Is Your Job Killing You?

Now more than ever people are buzzing about health matters in such a highly examined way. So much so, that there has been a massive push to comb through the everyday contributors to identify the biggest culprits of poor health. While discovery raises its head to the surface for its explorers, the question then soon becomes a matter of acknowledgement and choice. Meaning, once a person knows the cause of something will they then accept it and do something to change their course of action?

One such predominant cause and effect relationship that has been declared, is in the work to personal health dynamic. The evidence of this relationship has surpassed the questions of whether or not the jobs we work cause an adverse effect on our health, but have escalated to questions of how much are we willing to ignore and put up with the detrimental effects that our jobs are causing on our health?

Genetics Loads the Gun Environment Pulls the Trigger

While evidence has shown direct negative causation between work and health, it is true, however, that not all jobs are the sole cause of disease. Despite this balanced acknowledgement, many jobs do in fact facilitate environments that promote it. From 0-30 minute lunches (if even taken) to fast-paced demanding environments, with no breaks, it’s no wonder people have been experiencing unfavorable health-related issues. Issues largely effecting the digestive system and skin such as sporadic rashes and episodic eczema. These topical annoyances, which are some of the most common stress-induced manifestations, are often signs of a bigger picture that our bodies are alerting and forewarning us about.

While it has been argued that we all carry an innate predisposition to the spectrum of disease, what has not been largely opposed is the effect environment has on drawing out/activating those predispositions. Long work hours, overtime and working while “off” create stressful lifestyles that leave little time for proper sleep, nutritious meal preparation, and joyous time spent with friends and family.

So why, knowing all these affects do we continue keeping this harmful hamster wheel in motion?

The “Golden Ticket” Lie Corporate America Sold You

One such reason we resume on this course is due to the persuasive impact of the mainstream workplace arena. Corporate America has double downed on ticket sales for both the desperate and the greedy. Those in desperate need of provision to take care of the basic necessities of life have purchased their season passes to ride the main attraction as this procurement, in some ways, seems to be the best ticket in town. For others, basic needs are not a major deficiency yet the lure for greater material possessions and additional financial “security” are the draw for them.

But is the cost of the golden ticket to enter this world actually leading it’s buyers to the blissful entrance of the chocolate factory?

In essence, is the time, effort and energy invested really paying off?

As more and more cases of stress-induced work related disease is on the rise, the answer to this previously posed question becomes a resounding no. As what often becomes the story of workers around America (and other countries who have a similar toxic work system) is that the means to the end often lead to the end before the means. Meaning, many individuals do not even make it to the finish line of a lifelong career as they are sidelined by stress-related/work-induced disease. For those who do make it to “retirement” many have often spoken about health issues they currently face as a result of a stressful job they carried for years. Many have even confessed that they knew their job was “killing” them but that they had no choice but to just deal with it.

A copious amount of people over the past century have worked themselves into disease just as recklessly as a squirrel trying to cross the street. If people truly saw the link to their work patterns as paths leading them to destructive health-related ends how then would efforts for change be provoked? Would more workers seek to petition for a shorter work week?  Would collective voices arise to challenge corporate leadership and cultures to structure a better way?

Many millennials are being called “entitled” for doing this very thing. Pushing back. Seeing the early signs of what the previous generation experienced is what leads them to seek opportunities in less toxic settings.

Karoshi: Death by Overwork

Many of us are familiar with workplace terms such as “occupational health” and “workers compensation.” In fact, we often joke about the latter in hopes of “cashing in” while being excused from having to show up to work. Yet, if we were truthful, it would be hard pressed to find anyone who would choose to experience a painful injury for the sake of a temporary payday. As there is recognition that the road to recovery for those seriously injured most often is long and has the likelihood of permanent lifelong disability.

Outside of worker’s compensation, the most recognized work-related illnesses or occupational diseases are those who have been exposed to hazardous conditions or substances at work. Many of these particular conditions or health problems are often considered “work-related,” as workers have been able to evidentially show a link to job causation. Yet, there is another large pool of workers who are experiencing the same level of occupational disease; but because the condition is not as a result of an external hazard (i.e. chemical, pollution, etc) there has been little responsibility or repercussions given to the employer. Because of this lack of established culture in the workplace, many today fear reporting direct causation of stress-induced illnesses to their employers; so as to not look like they “cannot handle stress.” Thus many often suffer in silence and merely accept the “cost of doing business.”

With the pace of business only accelerating and the demands of worker productivity matching its speed, how then do we address this issue? How many cancer cases and deaths will it take for the culture of business to change? How many people are willing to stand up for their health and mental wellness at the potential risk of their income?

This is more than a push for employers to add a few more PTO days or imploring companies to put in a few more office perks to “make it a great place to work.” This is truly about changing the work culture that has led many to the place of illness.

We Are More Than Our Work

We Are More Than Our Work.

Period.

