Tag Archives: money

Day 378: Are Our Values Misaligned?

The Soccer World Cup of 2018 gives rise to many questions and it also answers many of them. For example – I now know why we have difficulty creating healthy and sustainable living conditions for everyone on this planet. It is because we do not care. How do I know? I know because we would rather spend several billions of dollars on creating a soccer cup, which is nothing but pure entertainment. There is absolutely no need that justifies arranging a world cup in soccer – it is motivated by our desire. We should not be surprised that this world is a horrible place for many animals and humans. It is that way because we do not have the discipline to commit time, effort and resources to create solutions. We instead devote our resources to entertainment.

The world cup highlights what is problematic about the current human condition. We do not have the ability to use common sense, we do not have the ability to prioritize our resources and our time, we do not have the ability to be empathic and place ourselves in the shoes of another, and we do not have the ability to live by principles. That is what the world cup is showing us, that we would rather prioritize what we desire before that which be of benefit to everyone. Thus – when shit goes sour in our world – there is no point in complaining or wondering why things could not become better, why is there no politician or leader out there that can do something about this? There are none – we have decided that this is how we want things to be. If we would be serious about really fixing problems, we would have devoted the money going into the world cup, to for example, providing effective sanitation for everyone in the world.

Bringing water and sanitation to everyone in the world would cost $10 billion a year according to Richard Jolly, chairman of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, sponsored by the W.H.O. (see article here https://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/world/price-of-safe-water-for-all-10-billion-and-the-will-to-provide-it.html). The 2018 FIFA World Cup is estimated to cost $14.2 billion (see article here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_the_FIFA_World_Cup). Consequently, if we decided to miss out on one FIFA world cup and spend that money on providing water and sanitation – that would make a BIG difference for many. According to W.H.O. Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 280 000 diarrhoeal deaths annually and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition (http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sanitation).

When put on paper like this, it is obvious that it does not make any sense. No one in their right mind can justify spending 280 000 lives to watch world class soccer for a couple of weeks. Yet still, we do it.

There is no mystery to understanding why the world looks like it does. It is like this because we do not care. There is no mystery in understanding why there is not enough movement to change things. There is no such movement because we do not care. We simply do not care enough about ourselves, our neighbors, our environment, our country or our world – we care about – SOCCER, ALCOHOL, HOBBIES, ENJOYMENT, PLEASURE and ENTERTAINMENT.

It might feel overwhelming to look at the world and see the disarray. It might feel as if there is no point to attempting to do anything about it. However – the point is that someone must begin. Someone must be the first to step up and make the necessary changes. If we wait for the mass to change before we do, then expect that everyone else is waiting for the same thing. The consequence of such a waiting game is that nothing ever happens. Status quo exists because we have been waiting for someone else, a leader, a movement, a organization, an external push and drive – that will not happen. If we want things to change – we must make it happen – firstly – in our individual lives. Where are we spending money on entertainment and pleasure instead of tending to our own and our families basic needs? Where in our lives are we making decisions with money that does not make any sense? When our personal lives have been given direction – we can turn outwards to start dealing with the bigger system and the major flaws that exist there.


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Day 374: Some Reflections on Billions

I have recently been looking at the TV-series ‘Billions’ (see more on the Wiki-page). It is about a attorney that use all means necessary to reach his goal and a billionaire that is very much the same. A big part of the series has to do about money. Most decisions made by the characters are motivated by greed or desire for fame and reputation. What interested me was seeing how some of the characters relate to money, especially their personal economies.

All of the characters make a lot of money. An example would be the attorney and his wife. The attorney make about 200 000 dollars a year and the wife makes about 1 000 000 dollars a year. In my eyes that is a lot of money – not a salary that would leave anything else to wish for. In one episode the attorney and the wife are discussing changing their jobs and how that will influence their situation with money. Even though the wife is keen to get a new job, she says that they do not have the means to do it because she will have to accept a lower salary. Then they would not have the money to pay rent, tuition fees for their kids, etc.

