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Whatcha wanna do in 2010? Whatever it is you want to do, write it down. Your odds of actually achieving what you want increase by simply writing them down. So, … whatcha wanna do?

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Essays: Word of Warning!

 

A word of warning. I have decided to give my opinion on things in short essay format. I am opinionated. Sorry.

 

As I have aged, I have discovered more and more that everyone around me is willing to share their opinions on whatever seems most important to them at the time. I must have a bartender’s face, or the parish priest’s, because people often tell me what they are thinking. I was a bartender. I did hear a lot of alcohol induced soul disgorgement. You smile and nod. You fill their drink when they are ready. You become their buddy for an afternoon or evening. They move on. You remain there. It was an interesting life. I was never a parish priest. Although, I did study for the ministry. But, that is a different story all together.

 

The odd thing about my face and people’s opinions is they never want to hear mine. I have learned to recognize it when it starts to happen. “So, what do you think?” I open my mouth to speak, say a few words, the glaze crosses their eyes, they start thinking of the next thought while I speak, then I close my mouth. My words forgotten in the next round of whatever synapses were brought to the forefront and their mouth engaged in the middle of my point. My opinion forgotten. As a bartender, I silently listened, nodded, and poured more drinks. As a citizen of this world, it grated at me that I could never say what was on my mind. I do it so much better in written form, in any event.

 

I am in management. So, whether they like it or not – mostly not, they have to listen to my perspective on the doctrine that was handed down to me. I sell it as my own. Some complain about that. In reality, it is the filtered official content from an idea or open monologue by the owner or CEO or someone near those that becomes my dogma to disburse among the front lines. The only thing that differs is my spin on it. I hit all of the salient points. Reiterate the key ones, just as taught in college and all those public speakers I have studied. Then, that look occurs. You know it. It is the one that parents get from teenagers. It is the one teachers get from students. I gave it often enough to recognize it when the favor is returned to me. And, in one proverbial ‘in one ear and out the other’ goes everything I just said. I use feedback questions to ensure they are still alive. “Fair enough?” “Does that make sense to you?” “Do you think you can take this and run with it?” If it did not potentially cost them their jobs, I know they would be asleep. In fact, some have to the amusement of the rest.

 

I guess what I am saying is my tank is full. And out of the great library stored between my ears will come a diatribe on various, seemingly, non-related “stuff.” They all seem to be important to me, if no one else. Maybe you, the reader, will gain something from my perspective on ‘life, the universe, and everything’ (which is a good book by Douglas Adams, funny too). Maybe you won’t gain anything. I am not so narcissistic to believe everyone will faun over my words as sweet honey dripping from the cone… which is good! Have you had fresh from the bees’ honey? Good stuff! Back to point… With a tank full of points and opinions to be made, I thought I should make some.

 

I have been reading a lot of writers of late. Some are good. Some need work. Some I do not understand. Some have a lot of potential. And, sadly, some will get no further than they are because of what I call the ‘Rogers Slant on the Peter Principle.’ I will get to that later. There is a common theme in all of the writing that I have observed. They are all opinionated. Mine included. Fair enough AND there is nothing wrong with it either. And, I have made the observation that I have been “holding back” so as not to offend anyone. Personally, I do not like the seagull style of making your presence known. You do not know what I mean by this? It is simple if you have been anywhere around seagulls for any length of time. First, they are loud. Then, they are persistent. They go around squealing and squawking to provoke others to give them their way. I even had one puff up his feathers to make himself look bigger. I was threatened by a seagull!?! Being several multiples larger than the seagull, I showed him who really was the predator. No, I did not kill it. I could not get close enough. But, he left me alone to my lunch after that. But, I have met people who are like that. Seagulls. Loud. Obnoxious. My way is the only way. It’s all about me. And, like seagulls, they fly around, squawk around, do what seagulls do, then leave… because they are not “appreciated.” Ehhhhh.

 

Now, not all are like that. Certainly. No there are quite more than a few that are nice, dare I say wonderful. The kind that you wouldn’t mind socializing with if they lived closer. And, it is about the work and not the “appreciation.” Appreciation is nice, but if the emperor is naked and says he is wearing the finest new attire made of threads so exquisite that they cannot be seen by the naked eye… Well, I have to fight the really strong desire to remind him he’s just ‘nekked.’ (Southern US slang for naked, nude) My mother was very honest. Most of the time she wouldn’t hold back and would say nekked is nekked. No, not all that I have met and read have struck me as self-centric. Some of them are good and to read replies back, it is as if they do not believe they are that good or just cannot take a compliment. Refreshing, actually. I have been in many groups, forums, and the like. Those wonderful people are the reason that keeps me coming back. Thank you, publicly, to all those folks! [Author’s shameless plug for all my friends at writerscafe.org]

 

And, to those I am surely to offend, just remember Jesus was quoted as saying, “Offenses come.” I remember working at a restaurant as a waiter. The bartender was one of those people who said whatever was on his mind. He never seemed to hold back while I knew him. I do not even really remember what sparked the conversation and his response to it, but he said “G.D. something, something, something.” One of the other waiters said, pointing at me, he’s a Christian. Remember this guy just said whatever comes to mind. So he fires at me but not to me, “So, am I going to offend him.” Not looking up from what I was doing, I retorted calmly, “Jesus said, ‘Offenses come.’”

 

“So, what am I gonna burn in hell now?”

 

“No, that’s optional and it is purely up to you.”

 

That ended the conversation. I still think that story is funny. Especially, since I lived it.