Albert Einstein said it best: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Thus, we must then take a different view if we are to shift the workplace culture. One such mindset that workers must change is the view that “the job needs me.” Please know the company will be okay if you choose to have healthy work boundaries and balance in your life. While many companies tout themselves as a family, the truth of the matter is everyone is replaceable. If not now…later. With this in mind, how can we restructure our level of engagement so as to reclaim our identities outside of work?

While many people fear what will happen to them if they use their personal time off (PTO), unplugging from work throughout the year is one of the best ways to counter stress-induced work-based disease. It has been reported by the US Travel Association that each year, more than half of Americans leave vacation time on the table. In 2018, a staggering total of 768 million days were recorded as unused PTO. Take time to actively plan your time off, because before you know it you will be indirectly adding to this total in the years to come.

It is not being a poor team player for taking care of yourself. Self care is not only for yourself but it is for the collective. When you are truly refreshed and refueled you are a better you. Not just for productivity sake but for health of the interpersonal interactions we all engage in everyday. Being on edge, stressed, having to call out all the time due to perpetual minor illnesses (cold, flu, headache, etc) is no way to live. Truly examine the cost of the quality of life you are willingly choosing to sacrifice for the sake of holding on to that position.

Ask yourself – is it worth it?

 

 

 

Viral-driven Based Content

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Photo by Tianyi Ma on Unsplash

What’s Trending?

Now-a-days the success of our content is measured by how many views, likes and shares we generate from it. Many content curators struggle with what they want to post versus what they feel they need to post. The structure and topical headers are carefully crafted so as to lure in as many click-happy individuals as possible. Often sacrificing truth and authenticity for sensationalized curiosity.

So who wins out?

What type of culture are we creating when we reward nonsensical content over well-thought out material?

So many expressions get lost in the mire of feeling as though “my voice and my content” do not matter enough to be heard because it will not be what people want to read about or hear. Many of us, however, would be okay with this view as we believe there are already too many voices and opinions being granted the space for expression. Still others, however, would lobby for those who feel the former way to not be discouraged or hesitant to speak what is on their heart.

Whichever side of the field you stand on, my hope is that you at least think twice about why you are clicking on what you are clicking on. Do we turn to online content for mere entertainment only? The latest news? Or do we search this space for it’s ability to provide us with thought-provoking content? If the latter, what are we doing to elevate this type of content so that this becomes our new norm?

I’d love to hear what you think about this in the comment section below – who wants to get the conversation started?

My Top 6 Vegetarian Recipes

1. Chickpea “Chicken” Salad

chickpeas salad with lettuce and bread on wood serving tray
Photo credit: Adoptmybowl.com

Found on AdoptMyBowl.com

I’ve amended the recipe a bit for my personal preferences, but have provided you the original version for you to try it out and see what you like! This recipe is a quick, cheap and (can be) cookless meal! If you don’t have time to cook the chickpeas from scratch, simply buy the low sodium organic canned ones and they do just as fine!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked Chickpeas
  • 1 cup Homemade Vegan Mayo
  • 2 large ribs Celery, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Red Onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp Parsley, diced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2/3 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning Blend
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • Optional Add-ins: 1/2 tbsp Dill, 1 cup Sliced Grapes, and/or ⅔ cup Raisins or other dried fruit
  1. First, add the cooked Chickpeas to a large bowl, and mash them with a fork. I prefer to roughly mash around 75% them to give a nice texture to the Salad, but you can adjust according to your own personal preference.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients for the Salad into the bowl, and mix until well-incorporated. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 7 days.
  3. To assemble each Sandwich, lightly toast 2 slices of bread, and layer each with a piece of lettuce. Place a heaping portion of the Chickpea Salad onto one slice of bread, then fold the other on top. Serve as desired.

2. Lemony Lentil Soup

The BEST Lentil Soup Recipe
Photo credit: GimmeSomeOven.com

Found on GimmeSomeOven.com

They have a stovetop, crockpot (slow cooker) and instant pot (pressure cooker) instructional version. Click here to view which one you would like to try. This recipe is good year-round and not just for the winter months! Average cost of this meal’s ingredients are less than $10 at any local grocery.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2/3 cup whole-kernel corn
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • (optional) pinch each of saffron and cayenne
  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

 

3. The Best Black Bean Burgers I’ve Ever Had

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Photo Credit: Sallysbakingaddiction.com

Found on Sallysbakingaddiction.com

Oooo so good! I wasn’t quite sure about this recipe as it had a lot of different moving components and ingredients. I can truly say that not one black bean burger went in the trash can! I tried this recipe on a cast iron skillet the first time, but I will be firing up the grill to see how well these taste with that grill infused flavor. I can’t wait!