This made me realize that money is always relative and that what tends to happen when we earn more money is that our expectations/desires/habits will change and soon match our new income. The same goes with our fears. They never disappear. When we earn more money, the fears will after a while alter and return in a different shape. It might not be that we fear being without food or a house. Instead the fear might be that we are not going to have the money to send our kids to the best private school, or that we will not have the money to invest our money in the best possible hedge fund.

When it comes to fear of money, the solution is not to earn more but to deal with the unconscious energies that moves deep down. If we do not deal with our unconscious mind – it does not matter what we do. We are going to recreate our patterns. They will look slightly different, however it will be the same energies, the same experiences, the same ideas.

Another realization that I have had while looking at this series is how bad we are at using our money. We are bad in the sense that, we use our money, only to further our own self-interest. Some money might go to charity, however our primary reserves will always be used on ourselves and those closest to us. We buy stuff that we do not need, we get new interests and hobbies, we travel, we spend and consume, and only a very small percentage if any is invested in solutions that will bring substantial change. How are we ever going to change anything in this world if we do not spend our money on fixing it? Is it possible to expect that things will change, without us investing any effort/energy/money? Thus, earning a lot of money is for most of us, in the big scale, meaningless, because we cannot use them effectively.

Correcting our relationship with money is an important point. Money is both the key to solving our problems on earth and the very thing that substantiates, moves and creates more issues. With money, our desires and wants can become realized. At the moment, our desires and wants are misaligned and without purpose – and that becomes what our money creates; meaningless entertainment and consumption. Imagine if our desires and wants would have been to change this world for the better and to give everyone a awesome life. What would happen? How would our lives change? What would we do with our money?

 


 

Day 457: Work Is Pretty Fun

Something I really feared and resisted, especially in my teens and early twenties, was to get a regular full time job. I saw it as a form of death – and I did not want to become anything like my parents. I perceived both of them as working too much, and as having lost that playful and youthful expression that could recognize in my peers and myself. Back then, I thought the problem was work.

I found various ways to avoid becoming part of the work force – until – I realized that this was a limitation I had created for myself. Once I understood that it was not work that was the problem, and that rather it was WHO I AM in relation to work, my entire perspective changed. I decided to pursue a university degree and from then on I have been committed to learning a trade and acquiring the necessary skills to become effective within it.

Fact is that work now offers one of my primary sources of learning and expansion in life. Obviously, this does not happen automatically. If I just go to work, and sit there, wait for the time pass, then I will be awarded with very few moments of expansion. However, if I make sure that I make work an equal part of my life, where I push myself to learn, expand, and move, then that is what I will receive in equal measure. Expansion does not happen by itself – it must be directed – it requires discipline and effort. Oftentimes there is a wall of resistance that must be broken down. And when I move beyond the resistance, there is a new world opening up.

It is this new world that I have come to enjoy so much in my work. Because it is not necessarily about the work in itself – it can be about the skills I develop that are indirectly related to my work. At the moment, I have been pushed to develop intimacy, empathy and social skills – and not directly in relation to the work I am doing – but rather as something that exist on the side and as a consequence of my primary work responsibilities. That is not something I would have been confronted with had I not been working.

I sometimes hear people complaining about their work and how they do not want to be there but rather be at home living and fulfilling their private interests. This is a limited way of looking at work. The solution is to make sure that regardless of where we are at, that we find ways to discover and empower ourselves. There are opportunities everywhere, however, in order to see them, we have to be OPEN and RECEPTIVE – and in order to ACT on them – we have to be DISCIPLINED and READY. To be able to master this approach we cannot accept and allow ourselves to remain in a state of whining and complaining. We have to be on our toes and READY to embrace whatever might come our way.

Today, I enjoy going to work most of the days in the week. The days where I do not. I see those days as my challenges. They challenge me to go beyond that emotion of resistance, and to make something out of myself and my day, even if I do not feel like it. Because if it is one thing that I have understood, it is that I can never wait for my mind to give me the get go. My emotions and feelings will never be ready. No, I have to make the decision – PHYSICALLY – through acting in the physical – through changing myself with actual acts in matter. Thus, instead of remaining in that state of depression and tiredness – I protrude my chest, I straighten my back, I push my shoulders backwards, breathe deeply, and start to look at what I can do to make the most of where I am – and I PROMISE – there are ALWAYS ways to move beyond the obvious.

