The Benefits of Being Fired

I heard Claude Julien, the Boston Bruins hockey coach who won a Stanley Cup a few years ago and has led his team to the finals again this year, say he has had his present job for six years and has been fired 5 times. 

It goes with the territory.

Julien is right. 

We no longer live in an era where we can expect to work for one to three companies in our entire career.  Millennials are lucky to find a good job and Baby Boomers have worked for as many as three times the number of employers than their parents worked for.

What’s noteworthy about Julien’s comments is that getting fired is now an accretive part of pursuing your career ambitions.

But we have to change the stigma that surrounds it.

I was once fired for increasing a major market radio station’s ratings from 400,000 listeners to 1.1 million.  That’s right, fired for succeeding.  And that happens a lot today because decisions on firings are made by venture capital owners and market leaders and by the companies who follow their lead.

By the way, the guy who fired me murdered his wife and killed himself for allegedly stealing from the boss.  No consolation but it shows you that the decision maker doesn’t always think straight.

So, time for a change of attitude.

Getting fired today is not all that personal an affront.  It’s often an opportunity.

Do not waste time wallowing in the hurt and self-pity that can be generated by losing your job and refocus on the wonderful opportunity to move on and succeed another day.

“You’re fired!  No other words can so easily and succinctly reduce a confidence, self-assured executive to an insecure, groveling shred of his former self” – Frank Louchheim

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  • John Tyler has said for many years…”you ain’t shit, til  you’ve been fired
    Bob Bruton

The Happy Pill

We have pills for just about every condition and malady that human’s can think of and yet we don’t have a true happy pill.

As doctors will readily tell you, when drug companies test antidepressants to win FDA approval, the results almost always show that a placebo (an inert pill or what we call a sugar pill) turns out to be just as effective as these powerful and expensive drugs.

It turns out the mind is the most potent medication of all.

So, here are a few “happy pills” which have only one side effect – addiction to them:

  1. Viktor Frankl survived years of incarceration during World War II and lost his new bride to death at a concentration camp.  Yet he emerged with the notion that life is still worth living and wrote Man’s Search for Meaning to drive home the point.  And, what is our problem again?  I often think about this when I have something big draining my happiness.  Take this in the morning and it puts big problems in perspective the rest of the day.
  2. We hate when cable and phone companies “bundle” their services forcing us to buy something we don’t want with something we do.  So unbundle the need to have everything make you happy when even one small thing can feel just as good.  Everything going our way is not necessary to be happy.  Just recognizing one thing that does will do.
  3. When friends disappoint, forgive.  The act of forgiving makes us happy every time we employ it.
  4. Dealing with life’s problems – not necessarily solving them – makes us feel empowered and therefore happy.  Some problems go away on their own.  Some cannot and therefore we must learn to accept but most others take much longer to be resolved so ask, “Why postpone happiness?”
  5. The most potent “happy pill” is making someone else happy.  A friend used to call me and say, “You’re a good man”.  Do a nice deed.  Try to surprise someone this very minute – an action that will make them happy.  The little known rule is that happiness is as contagious as a yawn.  You don’t have to be on the receiving end to get the benefit.

Sometimes medications, therapy and the warmth of a friend can do wonders, but when we find the need to be real happy real quick, try one of these “happy pills”.

“The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the cultivation of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being” Dalai Lama

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  • […] ALSO FROM JERRY THIS MORNING: The Happy Pill […]

Self Confidence On-Demand

We have information on-demand through Google.

And TV shows and movies on-demand from Netflix.

How can we get self-confidence on-demand for those important times when we need an extra boost?

  1. Repeat the following mantra:  “I’ve done it before so I can do it again”.
  2. Think of similar times when you’ve achieved something that took confidence even if it does not directly apply to the situation at hand (i.e., you need an extra boost of confidence for an upcoming presentation but you have no precedent so imagine when you, say, were a really good friend to someone in need). 
  3. The thing about confidence is that it is not about finding something in the present that you did well previously.  Confidence knows no such limitations.  Therefore, anything that makes us feel good about ourselves is self-confidence on-demand.
  4. Your secret weapon:  Just trying is a powerful injection of self-confidence.  No one ever said we had to speak before a group, go to a new school or start a new job, go on an interview or meet someone new first before we had the self-confidence to do so.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

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Defending Your Boundaries

The one thing that must never happen is to allow another person to cross over our boundaries.

Boundaries are the things that matter to us and constitute the essence of our being – our values, our ethics, our morals.

Some people have a way of pushing these boundaries and sometimes they inappropriately cross over them.  That’s when it’s time to defend.

Rule 1:  No one may cross your boundaries.  No one, no matter and particularly how close to you their relationship may be.

Rule 2:  If they do, their efforts will be pushed back.

Rule 3:  Continued attempts to violate your boundaries will lead to a suspension and eventual end of your relationship and the abuse.

Rule 4:  Set up an imaginary virtual boundary on the values, ethics and morals that make us who we want to be (a mind picture).  Then when another person gets uncomfortably close to your boundaries, send a strong message that you will walk away from that kind of behavior if it doesn’t stop immediately.  If it continues, you must act.

Sexual harassment.  Verbal and elder abuse.  Abuse that results from drinking, drugs or other extenuating circumstances are serious violations of your airspace.

But things that make us feel badly about ourselves and disrespect for our personal boundaries also constitute violations of individual boundaries and should be terminated.

Employers and coworkers who degrade, manipulate or blatantly disrespect us are also abusers and their efforts can lead to a diminution of self-esteem and confidence.

Fortunately most people largely respect the boundaries of others, but for the odd person who knows no boundaries, it is our responsibility to recognize the intrusion, stop it and end the relationship if necessary.

This is also an important thing to teach children who are particularly vulnerable.

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Stress Control

There are endless ways to reduce stress both physical and psychological and if you’re like me, we’ve tried them endless times without much success.

Here are the thoughts that work for me.  Perhaps they might help you as well:

1. Whatever is going on will likely be insignificant by tomorrow.  For everything else, there is courage.  Look back on yesterday’s stressors to see what I mean.

2. I’m not going to let what’s stressing me now run roughshod over me without a fight.  Often just saying those words is enough to break the stress.

3. The best stress buster is – whatever is worrying me or freaking me out has only a 1% chance of happening.  That’s true.  Psychologists say we worry about things that have a 99% chance of never happening.

4. When stress between two people becomes palpable, the solution is to communicate the best we can with the other person.  Taking the initiative is an automatic stress reducer and if opening a line of communication helps, then we achieve peace.  If others cross our safe boundaries, defending them is invigorating and builds our confidence.

Almost anything that involves putting stress front and center helps it from gnawing away at our health and happiness.

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune, most of which never happened” – Michel De Montaigne

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