Conditioned

At work today I realized that I had been conditioned by our customers, but I am waiting for them to catch on.

I work in a warehouse and for security reasons our doors are kept locked throughout the day.  In order to enter the premises the door bell must be rang.  We have regular customers who pick up at that location at least twice a month.  They follow the same procedures as everyone else.  They must ring the door bell to alert someone in the warehouse of their presence and in respond by opening the door for them to enter.  Since my office is about 10 feet way from the door, I can not only hear the door bell, but hear them attempt to open the door.  It happens every time.  On the door the knob can be twisted but it is secured through the alarm system so you cannot literally open the door.  As the customers turns the knob and pulls on the door they jerk the door making a distinct sound. 

Taking into account that I am only 10 feet away from all this action and at my desk at least 6 hours of the day, it was evident that I was going to be conditioned by our customers.  It turns out that at the sound of the door bell, I can immediately predict that sound of the jerking door.  BUT that is not the amazing part of the story.  What mostly intrigues me is that, our regular customers will perform the same act every single time that they show up at the warehouse.  They will ring the door bell and a jerk of the door will be heard as they attempt to open the door.

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Walking through

Some of the greatest accomplishments have gone unrealized.  The worst part is us who have not acknowledged them.

Reflecting back on life history, our own life history, we can admire ourselves for being who we have come to be.  Everything from playing outside to getting good grades was the goal to achieve.  Socializing with our peers in school, learning from our parents, being educated from our educators, were all inputs that somehow played a role to who we are today.  But their guidance was just the beginning! We are the ones who took the first step and kept on walking.

A recruiter came into your life and motivated you.  You found what they had to say was worthy of your time because it fit well with your plans.  You experienced motherhood at an early age.  Once again your life plans changed.  Now you were not alone and someone other than yourself depended on you.  You found yourself seeking other goals and other motivations.  Now as a young adult you have little to no guidance.  What are you to do? Where are you to go?

You realize that time is not stopping and you cannot survive with the bare minimum.  You comprehend that the only way to grow financially and emotionally is to improve your skills and yourself.  Work can help with the skills, but how do you learn to satisfy yourself?  You go skydiving for a thrill.  You enjoy life and live it like it was the last day.  And every time you do something for yourself you feel alive.  That is the motivation you need to satisfy the self.  With you improving yourself, you find that your skills are following.  But that is not enough, you’re coming to stop of closed doors. So you seek education as a latch to open other doors.  

Throughout the obstacles of maintaining self-satisfaction and completing your education, you realize that the end is near.  Your long time goal of a bachelor’s degree is around the corner.  It’s once again time to reflect and see where your life stands.  You find that you want a family.  You have accomplished many goals and want to share them, nobody better than a family of your own.  Once again your journey begins.

Life

Having an idea as to what you want the final outcome to be can be easiest than to getting to that finish line.  It is similar to running.  You know how much you want to run so you find the starting point.  Before you even start you make a mental note about the mid-point to take it in pieces.  Once you start to drift away from the end point and focus on the moment.  You start to feel the pain. Your body is reacting to the experience.  You begin to sweat, feel the pain and finally you find yourself breathing a little harder than from when you first started.  As you notice your body’s reactions to the running you once again reflect on the distance, and if you are far from finishing you set a focus point. And say to yourself,  “ok, one more mile and I am at the half way point.  After that it is all down hill because I will be more than half way through.”  Some how it motivates you and you lose the pain.  You adapt a new breathing technique, wipe the sweat and continue the run.  Once again ¾ through the way you start feeling pain again, but the motivation is now completion so you keep going.  Upon arrival to the finish line, the completion of a marathon, you have the satisfaction of saying “I made it. I ran 26.2 miles in 4:29.” 

Life is similar to running long distance.  You have a goal in life.  You see the finish line, but what you do not know is what you will experience in the process.  When the motivation is greater, the obstacles are easer to overcome. 