Concluding: Work – a challenge and a gift to be lived and experienced fully – and today it is a opportunity that I am grateful to have in my life.

I have used the Desteni tools of writing, self-forgiveness and self-corrective application to manifest this change for myself. And through this process, what seemed to be dry and meaningless, has become a well of inspiration for me. For anyone that wants to know what is possible to be created – I suggest that you investigate Desteni.

 


Day 456: The Righteous-Character

Yesterday after work I decided to order some take-out food for supper. I called the restaurant and told them that I did not want to have any onion on one of the dishes. About ten minutes later I drove to the restaurant to pick up my food, at which point I noticed that the chef had misunderstood me. He had not used onion in any of the dishes I had ordered.

It upset me when I became aware of this. I asked the chef whether he could re-do the dish and put onion in it. The chef did not want to do that because it would get messy. This frustrated me even further. At this point I saw before me two options. On the one hand, I could insist on having onion, or I could simply take the dishes as they were and walk out of there. I felt as if there were two of me, there was one rational version; I could see that the flavor and experience of the dish was not dependent on onion and that I would save a lot of time if I accepted the mistake and walked out of there. The other me, was the irrational and angry me; this me wanted redress – ‘I want to receive what I have ordered, I paid for this! Then I should get what I paid for!’

I stood there and felt the irritation and frustration within me – then I made the decision to drop the point. To take the dish as it were and get out of there – get home and eat my dish and enjoy it. This was the rational and common sense thing to do – and I am satisfied with the decision that I made. Though, I can still see that I became influenced by the emotions, to get into me and had an effect on me – and hence I want to look at the emotions and the character.

If I am to give this character a name, I would say it is the righteous-character. It is the experience of me being completely right because someone else has not done their job properly – and hence – I have a right to become angry – pissed of and irritated. I have a right to curse at them and to start a conflict. When I look at it, I can see that this logic is very much a like how parents treat their children, and it might be from this relationship that I have acquired this pattern. Because parents tend to become angry at their kids when they do something ‘wrong’ – and in such instances – most parents do not consider it wrong or consequential to be angry – rather it is ‘needed’ to set the child straight.

This righteous-character activates especially when it comes to money, and people not doing their job the way I expect them to. Because when I have paid for a service, I make the false conclusion that I now ‘own’ the person supplying the service – and hence I can act and behave in any manner and way I like if my expectations are not fulfilled – because I have ‘bought’ that right. However, in looking beyond money, which is an abstraction, it becomes evident that my actions, and the righteous-character, have just the same consequences and negative outflows as accepting and allowing myself to become angry and frustrated at someone in my personal life. The righteous-character is really not a character/way of living that brings through what is best for all.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and think that I have the right to be mean, angry and frustrated when I buy a service and I do not get what I expect that I should get – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to assume/think that only because I paid for something – this means that all bets are off and I have full freedom to do what I want to do and say what I want to say

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that access to money makes me more important and better than others – and that purchasing a service means that I own the person that gives this service

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to value money over myself as a person – and to believe that money gives me value – and thus when money is at stake, when there is a question about money, then I have the right, freedom to do what it takes to control/direct my money

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not remind myself that what is of importance and relevance is who I am as a person – the value that I am able to give/live and be to others – and thus not the amount of money I own and have access to

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that it is money that gives me importance and value in this life – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that money is only a medium, a means used to transact goods and services, and that it does not determine me as a person, and that buying a service, does not mean that I have the right to do whatever it is that I want to do

Self-commitment statements

When and as I see myself becoming angry and frustrated, reacting, because I have not received what I feel that I paid for, I take a breath and I bring myself back here, and I see, realize and understand, that only because money is part of the game, it does not give me a carte blanche to do whatever I want to do – and to express myself in anyway I see fit – and I realize that accepting and allowing myself behave in a way that is harmful towards others – is equally as consequential when there is a issue about money, as when it does not have to do about money – and thus I commit myself to breathe and stabilize myself here – and then work to resolve the issue/problem that is ahead of me utilizing common sense and a stable and sensible presence/direction – where I find solutions to the problem and use common sense to get there


Day 454: Making a Bargain

Recently I was discussing with a friend which building contractors he considers to be good and worthy to hire. I shared with him that I had hired contractor ‘X’ to build my house, upon which my friend said that he had some very bad experiences with this contractor. Upon him saying that, I experienced a chill and a fear raising within me. The fear had this content: ‘What if my house is now somehow compromised, and I have paid more money for it than I should have had?’.