Ingredients

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (1/2 of a pepper)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1/2 of a large onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or oat flour
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce
  • pinch salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté olive oil, chopped pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Gently blot some of the moisture out. Place in a large bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Stir or pulse everything together, then add the black beans. Mash with a fork or pulse the mixture, leaving some larger chunks of beans.
  3. Form into patties– about 1/3 cup of mixture in each.
  4. To bake: Place patties on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (191°C) for 10 minutes on each side, 20 minutes total. To grill: Place patties on greased aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. Heat temperature is personal preference as all grills differ. Generally, black bean burgers should grill on medium-high heat about 350°F (177°C) – 400°F (204°C).
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

  1. Make ahead tip: Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully! Stack between parchment paper in a freezer container or zipped-top bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat to your liking or, if uncooked, cook according to instructions.   If desired, you can skip thawing and reheat/cook from frozen for an extra couple minutes.
  2. Vegan: These black bean burgers are not vegan. To make vegan, leave out the cheese. Replace the Worcestershire sauce with a different vegan condiment (your favorite BBQ sauce would be great!) and replace the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.

 

4. Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes that can go directly from the freezer into your oven! Make them ahead for an easy (vegetarian) meal prep lunch or dinner.
Photo credit: SweetPeasandSaffron.com

Found on SweetPeasandSaffron.com

Now I don’t eat corn anymore so I’ve left this ingredient out. I also use (6 months to 1 year) aged sheep’s cheese which helps reduce the effects of being lactose intolerant. I practically have zero digestive issues whenever I eat aged sheep’s  cheese due to it’s low lactose properties. Nonetheless, this recipe carries a low labor intensity so just sit back and let those sweet potatoes do their thing!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheese 3/4 mixed in
  • Serve with avocado salsa and/or sour cream

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 400°F.
  • Scrub the sweet potatoes and pat to dry. Using a fork, poke holes in the sweet potato and arrange on a baking sheet.
  • Bake at for 45-90 minutes.
  • Sweet potatoes are done when a knife inserted into the center goes in with no resistance. You can also use a oven gloved hand to gently squeeze the sweet potato all the way along.
  • Allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly (10 or so minutes) before slicing them in half lengthwise.
  • Gently scoop out filling, leaving a small border along the inside of the sweet potato skins.
  • Mash together the sweet potato filling with enchilada sauce, salt, chili powder and cumin. Stir in the beans, corn and ¾ cup cheese, and spoon gently back into the skins.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup cheese.
  • To bake immediately Bake at 400°F for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and melted.
  • To freeze:Cool completely, then wrap in plastic cling wrap. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
  • To re-heat:Thawed: Unwrap, and place in a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 425°F for 15-20 minutes until cheese bubbles and potatoes are heated through.
  • To bake from frozen: Unwrap, and place in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 425°F for 40 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until cheese bubbles and potatoes are heated through.

5. Roasted Parsnip Soup

Image result for roasted parsnip soup
Photo Credit: BonAppetit.com

Found on bonappetit.com

Now you can make this without crafting homemade walnut pesto sauce -the soup is just as tasty without it. If you just have to have the full sha-bang then buying pre-made basil pesto will also do the trick!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as tarragon, flat-leaf parsley, and chives)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Toss parsnips with 1 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Arrange parsnips in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender and lightly caramelized, 22–25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, pulse walnuts and herbs in a mini-processor until very finely chopped. (Alternatively, crush walnuts and herbs with a mortar and pestle to form a coarse paste.) Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and lemon juice and pulse to combine. Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  • Let parsnips cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Add stock; purée until smooth. Pour soup into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and divide among bowls. Drizzle with pesto and serve.

 

6. Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw

Image result for lentil tacos thug kitchen
Photo credit: Thug Kitchen (Lentil Tacos pictured bottom left)

Found on ThugKitchen.com

Now this book is not for your grandma’s pastime or weekend kitchen bonding experience. Unless you’ve heard her spew out creative cuss words since birth, I’d keep this recipe for your eyes only. Cookingbylaptop.com has so eloquently given us the PG version below. A delicious version of a meatless taco sure to keep you coming back for more!

Ingredients for the base: 

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup black lentils (beluga), rinsed
  • 1 cube vegetable stock (or substitute the 3 cups water for your own homemade vegetable stock)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp soy or tamari (to keep it gluten free)
  • 2 tbsp apple juice or cider
  • 1 package taco seasoning OR use the following spices to your taste: chili powder, cumin, chili flakes, paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • additional water as needed

Instructions

  1. Bring water (with vegetable stock cube dissolved in it) or stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the lentils and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook, half-covered, for about half an hour, until tender. Drain the excess water off (if there’s any left) and reserve.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat, and then add in the onion. Stir well and allow to soften, about 3 minutes. If you are using fresh spices, and not a taco seasoning mix, now is the time to add them. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms start to lose some of their liquid, about another 3 minutes. Add the lentils, soy sauce, and apple juice. Stir well, then add the taco seasoning, if using it. Add the apple juice and stir well.
  3. At this point, taste for seasonings, and more salt, pepper, chili or cumin if needed. I like to mash mine up a little with a potato masher or a fork so that they aren’t totally uniform. Add more water if you need to, to get the lentils to that stewy consistency.
  4. Serve with soft or hard taco shells, and your favorite toppings.