Morning Coffee

Is volunteering an act of kindness or selfishness? Psychologists suggest that we volunteer for self-interest.  We do things with expectation of getting something back.

Every morning it is my normal routine to have a cup of coffee before I begin my workday.  At work we are fortunate to have coffee provided and a coffee machine to go with it.  Anyway, since I open the building I am the first one to go into the kitchen and prepare the coffee.  Tearing the coffee bag and pouring into the coffee liner and filling the pot with water is effortless, but I still experienced some dissonance. I was questioning why it seemed like I was the only one always brewing the coffee.  I have been drinking coffee everyday for the past 2 years, so it was bound to dawn on me.  I began to get this little selfish feeling, but I proceeded with normal routine.  During the process though, it gave me this feeling of entitlement as if they should be preparing the coffee for a change. It didn’t matter if I was the first one in the building, I still felt cheated and abused. 

It turns out that there is a feeling for such thoughts.  Psychologists call it psychological egoism.  It simply states that we often do things for others because we are expecting something in return.  For me it took me two years to realize that I wanted something in return, but eventually it hit me and I conclude it was time to receive.

Your Name

It is interesting to see that when we are completely focused on a subject or conversation we are unconsciously looking for our name.  Can you recall the last time you were in an intense conversation and you were quickly distracted because someone from at far called your name?

Ever since we were born our parents gave us a name, a symbol that would symbolize, represent you.  You grow up responding to the name given throughout your life.  Others eventually learn and communicate with you by your given name.  You are continuously around people whom repeatedly imply to you by that name.  It becomes so common that you accept it.  It becomes a habit to respond to it whenever the name is heard.  The external behavior by others is installing an automatic internal response within you.  The consistency and directness of the name is installed in your identity.  Everything from the sound it makes, to the composition of words triggers a respond within you.  It becomes an automatic response to look for the person whom made the sound of your name.  Unconsciously you are looking to hear your name being called out.  Even though you are actively involved in other activities you are unconsciously aware of the symbol that relates to you.  The relation that was installed in you with the name has been consistent enough that it becomes an automatic behavior to respond to it even when it does not necessarily pertain to you. 

So next time that you hear your name and they are not calling on you at that particular time, remember it is automatic response to what you are unconsciously seeking.

Life

Life is full of obstacles and as each is encountered we conform to it to make it work with ourselves.  What exactly is happening to you during the process?  It is said that you are an outcome of where you have been.

Truly in life since we are born we learn from our caregiver, we will say parents, about survival.  At your first cry you realize that it brings attention to you, signaling hunger or pain.  As you slowly progress to grade school, you learn to that it is no longer just about you and that you have others like you that have mastered what you have mastered, attention from parents.  So you build a bond with them and want to be part of them.  You choose your friends accordingly to what you think is relevant to your personality and you move on until you get to high school.  Now the friends that you have cannot just be friends, they have to have status.  We begin to look for those that are most popular to relate with them.  We copy their style of dressing, their attitude and in some cases we compete with them.  All in essence to want to have what they have, status.  Now you are grown and out of school, learning how to survive once again.  Your parents are no longer your guidance, it is your education and ambition that strives accomplishment.

Life is about learning how to survive the obstacles encountered.  As a baby we learn the basics.  Through school we pick up the skill of what is accepted and what is not in society. Now as adults you once again conform with the adaptation of basic survival skills and society acceptance.

Love and Work

Love can be a challenging feeling to deal with.  Sometimes we do not want to lose someone we love so we change our behavior, beliefs in order to satisfy the other.  This does not necessary apply to a partner relationship.  Think about it from a mothers and child’s relationship as well.  Before children come along it is your life, you lived by the moment and could be careless without considering the pain or discomfort of others.  When you become a mother, you have a dependent that is just that a dependent of you.  They depend on your feeding, caring and love to them.  It is the ultimate feeling and bond for a mother to have.  Fathers can share the same feelings, I am just speaking from a mothers point of view because it is what is most immediate to me.