The fear that came up within me was thus not so much about my personal relationship with my house, but about how much money my house represented, and whether or whether not that value had been diminished. I found this interesting, because when discussing this point with my partner, it turned out that she too had experienced emotions towards our contractor and the house. Though her experience had to do with how she personally disliked certain parts of the house, and how she felt that if we would have hired a different contractor, she would have had a better experience of herself in the house.

After looking deeper at the experience, and after receiving perspective from a friend, I realized that my fear had to do with missing out on a bargain, or rather, fear of being seen as missing out on a bargain. The thing often forgotten with bargains is that someone is always on the receiving side of the bargain. Hence, for me to get something really, really cheap, someone else must really, really, not get well paid for their work. Most of us are for some reason oblivious to this fact. In our economy it is accepted that you ‘buy one and get one for free’ – though there is not such a thing called free. If we expand our worlds for a moment, we can see that all goods require physical energy/matter – and they require labor to be refined into a final product. If something is given away for free to the end-costumer, this is going to impact the people in the production line and their salaries.

The desire to make a bargain originates from within and as a fear of survival – it is part of this idea/belief that life must be a struggle, where we must fight and make sure that we come out on top. In that context, making a bargain is a win in the race for survival. The problem thus is this innate idea that we must compete, that life is about competition, that life is and must be struggle, that there is no way around it. And when we are able to buy stuff cheaply, we apparently get ahead in this competition.

What is not considered within this is how everyone is connected, and how there cannot be a winner without a loser. Further, what is not considered, is that the idea that life is a competition and that it must be a struggle, is also an idea, imprinted into us since a young age – where we start to believe – deeply and with devotion – that fighting is the only way to get through. However, when we remove the veils of fear, what is left is this physical reality – a physical world that we all inhabit together. And it makes sense if we want to have a world that is hospitable and supportive for everyone, then the first that must go is this idea/belief that we constantly have to fight against each other.

Instead of fighting, instead of trying to make a bargain, the principle with money should be to structure it in such a way that everyone is brought along and is given the necessary resources to survive and live a comfortable and supportive life. And when it comes to hiring a contractor, obviously attention given to and research should be done as to the quality/effectiveness of the contractor. Though the deal that is made, it should monetary wise honor both contracting parties.


Day 453: Dealing With Money

Money, it is a fascinating thing. Not only because it controls so many aspects of our lives, but also because it is a great reflection of ourselves. I have recently faced a couple of situations where I have come face to face with how I value myself, and how this comes through in my relationship with money.

There has been two contexts within which I have faced this point. The first context has to do with daring to ask for money for work that I have done, and the second has to do with daring to ask for a certain quality to be delivered, when I purchase a service or goods.

In the instances when I have been the ‘giver’ – I have been fearful of asking for money. I have also had a tendency to want to devalue myself and the services I offer. I have found that I feel better about myself when I charge less, compared to when I charge a lot. To me, on a deeper level, that reflects a lack of self-confidence and a lack of self-value – where I literally cannot see my own value and thus I do not want to claim more money than I perceive myself to be worth.

Recently I experienced this when I negotiated my salary, or rather, did not negotiate my salary. Instead I accepted my salary. I was satisfied with it, however, it was calculated according to a index that I did not entirely understand. Thus, when it came to actually receiving the salary, I was fearful and anxious about opening up and discussing this point with my boss. Though why would I be? I am not working for free, that is obvious for everyone involved. Still, I want to project a fake image of me not ‘caring’ about the money. Such a way of handling money is most definitely self-compromising – and leads to difficulties. The correction I see here is to dare to be honest and open about the point, discuss it, walk through the conflict and find a solution.