Keeping Up With The Work Joneses

So What Do You Do?

The tried and true age old question we ask each other when we either meet someone for the first time or we reunite with someone we have not seen in a while.

My guess it is that about 50% of people are over-the-moon anxious to tell of their wonderful job title and career status. The other half, like myself, cringe at the thought of having to answer this question. The discomfort, I believe, comes from both an insecurity about ones’ social status and lack of positional progress. The thought of having to tell a person that you are “still at the bottom” is nothing short of embarrassing. Especially, if you were once deemed as gifted student and bright prospect. Top of the class does not always equate to top of the work force. Great minds do not always get rewarded with socioeconomic prosperity. The dissonance created by this unpredictable formula leaves many who fail to reach a certain workforce ranking feeling nothing short of a failure.

Oh yes…. that dreaded word: failure.

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Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

Now we have all kinds of cute sayings and euphemisms about failure that are designed to take the sting out of the realization of its presence. But when we strip away these inflated motivational adages we are left with the facts of existence.

  • We are not where we hoped to be.
  • We are not where we (and others) have expected us to be.
  • We are not even close to the place that turns our situation around.
  • We are destitute and dissatisfied with life because of the place we have found ourselves to be.
  • We, in a nutshell, feel like trash.

As much as our friends and family try and give us words of encouragement and show us the bright side of life, we still feel a deep sense of social shame for not “measuring up” to our potential. All of this potential has been riding on 12+ years of education, social cultivation, and rearing that has forced itself upon unsuspecting people like ourselves who know nothing else than to follow it’s guide. To follow it’s unassuming path of claims that promise to lead us to victory.

For those who have reached an illustrious role in society, the question does not become “am I ashamed to tell people what I do,” but am I truly happy in what I do?  So many of my colleagues who have mid and director level positions unknowingly display a visible level of discontentment in their face. Just as secure as they feel saying they are “this” or “that” I gather they often feel just as insecure about admitting how trapped or truly unhappy they are in what they do. Many of whom do not even have the guts to openly admit how dissatisfied they are in life and with what they do for a living for fear of being “found out” or sounding ungrateful for the title and position they have secured.

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

My interactive data has computed that these individuals have predominantly accumulated years of a certain title behind their belt largely due to their life choices such as having kids, needing to pay off student debts or purchasing a home/car which forces them into the day-in and day-out grind. They “have” to stay there because, what would happen if they didn’t? The thought of this scares many who have such prominent titles or roles more than the terrifying realities of what they have to face on a day-to-day basis. Realities that often include: racist bosses, sexist cultures, toxic co-worker interactions, unsafe workplace environments, and of course the constant uncertainty of job reviews which lead to anxiety about job assurance.

Now, without a doubt, these same realities are faced by those who are “at the bottom.” Yet, their slice of the workplace pie comes at a much smaller piece. Meaning, they still have to take the crap but are getting paid significantly less money (due to their entry/low level position).

So how do those on the lower end of the financial stick and career title ever feel like they will be proud to say what they do?

I believe that this level of confidence will largely come to this group of individuals when they find a more sustainable income producing occupation that is personally fulfilling. This role may never reach the earnings that their colleagues amass, yet this group will be satisfied enough with relaying what it is they do because they will have reached a point in life that is dignifying.

Dignity.

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Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

That’s all most people “at the bottom” want to feel. They want to feel some sense of worth – both socially and personally. Yes, the one does indeed play on the other and they each go hand in hand. For one to say that they “could care less about what society thinks about who [they] are and what [they] do” is to strip away one’s direct participation with the larger community. A community that we are all a part of, no matter how removed and distant a person believes they can be. While one’s identity does not have to be fully tied up into society’s stamp of approval over what a person does for a living, we all still feel (whether we want to openly admit it or not) a desire to be proud about our participation in the global workforce community.

  • We want to feel like we are contributing.
  • We want to feel valued.
  • We want to feel like we have succeeded.
  • We want to feel like we are who we and others expected us to be.
  • We want to be who we hoped and knew we could be.

A success.

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Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

To whatever degree that looks like and whichever occupation that ends up being all anyone wants to do is find work that makes them feel valued and successful. Work that makes them feel proud to say this is what I do. That affords them enough financial opportunity as their fellow person who decides to do whatever it is they choose to do as well.

What are your thoughts about this? I’d love to hear your comments below! Will you be the first to share?

Tons of Content…Very little of Substance

Image result for flipping through the channels
Photo credit: Google Image

Boy there is just nothing to watch on television these days. I mean with the myriad of options everywhere from Netflix, to Hulu, to Amazon Prime Video to YouTube, the list is endless. How do we have ALL THIS CONTENT and very little of it is edifying?

