…

And to sum it all, why don’t you and me listen to the young man in the below movie ask us what type of life are we living?

What type of life am I living?

What is important?

“What is important?” Angie kept asking herself. A few weeks ago, she attended a training on “work-life balance” and the trainer – who also happened to hold several roles in her life: mother, educator, employee, trainer, worker, community member, sister, daughter… – kept repeating that one should label his/her priorities in life. And for the entire duration of that training session, and probably for hours and weeks afterwards, Angie tried to find a clear answer to that question, but she couldn’t. For some time, she thought the answer would be a few words like: family, work, health, career, pursuit of happiness, fulfillment of dreams, love, life, friends, freedom, independence… You know, the kind of words, that you think you master or that you assume that you know their values, their importance and most importantly: their meaning, but come to look closely at any of these matters, you find that they hold vague unspecific meaning that you can explain in different ways.

On a side note, when Angie drowns in her copy-editing tasks, proof-readings and mistakes hunting, she looses track of what is very important, somehow important, slightly important and silly. Sometimes, in the middle of nowhere in the text but in the comfort of her forgotten office, she looses the idea of “importance” all together and she wonders and wanders all over the text whether her time, energy, attention (and especially her eye-sight) would be taken into consideration…

“I can’t live like that” she sometimes hears herself thinking. “I don’t know what I am doing here”, “Why am I here?”, “What am I doing?”

And when she manages somehow to banish those questions and those thoughts, she returns to her never-ending text where she has to pay attention to some dashes, en-dashes and em-dashes or to the placement of some quotation marks vis-à-vis to the punctuation. And the voices in her head start talking and arguing with each other, over and over again, to the point that nothing – absolutely nothing, not even the most relaxing music in the world – can calm them down, reduce their volume or shut off all that amount of talk, arguments and fights.

Many times, she would look at the pages in front of her, and the words, which for a while seemed to be very well organized in black, in paragraphs, in sentences, on a white sheet,  would become meaningless signs that make no sense at all.

Thank you for reading.

S.Z

What do we really need to thrive?

“I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what to say. Isn’t that the story of my life?” Angie thought to herself.  “So how come I can’t talk? Face people? Smile? Be comfortable among people? How come I can’t make myself heard? How come when I am with a large group of strangers, I simply observe them, listen to what they say, without ever attempting to get involved in the conversation? How come no matter what I do, no matter what I read, no matter how many training sessions I attend, I feel myself stuck in an unknown hole?”

She was hanging around at BUH (the Beautiful University of Heaven) with a book about self-esteem. She had picked it randomly when she was at the library a few days ago and since she was struggling with all these questions in her mind, she decided to find a bench, sit down, listen to her favorite music and read…

Here is what she read:

“The driving force behind us all (once our basic needs for food, shelter, and warmth are met) is the need for: attention.

I’ve yet to meet a person whose reactions, needs, thoughts, and actions are not centered around this desire for attention. We are a species that needs other people. We all want more than anything to be loved, respected, admired, appreciated and recognized as special human beings.

In fact, the complete absence of attention can destroy a child emotionally and, in some cases, physically. In “Dare to Discipline”, Dr. James Dobson tells us, “It has been known for several decades that an infant who is not loved, touched, or caressed will often die. Evidence of this fact was observed as early as the thirteenth century, when Frederick II conducted an experiment with fifty infants. He wanted to see what language the children would speak if they never had the opportunity to hear the spoken word. To accomplish this dubious research project, he assigned foster mothers to bathe and suckle the children, but forbade them to fondle, pet, or talk to their charges. The experiment failed because all fifty infants died.”

There is also a recorded experiment done by the Nazis during World War II. They took several babies and put half in one room and half in another. The temperatures in the rooms, the feeding schedules, and all other variables were the same.

The mothers in one room, however, were instructed to give the babies constant attention. So the mothers rocked

them, held them, loved them, talked to them, and nurtured them. And, even in a concentration camp, these babies thrived! They gained weight, their cheeks were rosy, they smiled, they cooed.