Then the second context, when I am the receiver, it has to do with me fearing to speak up and voice myself when I notice that I receive less value than what I have bargained for. An example of this from my life as of recent is the house I built together with my partner. Parts of the house, I am dissatisfied with, however, when it was built, I feared sharing this with the carpenter – because I did not want to cause a fight. I was fearful about making it all about the money, and being perceived as greedy.

Though, a fact of this reality is that, most things are about the money. Everything has a price. And either, we stand as directive in relation to money, or we just accept and allow shit to happen. Caring for money is not the same as being greedy, rather, it makes sense. In a reality, in a world, where everything is about money, learning to deal with money will make life a lot easier. And if I had stood up and directed my dissatisfaction and opened up a line of discussion with the carpenter, many parts of the house would have been more effective. Thus, I spared myself from the momentary discomfort of having a conflict, though I caused myself a long-term hassle, because now I live in a house, day-out and day-in – which I am not entirely satisfied with.

Money, it is funny – why do we make it such a big deal? Where I live, it is seen as dirty to have a lot of money. We do not talk about money, and many live simple lives, even though they might be really rich. However, only because we try to portray ourselves as humble and simple when it comes to money, I would say, that in the core, we are just as greedy and hungry for more, as everyone else. However, we are able to suppress it. Unfortunately, that causes us to be inefficient in dealing with money, because we push away conflicts and disagreements – and hope that everything will sort itself out for the best without our involvement. That SELDOM happens.

And that is something I have come to see recently – that being passive and hoping for things to pan out nicely – it does not work. If I see a direction that is best, it is my responsibility to push through and make that direction a reality. In the past, and especially when it has come to money, I have held myself back from doing that, and later on, I have had to live with the consequences. It might be, that because I am quite easy to satisfy, I have been able to live with the consequences. Though now, I do see how much better things could have been if I had learned and pushed through to direct the conflicts when they emerged. Especially when it comes to money.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear dealing with money, and to perceive money as something dirty that I want to disassociate myself from, thinking that money is bad and wrong – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, that I also desire/want/feel that I need money in my life – and hence I am creating a conflict within me, where I on the one hand fear money, and on the other hand I desire money

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear dealing with and working with money – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define money as a evil that I do not want to really concern myself with – within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, that with this approach, I am suppressing and shutting out a point in my life, money, which is a really important part of life, hence actually compromising myself – because I am disabling myself from directing/dealing with a important point/part in life – money

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not recognize my desire for money, and thus instead of suppressing and trying to deal with this desire by using morality, that I instead focus on understanding my desire, focus on where this desire comes from, and how I can enable myself to change this desire into a common sense relationship with money where it is not about desire or fear – but where it is about using money in a common sense way that is best for everyone involved

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become crazed with desire/want when I receive more money than what I normally have, and want/desire to buy everything that I can put my hands on – and within this use morality/fear to suppress this desire and return to status quo – and hence I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not instead understand my desires, to understand my fears, to learn where they are coming from, so that I can learn to direct myself and stand stable, and use my money with common sense, instead of using my money within and as fear

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear talking about money, to fear asking for money for services that I provide and to fear demanding quality for services and goods that I buy – to fear having money as a topic that I bring up and discuss with others as a important part in my decision making process when it comes to making decisions and directing myself in life

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hide from the topic of money through pretending that everything is fine and okay – and through being ashamed and fearful when it comes to discussing and talking about money – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear for example haggling when I purchase things – to fear demanding a higher price when selling something – to fear being completely open and at ease with dealing with and discussing money with others and as such empowering myself in this part of my life

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to worry about money, and desire money at the same time, and thus put myself in a limbo, where I am in a constant thought-process/movement in relation to money – instead of effectively dealing with/using the money I have, or learning to do so, in stability and with common sense – where I do not worry not having money, and neither do I desire having money, but where my relationship with money is instead clear, specific and stable

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that I need and require fear to be effective with money, and that it is supportive to be shy and nervous around money, because apparently, it protects me from poverty, not seeing, realizing and understanding, that pretending as if money does not exist is not a solution and it will not mean that all my money problems suddenly, from one day to the other, will disappear – rather – a more effective solution would be to learn to use and direct money effectively without emotions clouding my vision and ability to act and deal money effectively