1,000+ channels of eat your heart out television bliss yet very little of it is of interest. It’s just the same ole content remixed and reformatted. I guess that’s why anybody can be successful now-a-days and put up anything because it’s all garbage. Garbage I say!

Now I know what many of you may be saying…well Krystle not all of it is garbage. I’ve actually been able to find quite a few shows that have me hooked! Oh yeah, well kudos to you. You may have a particular niche preference that is currently being served up with a large order of fries. But for the rest of us – we are starvin over here! We want fresh, good, thought provoking content!

Making the push for new narratives however is no easy task. How do you change the appetite of a society that seems to crave junk when you are wanting to serve up a refreshing plate of fruit?

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Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

How do new content creatives get the play and exposure they deserve when videos like this are going viral? The old philosophy is true, there are a lot of undiscovered artist and talent out there who just aren’t getting the mainstream play they deserve. So where do you find such rich content if you aren’t getting connected to these underground artists?

Well, word of mouth if of course always the best way to start. You could also just randomly click on Spotify playlists or go on a YouTube recommended black hole of death bonanza. Or you could do my favorite which is create the content you wish to see! Now for the media production and technology challenged out there. This may not be a viable option for you, but if you’re up for the task of learning it very well could be! Hey who knows you may find out that you’re better than you think you are and love producing content.

We need more brave souls to step out of the box to help create a different set of content for the online world to enjoy. Well… maybe not the world….but MAYBE the world. Hey! You never know who and where your unique idea will pop up and who it will resonate with. All I know is that there is no shortage of same-minded narratives that need to take the backseat to creative content that truly ignites a positive and engaging spark in our viewing experience.

Will you be one?

How To Avoid Choosing An Incompatible Job: Using a Career-Based Personality Test to Understand if You Are in the Right Job

How do you know if you are in the right job?

We all want to know if the job that we are waking up to every morning at 5, 6, 7 am is the right job for us? For many who are prospecting a new position, the question instead becomes is this potential role a win in the compatibility department? Yet others who are reading this, who do not fall into either of these ponderings, are probably saying to themselves:

I already KNOW that I am in the WRONG job. I just don’t know WHAT job I want to do!

Thus, the issue lies not in trying to figure out if you are in the right job or not, but figuring out WHAT job IS “right,” or should I say better, for you.

So where do you begin?

Take the time for self-discovery

One of the first steps towards assessing whether or not a job is right for you is to examine who you are in a deeper context.

No really……who are you?

When was the last time you truly asked yourself this question? So many of us have suppressed our identities for the purposes of Corporate America assimilation and survival. We do this, because this is the path we were taught. Go to school, graduate and get a good job. We are told to find out what it takes to keep the company happy and master that. Discarding much of what we think as it pertains to self-growth so as to focus on career and professional development instead.

Yet, how can we continue to ignore our personal journey in the place where we spend the majority of our waking hours? When will we cease to ignore our true selves at the cost of workplace acceptance? For many, the thought of doing this scares them to pieces. It is much safer and easier to neglect personal exploration than it is to take the path of self-discovery. Because self-discovery may lead to enlightenment. Enlightenment could lead to awareness and awareness could then lead to change. Change that could mean taking a pay cut or leaving an “easy” but unfulfilling job. Or, on the upside, a change that could lead to a much more satisfying work life.

So then, what self-discovery strategies can you use to begin understanding how to tackle this question?

Using a Career-based Personality Test to Help find Job Compatibility

Life coaches are great. Yet many of us do not know where to find one, let alone a spectacular one that truly helps us get sure-fire solutions. One of the quickest and (most importantly) cost-effective ways to find out what type of work best suits you is to take an online personality test.

Taking a test such as the one offered on 16personalities.com or www.truity.com are two fantastic ways to learn more about job compatibility. For the skeptics out there immediately discarding the idea of leaving their future up to a “manufactured survey,” at the very least you should give it a whirl before you knock it. If after you take the test (seriously) you find that the answers are inconclusive or completely inaccurate then by all means take the plunge to find the ultimate life coach.

While there are many personality-based test such as Myers-Briggs, Human Metrics, and DISC profile that provide an overview of your day-to-day personality. The best thing about taking a test such as the 16personalities questionnaire is that it shows how your personality responds to certain career environments and it provides you with several specific career path options.

For example, let’s say your personality test results show that you are a “Campaigner”

campaign
Photo Credit: Courtesy of 16personalities.com

The test outputs show the following career paths for this personality type:

Campaigner personality types are able to apply logic to human interactions and networks, using their exceptional social perception to find out what makes people tick. This lends Campaigners a solid foothold in any human science or service, from psychology, counseling and teaching to politics, diplomacy and detective work.

Many more career options satisfy these needs, and not just the scientific ones – writing, journalism, acting and TV reporting all give Campaigners a chance to explore something new every day and stir the pot a little while they’re at it. It may come to pass though, that the best way forward for Campaigner personalities is to establish themselves as entrepreneurs and consultants, blazing their own trails and taking on whatever project is most fascinating.