The other babies were taken away from their mothers and given to caretakers who were instructed to give them no attention. They did feed them, but they averted their heads when feeding them. They never made eye contact with the babies, never looked at them, never spoke to them, never picked them up, never touched them, never turned them over.

This last group of babies began losing weight and withdrawing. This is often referred to as “failure to thrive” or the Love Deprivation Theory. Slowly, these babies began to die.

The only variable in these babies was attention. We are a species that will die without attention. Are you saying to yourself right now, “Well, I know attention is important, but I’ve never known anyone to really die from lack of it.”

Think about it. If people don’t feel loved and appreciated by those around them, if they feel neglected, maybe they won’t die physically, but they can make the choice to die in other, equally devastating ways. They can “die” emotionally through drugs, alcohol, depression, or withdrawal. And if they feel completely disconnected, they can contemplate or actually commit suicide.”

Angie stopped reading, put her book down and pondered about what she had just read. In her previous job, she felt for days, months and even years, unloved, unappreciated and unnoticed (it is weird what a prefix like “un” can do to a word … and to a person). She couldn’t define what was actually going wrong. Years after, reading the above lines, she finally started to understand: Yes, she was feeling neglected. How can anyone explain leaving a soul alone for 8 long hours in an empty office, if it isn’t neglect? And yes, she was in a way dying emotionally. She struggled for some time to leave that place and now, she can’t imagine herself going back to that same floor. Many things impacted her life during those years in that job, she felt disconnected, and she withdrew into her little closed shell.

So what is attention, she asked herself?

(To be continued)

The text in italic is by Connie Podesta from the book “Self-Esteem and the Six-Second Secret”(Corwin Press, 1990). The rest is by Samantha Zinnia.

“Why am I here? What am I doing here?”

I wish someone would ask me how was my Sunday and I wish I could frankly answer without sounding too pessimistic that my Sunday, like any other Sunday for almost 3 years now, had started on a good note but ended badly. I wish I could describe how I feel every Sunday evening or sometimes Monday morning when I commute from my parents’ house in Bradfin to Heaven. No matter how my day had been, I can’t help but feel sad as if something extremely important had ended or was about to end. You see, for some time now, I loath my job and I wish I could spend more time with my folks at Bradfin, but almost every weekend, I can’t wait to return to Heaven to my tiny flat and to my work. And then again, during the week, I start my week fighting with myself to go to work, dragging myself out of the office at the end of the day, and then starting another day with almost the same routine.

It is Sunday night and it is almost 11:30pm. I have been trying to convince myself for almost an hour to go to be bed but I don’t seem to be able to do that. I guess I am worried. My mind keeps inventing scenarios about anything and everything that can go wrong with a big project my department is working on. For sure, I like to plan ahead and I can assure you that I don’t like to leave things for the last minute. But this isn’t how my superiors perceive things. I have been trying to adjust to this way of work, but I couldn’t and I still can’t. My mind is imagining the worse. It is jumping from one small hurdle to a major catastrophe: Inventing problems, creating false illusions, repeating, going in circles, dragging me down to some unknown unlimited holes.

“Why am I here? What am I doing here?” my mind keeps asking. Sometimes, when I am performing a specific task, I only assure my mind, that I am here for one specific reason. Take for example, when I am walking to the office and my mind starts asking: “What am I doing here?”, all I have to do in this case is simply answer: “I am going to the office”. But sometimes, especially when I am feeling frustrated about my work, I can’t seem to find an answer to this question and my mind starts jumping all around, asking, re-asking, questioning, and worrying.

Thank you for reading.

Angie.

Who are you?

When I woke up this morning, I wanted to talk, to write, to explore, to dream, to connect, to share my thoughts, to go beyond the usual… I wanted to post something, speak up my mind… And then I realized that this is only my second post on this blog. You don’t know me and I probably don’t know myself.

I always felt that to start anything, one needs to start with an introduction or with a definition. So who am I? Why am I here? Why are you here?

Interesting questions, I find myself thinking. So is this first question (the who am I one) just a simple naive question, that I can answer with a few words? or is it one of those interview questions, that one must master, because these first few words (and therefore these first few seconds) can give a first impression that can last a lifetime?