Self-commitment statements

When and as I notice myself going into fear with regards to dealing with, being direct with money, and I want to hide away, and suppress myself, I immediately take a breath, I stop myself and I bring myself back here, and I see, realize and understand that becoming shy and fearful about speaking about money does not support me to effectively direct my money situation, rather it makes me less effective, where I hide and hope that things will go away by themselves, instead of taking the bull by its horns and speaking it as it is – and thus I commit myself to practice being direct and open when it comes to money – to discuss the issues and do it here and not try to project and show off a facade that is not even real to begin with


 

Day 450: Changing The Cultures At Work

Recently I quit my job and moved unto a new employer, with new office, new colleagues, new routines, and a new culture. It has been very interesting, primarily, because I have been able to observe the difference in culture.

At my first job, there was a pressure and stress to the atmosphere. There was a lot of animosity under the surface, irritation because of changes in the organization, or just general dissatisfaction with the amount of work that was pressuring the employers. There was also this interesting tendency to reward/look positively at putting in long hours at the office. It was seen as good to work more, and I found myself, on a couple of occasions, competing with my colleagues about who was working the most. When I look back at it now, I find it fascinating, because there is absolutely no value in merely working – the focus – should be on the RESULT. If the result is dependent upon working more hours, then it might make sense – however if the result is instead dependent on the QUALITY of work put in – and not the quantity – then it does not make sense to put in more hours than what is needed.

Another point that was quite noticeable at my old work was the hierarchical structure and the competition existent between some of the co-workers. And mostly, the competition had to do about achieving a higher standing in the eyes of those higher up in the hierarchy. Many times this created a tense atmosphere, which led to mistakes being suppressed and withheld, rather than being opened up and discussed. Consequently, information sometimes got lost, and the organization as a whole lost strength.

Though, the most compromising point existent at my old office must have been gossip. It is a very destructive habit. It creates separation between individuals, it separate groups, creates many misunderstandings, and assumptions. Gossip, while it might sound as if a problem is being discussed and opened up, it is only a way of immersing oneself in emotions while attempting to destroy another and get backing from others to feel justified about it. Gossiping is cowardly and should not be allowed in any office. For a organization, gossip is like a illness. I would imagine, that the same organization, free from gossip, would be able to perform with 100 % more efficiency. However it is very difficult to do, because gossip easily becomes like an addiction. Then we become addicted to our problems as well, because they offer us opportunity to bring up our gossip and have others join in.

Hence, the big differences thus far that I have noticed, is not so much in the description of the work, but more in the culture existing at the office – and it is fascinating the impact that this culture can have on how the work is experienced. And culture is not something that is easily changed. In-fact, there are organizational experts and motivational speakers specialized in only changing the culture/the general approach of the employees of a workplace – and in most of the cases without much success. The reason for that, as I see it, is simple. It has not yet been effectively understood how the culture, the accepted and allowed set of behavior in a office, is created – and that employers must put in A LOT more resources into working with/directing the underlying problems that the employers have that come through as for example gossip.

One practical correction that I have applied at work in order to support myself to be more effective has been to push myself to be professional – to keep my relationships and myself directed and targeted at and towards fulfilling the goals/responsibilities of the organization. To do that, I have pushed myself to keep in my mind a overview – to see not only my own personal life – but to as well see how my position, and the actions I take in my position, influence and effect others. Doing that, I have also come to see the value in what I am doing. And due to this personal relationships has become less important, in favor of prioritizing fulfilling the responsibilities I have.

On a final note, I want to add that, when it comes to office politics and work environments, even though it might feel like we cannot change them, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of us taking back the initiative and ACTING. We cannot wait for others to change – if we want a different atmosphere – we have to create it – and that always begins with ourselves. If we want less gossip, first we must make sure that WE do not gossip. If we want less stress and more structure – then we must first make sure that WE live and create that for ourselves – that we stand as an example. And I have experienced this at my past work place – things do change when I change. As such, blame is NEVER valid – we always have the power and capacity to do something about our situation.