The next set of results detail the Workplace Habits or environment that best suite this personality:

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of 16personalities.com

Campaigners would prefer that there be hardly a hierarchy at all. People with the Campaigner personality type possess warmth, creativity, and an open-mindedness that makes them excellent listeners. If these qualities are recognized by their employers, they will always be able to count on their Campaigner employees to innovate and boost morale.

The test results then spell out how “Campaigner” personality types are most likely to respond to and interact with subordinates, managers and colleagues. This is extremely helpful intel as it not only gives language to a person struggling to find out how to best express how they feel in their current work place environment but it also helps them to best understand what type of environment they should strive for. Whether that be communicating it to a current office setting or vocalizing it in a future interview as something that is vital for their success.

Let the Data Work for You and Not Against You

Do not fight the data. Let the outcome of the test sink in and bounce the results off your colleagues, friends and family members. Ask them if they agree with the evidence of the test results. While 100% of the findings from the test may not match up, if you truly took the test with the utmost sincerity – a large percentage of it should. Thus, there should be some sentiment of truth present in the results. Once you get the clarity, begin taking steps towards income-producing work that could lean itself towards a more compatible lifestyle.

Be Cognizant of the Ebbs and Flows of Life

Know this however, that just as the seasons change throughout the year, so do our lives and personalities; particularly as a pertains the effects of our life circumstances. So you may be surprised (or not) to find out that who you were five years ago is not the person you are today; which will influence the type of work that you may be now suddenly yearning for.

You may have even taken a test similar to this a while back and do not realize that if you took the test again today that you could quite possibly test out in a completely different category. Do not fret. Most importantly, do not automatically discard the findings as erroneous. Find out why you may have answered the way you did and what descriptors in that personality type are true. Any conclusive evidence is good evidence. Knowing more about who you are (today) will only help lead you closer and closer to finding a better match as it pertains to your work life.

Finally, while you may find the type of work that you enjoy (as a result of taking this test and doing the work of self-discovery), keep in mind finding the right company is still a crap shoot. Job satisfaction takes a healthy combination of company culture, managerial style, department dynamics and job function/position to achieve ultimate balance. While it’s certainly more difficult to control the first three of this list, you can at least have some sense of resolve by seeking opportunities for roles that better fit your personality.

How Far is Too Far?

When we explore ideas that push the boundary of our faith this question arises….how far is too far? How open is too open? How liberal is to liberal? I think in our developing world of “enlightenment” and free thought aka “wokeness” we have a highly influential doorway that willingly invites us to follow after whatever we see as comfortably true to us. Instead of studying and adhering to the faith tradition for which we ascribe to; we instead opt for this a la cart belief system. It takes a little bit of this from here, a little bit of that from there and creates an entree size plate for us to feast on. On the other hand, many people have lived a linear life of thought that has no entry point of challenge to their existing beliefs. They are single and close-minded when it comes to exploring new and transformative thoughts that could grow them in a positively developed state of being.

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Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

 

 

So where’s the balance? How can one stay open to transformative external thoughts but remain unwavering in existing foundational beliefs? Are there any things off limits? Well, in my eyes – for the Christian – the short answer is yes! But before I touch on that, first let me say we all ascribe to a belief system – whether we like to admit it or not. Even those that proclaim to be non-religious but “spiritual” have formulated some internal belief construct that leads and guides their lives. Oftentimes – these individuals make themselves as the god of their lives; creating their own standards, judgements and rules of life. For the Christian believer, we signed up not to live this way but to have Jesus as our God to create the standard, truth and way of life.

Now there has been much debate since dawn of time of what specifically this “way” is…However, at the very core of our belief should be the non-negotiable facts and beliefs. And that is that Jesus: physically walked the earth in human form, lived a sinless life, proclaimed He was and is the Messiah/God, was publicly crucified and died on the cross (willingly as a sacrifice for our sins), was resurrected on the third day, and promises the gift of eternal life with Him in paradise for all who repent of their sins and believe He is God. This is the basic core of our faith – this should not be something that you allow others to re-define or create liberal views on. Should you decide to allow your beliefs about this to change by all means, you should consider changing your faith declaration altogether. Because at this point, it is no longer Christianity, but a re-defined, remixed version of something else. Now there are other core tenets of the faith that are also non-negotiable but for the sake of time I will not espouse on those. I mainly wanted to get the number one core belief established in case someone out there was wandering if any of that part could be flexible in regards to their beliefs as a self-proclaimed Christian.

Now for what I’d like to call secondary tenets such as charitable giving, days of worship, the end times, divorce, parenting, etc. those are all non-essential debatable things that are certainly up for pushing the boundary. Having said that, we should still do our best as believers to first search the scriptures of the written text (aka Bible) to study both the descriptive and possible prescriptive declaration. If we first turn to culture to see what it is saying to us (and allowing for us), then we are more than likely pushing the boundaries of “going too far.” While cultures do evolve over the course of time, they should not be our God or teacher when it comes to our faith. We can take the current climate of culture and study it against the biblical culture to see what is descriptive of the (ancient) times and what is prescriptive of the life of faith in Christ.