“I don’t know”, I find myself thinking. “Just answer the question, Angie”, I find myself saying to myself. “Come on Angie, it is a simple question. Angie, you think a lot, you reflect a lot.”

“Ok. I am going to take a deep breath. I will let you handle this question. Do you think you can handle this question? I am sure you can handle it. I am here if you need anything.” I heard myself starting an internal dialogue.

So here we go:

I am Angie Smith from Bradfin, a small town near Heaven. I am 23 years old. I work at BUH… Oh, BUH is an acronym for the Beautiful University of Heaven (or Hell, depending on your day, on your perception and on your level of awareness).

You still don’t know me. I am still just a name, some words written in black on a white screen. I still don’t exist for you and you still don’t exist for me. I am still just a thought that someone has just created.

My mind has just drifted… I see myself in a cemetery. Oh! don’t get me wrong. In some places, cemeteries are nice peaceful places, just like parks. They are covered with green grass and one is at ease when hanging around in these places. Sometimes, an entire life is summarized in these places: just a stone with a name, some dates, and probably a short sentence to squeeze in an entire life on such a limited space. It is ironic how life is. One day you are awake, alive, thinking and feeling, the next you are somewhere else…

The Little Prince, the hero of one of my favorite books, once wondered why it is hard for “grown-ups” (“les grandes personnes” as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry puts it eloquently in french) can’t imagine a person or a place without linking it to something materialistic. The Little Prince wonders why is it so hard for “une grande personne” to imagine a house with a red roof with a small garden filled with flowers and see how beautiful it is, if one doesn’t mention that this house is for 20000 $.

Here is what he says:

“If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions
about essential matters. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he
weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all. You would have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!” 

It is ironic how things are, we need so many details to imagine a person but after a while, only a few things will remain from this person…

Thank you.

Angie

I have been planning to write for a long long time…

Hello there…

This is my first post on this blog. I don’t know what to write or what to say.

Yesterday, in the comfort of my little apartment I read a very interesting chapter from a very interesting book. The book is titled: “Unstoppable: The Pathway to Living an Inspired Life“. Written by Adrian Gilpin, it was first published in 1998 and the version that I currently have was published in 2004 by Capstone Publishing Limiting. Why am I telling you all that? Maybe to simply give you more information about the book and to motivate you to buy it if you like what I will write/quote/say about it.

What is it about? It is about a man who finds out that he is on the wrong path. A man who had everything to succeed but who realized, after a while on his chosen path, that he was climbing the wrong ladder of success. He shows us in this book his own life-story and how he recovered from a financial business collapse, how he started his journey of awakening through the labyrinth of personal development teaching. The book is very touching. You’d think that Adrian is talking to you, addressing your own problems, and reading your own thoughts. You’d feel connected, engaged and… ready to follow your dreams…

In one chapter, he asks and he is being asked this question: “Adrian, what do you want?” and he can’t answer this question. He takes days, weeks and months to be able to find an answer.

Today, I have the same question with a few more that I need to find answers to. My questions are the following: “Angie, what do you want? Angie, where do you see yourself in five years? Angie, what is your life purpose? Angie, are you happy with your job? Angie, do you enjoy spending time alone, underground in your office? Angie, do you like how things are changing around you?”

I can go on and on with my questions. I probably can’t answer what I currently want for my life, but I can tell you what I don’t want:

– I don’t want to be treated the way I am being treated by my colleagues and directors.

– I don’t want to spend any more time alone underground.

– I don’t want to face another wall. I know that walls exist to show us how bad we want things, but I am not sure I want anything anymore, not from this job anyway.

– I don’t want to spend any more time alone in my little tiny flat.

– I don’t want to worry if I would be able to take a shower at home or not. This water problem needs to be solved.

– I don’t want to take an initiative and end up with another “no” from my director.

Why do I constantly feel that I am going against the flow? Why is it that everything I do is so hard to achieve? Why is it that I am not satisfied with anything I do?

Any advice?

Thank you.

S.Z.

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