 

No. I know that when I throw out my opinion that there will be those who think I am crazy, stuck on myself, someone died and left me god, words to that effect, blah, blah, blah. In reality, I have heard them all before. But, turn about is fair play. If I withhold my tongue (pen, keyboard, whatever) and do not lambaste the opinions of others… no matter how ridiculous they may seem… then that same respect should be accorded to others, like me for instance.

 

Open discussion? Sure I am open to reasonable discussion and debate on any of these issues. I am just expressing my opinion, my perspective, my point of view. If it differs from yours and we cannot see eye-to-eye on the matter, then let us kindly agree-to-disagree. Which is something all reasonably intelligent people should be able to do. Wot?

 

So, this is my word of warning. Essays, rants, spoken word diatribes, are about to commence without apology, without remorse, without lament. Those of you brave enough to read this far and beyond will hopefully discover something of use from the various topics discussed. And, maybe gain something from another’s perspective.

 

I thought you should know before I did it. J

 

 

Doc.

 

 

P.S.

The Rogers’ Slant to the Peter Principle

 

The Peter Principle, in basic, states a person will get promoted to their highest level of incompetence. Which means, they did well at this level, so certainly they will do well at the next level up. And, that continues until the person struggles with incompetence in the position they now hold. Which makes those that placed them there feel both good and bad.

 

Bad: The incompetent person’s performance reflects poorly on the person who put them there in the first place.

 

Good: It is called the “I’m better” syndrome. Since my position is superior to your position and I have it, you do not, that makes me superior to you. It is another form of bullying for grown ups.

 

The Rogers’ Slant is simply this. Once attaining to your highest level of incompetence, you are faced with two choices; well, three choices.

  1. Stay until you are fired for incompetence.
  2. Take a step down back to the level where you were not incompetent.
  3. Do that which is uncomfortable and learn how to excel at the level you now find yourself.

 

Point 3 is the ticket that is rarely punched. One of the things I have discovered in 30+ years of working is your education for the job does not really matter. “What???” All the college grads say. For this reason, you will not really understand what it takes to do the job until you do the job. I am purported to be well educated, well studied. That ‘well studied’ state came from each position I kept finding myself promoted into. At first, I floundered terribly. Then I went to the Lincoln School of Advanced Studies. What and where is that? I am glad you asked.

 

The Lincoln School of Advanced Studies is my name for what Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA, did to get educated. He borrowed books. Read, studied, analyzed them. He famously split rails and other odd jobs to borrow or buy books. He applied himself to know, in spite of his economic condition. Black smith or lawyer? In the early 1800’s in the US, either profession would keep you in work for the rest of your life, if you were good at it. Mr. Lincoln opted for law and the rest is history.

 

The Peter Principle is applicable in other areas of life rather than just economics of business. The Rogers’ Slant to the Peter Principle defines a truth: People will advance in ability just as far as they are willing to do that which is difficult.

 

If a person decides they have had enough and are satisfied where they are, they cannot be moved unless forcibly made to do so. The state of satisfaction comes from their unwillingness to do what it takes to go beyond where they are. My mother was want to remind her children that my father’s career in the US Navy and his promotions therein were due to her “insistence.” That’s a nice way of putting it, isn’t it? My father in his youth was a man of desires and action. He did what he wanted to do until reality caught up to him through seven children, a house, and a slew of family pets.  He then became quite dedicated to his responsibilities. He did, too many times, that which was uncomfortable to achieve his goal: raise seven kids.

 

I became involved in multi-level marketing several times. Each time was before I came across this slant to the principle. One of the really interesting things I discovered was MLN’s are excellent for sales training. They are also good for learning human dynamics. In this case, one gentlemen who had retired from one career and worked with the MLN to have something to do. He became moderately successful because he only needed so much additional income to be satisfied. One of the things he would do to motivate his team was to ‘dream build.’ By that, he would take the team members to places to show them what they could possible own, if they were willing to work hard for it. In one of these field trips, the sales associate pointed out something rather interesting. He pointed out that the gentleman would periodically bring people by to “dream build” but no one ever came back to buy. Why was that? I thought it a good question too, so I asked the gentleman too. He said the answer was simple. They did not have the “want to.” Then he explained.

 

The “want to” was the desire to do what it takes to get what you want. For some of these people, that “want to” was not a Ferrari. For most people that “want to” never materialized. They lacked the desire to go beyond the uncomfortable. Then some do succeed, but their “want to” was not big enough. They got comfortable where they were. Then there were others. They seem to be the few, the lucky few. Luck had nothing to do with it. To quote another gentleman in MLN, “If their ‘want to’ is big enough, they can do anything.”

 

And, that is where we come full circle. In the Peter Principle, it is supposed that the person will raise in responsibility until they reach failure. In the Rogers’ Slant, people who succeed even though they initially lack the education or ability do that which is uncomfortable. They do that extra bit, no matter the difficulty, to ensure they succeed. An example of this is a man who started out in MLN business in the 1960’s. He was a truck driver making less than $100 per week. He did that which was impossible. He continued that until he became one of the richest men in MLN history. Now, will everyone be that successful? No. His “want to” was huge. It drove him. The same is true of Gates and Murdoch. They went beyond their inabilities to persist until successful.

 

To succeed in anything, successful people identify where they are weak. They identify what is needed. Then, they persist in training themselves, in doing what is required to succeed. They drive themselves toward that ideal of success for them. There are those whose ideal is billion dollar business, the pinnacles of politics or industry or fame, or a 2/2/2 in the suburbs with the kids and pets. The individual must identify for themselves what is their definition of success. The individual must identify for themselves what is their “want to;” what are they willing to do or not do to reach their definition of success. Once defined, the individual must maintain a sure hold on the “want to,” the ideal, their vision of where they see themselves. After that, it is easy. Right?

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