If the prescriptive is true, when we willingly decide to bend out faith to accommodate our “liberal thought” then we’ve gone too far. Oftentimes this liberal thinking is not enlightenment but a convenient accommodation to our pleasures, desires and comforts that support what ultimately we want to do and the agenda we want to push. This agenda is usually self-serving and rooted in ego, arrogance and lack of willingness to change. For some of you listening or reading this who disagree, I challenge you to truly examine yourself against any narcissistic exaltation. If you truly are “about that life” – meaning the life of Christ- what is the ultimate end game for your views?

I met someone who was a self-proclaimed Christian who was adamant about exposing the church and its lack of bending to say “maybe we are wrong” to non-believers. While I did support the push for more humility among believers, I also pushed back on why this person felt like it was their sole goal in life to dismantle and tear down the body of Christ. This person also said they were jealous of Scientology believers because they liked spaceships and they wanted one – so why do we (as believers) say that they are wrong because why does everything have to glorify God? Huh?! This is too far! When asked if they were a universalist they told me no and that I wasn’t hearing what they said clearly. No – I heard very clearly. I heard the dibble of this and dabble of that in your conversation and while I appreciate the open thought to challenge existing traditions and practices – you’ve gone too far.

At some point those who ascribe to the faith have to say enough is enough. In our modern days of being sensitive to other people’s views and not “offending” anyone – we still have to know the truth of our faith. And know when and how to speak the truth in love and stand firm in faith. I am all for new thought and revelation of the scriptural text when it comes to the secondary tenets of the faith but just like the age old saying if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

There’s a Difference between Neglect and Growth

There’s a difference between neglect and growth……

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Photo credit: Honey Creek Woodlands Google Image

I recently visited the Honey Creek Woodlands natural burial grounds which has 1600 acres of reserved land protected by land conservation efforts. While touring the property, I approached this area called the Meadows. The steward guide who showed me around pointed out to me an area that appeared to be dead looking shrubbery that was growing out of the ground. The steward guide said: “when most people come out here they freak out when they see this because they think all this is not pretty they just want to get a weed-whacker so that they can take the weeds out and make this look pretty.” She continued on and said “but people don’t understand nature…there’s a difference between neglect and growth.” Immediately, when she said that it struck a tremendous cord with me because I too had to confront my own inner discomfort with the need for things to look pretty.

As I continued thinking about that statement, I thought about how we [people] want to have our lives look pretty on the outside. We try so hard to make the messiness of life look “good” and surface level pretty. So many of us cringe at the thought of something not looking pretty that we do our best to make our lives reflect exterior-only beauty.

Which is why many of us lean towards the clean-cut grass cemeteries with lush greenery and beautiful flowerbeds in perfectly symmetrically aligned cemetery plots. So that it all looks “neat” and “in order,” but in all actuality how much of our lives are?

I do love that verse from Ecclesiastes that says God makes everything beautiful in its time and throughout the course of our lives there’s no ugliness ….so how do you reconcile this? What does it truly look like to have a messy life that looks beautiful.

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Photo credit: Honey Creek Woodlands Google Image

Is the tension because we have a superficial view of what beautiful looks like?

Do the things that are not externally colorful that appear to look dead on the outside and not bursting with vibrancy actually mean that it is lacking beauty?

Why are we so adverse to things that do not appear to look shiny, glittery and spectacular on the outside?

Could a life that is truly beautiful that has been through the tilling and the watering and the planting look like something that has not been just sheltered to the side? That has not just been a bench warmer but has lived in the trenches of it all. Someone who actually lived a life and didn’t neglect living life but actually lived it and because of it – grew.

These are the questions I ask myself that I need to confront daily in order to have the peace and true riches of life that matter.

Everything is a Let Down: Living in a Super-Hype Culture

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Photo by Verena Yunita Yapi on Unsplash

Click here to listen to the podcast recording!

You ever go to a certain restaurant because everybody is talking about how amazing the food is and you get there with your appetite ready to engage in the goodness. You order something off the menu and as you nibble you think to yourself – hmmm well it’s just alright. I really don’t see what people are talking about? Maybe it’s just me. I’m here to tell you today -nope! It’s not just you…it’s everybody playing their role in creating this over-hyped culture that we live in. From restaurant choices to the latest movie release to vacation destinations, and yes even to relationships everything in this world is over-hyped for what it really is! When are we going to stop over-hyping everything? Industries are built on this concept of marketing something to be bigger, better, more exciting than it’s competing product. And we fall for it every- single- time. Now we know that as soon as we get that new product, if we are lucky, we will have a glimmer of enjoyment with it. That’s if it didn’t arrive in our hands either broken, damaged or incorrect. After we have that moment in time with the product it’s quickly a matter of time when that initial excitement wanes and we are on to the next one. On a search for the next best hyped thing.

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Photo by life is fantastic on Unsplash

As someone who has traveled extensively, I have seen this over-hyped sensation globally. I have structured travel plans around visiting certain world-renown landmarks and tourist attractions. Only to find out upon arrival what a let down and tourist trap it really was. While online research and reviews have helped refined my plans, it still has been a toss up as to whether or not that particular place lives up to its clout. I’ve often found places that were off the beat and path and lesser know to be of more value and enjoyment to those that have been venerated by most.

As I have just mentioned about using reviews to find your way can be helpful as they are (in theory) supposed to be designed to be the great equalizer to super-hypeness. Yet, as most of us have probably experienced – even searching through reams of reviews you still can’t trust in anything people say in those either. Whether it’s because someone is padding and fluffing up the written content because they are getting paid to do so or because a certain demographic (that may be opposite to your preferences) collectively esteems a place as such.

I honestly can count on one hand how many things I’ve heard hyped up and then when I went to see about it for myself actually lived up to the hype. I bet if you took a tally of all the things you heard were amazing that were not vs the things that were actually amazing the latter column would certainly pale in comparison to the former.

Switching gears here to one of the most overly hyped things in the world and that is being in a relationship with someone. Not a non-sexual friendship but one of romantic interest. In the words of Lexi Allen – I got two words for you – over hyped! I mean the amount of fantasy driven non-sense that is paraded by television and movies is just utterly ridiculous to me. I don’t know anyone who lives that way or does the outlandish things they hype up as “normal romantic love.” Relationships are NOT like that. Even culture’s push to “be in a relationship” to me is over-hyped. Yes I think there is a human need for interaction with people, but we’ve simply over-hyped relationships, marriage and having kids as this Disneyland experience. I know what some of you are thinking- I don’t even like Disney. I don’t like their parks, I can’t stand their movies, and I certainly can’t stand their fairy tales. Welp there you go- my point exactly! And to those who do- hand clap to you. No one’s taking your love for Disney away from you. Be free to spend your all your money, hopes and dreams there. It doesn’t make you more of a positive person than others who are just not feelin’ it.

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Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash
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Photo by Henri Pham on Unsplash

While we can certainly appreciate the wonderful little surprises in life that sneak up on us and cause a level of momentary enjoyment, I think it’s important to keep those moments at bay with a healthy level of perspective. Knowing that what excited you may not be excitable to others. Thus when someone asks you “how was it?” or “should I do it?” giving an honest answer couple with a disclaimer of “I liked it but you should see for yourself” is a great start to doing your part in dismantling the over-hyped culture that we live in. Let’s work together to not mislead others into uncharted territory without the tools for a balanced approach to their potential upcoming experience. It’s not being cynical – it’s just being real.

I really believe that everything is a let down and falls short of our dreams because the things in this life, including people, are not meant to be our ultimate fulfillment. Which is why things always fall short of expectation. While we can certainly experience temporary fulfillment in people and things, ultimately it is fleeting. Because we have an eternal destination….the temporal things in this life are not meant to be our lasting hope and source of fulfillment. Knowing this we can approach people and the things we engage with a healthy and balanced approached so as to not not seek from them any source of lasting satisfaction or life completion.

What is it to Know Someone?

I know you better than yourself.

I thought I knew them.

I know myself.

I’m sure you’ve heard either of these sentences or a rendition of them uttered at some point in your life. So what is it to know someone? Can anyone person truly 100% know a person? Know themselves?

The other day I got into a debate with a family member, who was adamant that a person can 100% know themselves in their entirety. They stated, while people may not fully acknowledge it to themselves and others who they are, they still 100% know everything about themselves. I countered this viewpoint and stated that I did not think that it was possible for any human being to come to a 100% full knowledge of themselves. I believe taking the former view (of my family member) takes the mystery of self-discovery out of the picture. I don’t believe that any one human being from the dawn of time has ever fully known themselves, nor will any human being until the end of time ever 100% know themselves. Will most come close. Yes. But will any reach a complete knowing. No.

Why do I believe this?

Well, to know something means to understand clearly, to be aware of and have clear information or fact/truth. Based off of this definition alone, it is impossible to fully know anything or anyone. The key word here is fully. Yes, there can and will be levels of knowing or knowledge. You can certainly be aware of many things in your life and about people, but to fully know all there is to know about yourself and people, I believe, takes a lifetime and beyond.

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Photo credit: Dictionary.com Image

Knowing this, pun intended, why do we get so hung up on when we thought we knew something or someone only to find out later how little or unaware we really were? Can we truly put our hope and trust in our current knowledge of self and others? If so, how then can we allow the evolving nature of life to breathe it’s way into our knowledge sphere to expand our current repertoire? I think it goes back to the formula. By operating in a manner that practices humility to say that I don’t know it all is a great start.

What do you think?