When it comes to our work it works in similar ways.  We find a job that we might not be so excited about it, but because of necessity we conform to it by changing our behavior or at times beliefs in order to make it work.  What I mean by changing our behavior is by having to change your routine.  If the work hours are during second shift and you are normally in bed by eight, then it might cause a behavior change.  We bite our tongues sometimes because we disagree with what our boss is stating, but because we give them benefit of the thought we change our beliefs that it might actually work.

Love to others is similar to our work.  If we find ourselves that we need it, we will change our state of mind or behaviors in order to make it work.  Both are options in life, but are needed at the same time.

Move on or Prolong

Last night I received a visit from a good friend of mine.  She was not in tears, nor did she appear emotionally unstable providing the sad situation of the loss of her father four days prior. I was talking to her and from what I caught on she was stressed about the entire situation.  At first glance she seemed like her normal self.  Once you talked to her, you realized that something was not right.

Well as we kept on talking, she began opening up.  She was talking about the frustration with family and how it was making her feel.  I listened and as I began to really understand where she was coming from, I began to comment.  Based on the third party listening, my boyfriend, he didn’t think my words were comforting.  He said that I was cold and blunt.  He understood were I was coming from with my opinion about life and a different perspective about the situation, but he said it was not the time.  The curious person that I am began to ask what he meant.  Well it turns out that he thinks there should be a grace period between the loss of a family/friend and getting back into life.  In his opinion four days wasn’t enough.  My reasoning behind saying the straightforward comments and reality was because, from my perspective, she seemed emotionally distress and didn’t appear to know how to act.  She wasn’t crying, she wasn’t yelling, she was to an extent her normal self.  I am not a counselor, but I know my friend and if she was crying I would have comfort her with a hug and telling her that everything was going to be all right. But I don’t believe the situation presented called for such comfort.  I thought she had completed her cries, for the time being, and wanted to move forward.  The grace period that my boyfriend thought was “suppose” be longer than four days, did not seem to apply to this situation.  So I took it upon myself to comfort her with brightening her light at the end of the tunnel and not sooth the darkness in which she was caught.

Habit

Religion was built and as time has gone by we have become dependent of its evolution.  We pray.  We attend meetings/gatherings in which we find consolation.  Believing that there is someone or something out there that is undefined able, somehow the self finds comfort.

I am not a very religious person, although I was raised catholic and the behavior of Catholics was installed in me as a young age.  I don’t practice or intend to preach any form of religion.  We are all unique and we have to do or believe on what sooths our soul/self.  For me healing of the self is focus and acceptance of life.  I accept that we are all different and we find comfort in various ideas.  Although I must admit that if I find myself in fear I will probably be the first to begin prayer and look for something greater than myself to comfort me.

Why someone who claims to have a concept of life and not be religious falls into religious behavior?  From my experiences and my own realization is that when I was young the prayers and religious behavior, such as the sign of the cross, were installed in me to the point where it became second nature.  The consistency and practice of such behavior will be the immediate response for soothing my fears. Unless I deviate the learned behavior into a different behavior, I will probably continue to pray or make the sign of the cross at any time I am distressed.

Anxiety

Have you ever felt like you were not in control of your body?  Was the feeling of distress and frustration controlling the situation?  You are not alone.  It is called general anxiety disorder (GAD).  It is normal to experience such disturbances as long as they are not severe and continuous.  And if they are, don’t worry there is treatment =). 

It is normal feel anxious when we are running late to an event that is of importance to us, or the anticipation of a test or an exam.  For some people the anxiety can be managed, but for other it may cause social problems and conflict with daily life. 

What causes anxiety? Well it turns out that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain.  These chemicals are transferred within the brain and at any disturbance in the brain, it becomes apparent to your body.  Your mood changes, sense of frustration increases, your body shakes and can be hard to control.  Researches suggest that anxiety is due to genetics and environmental factors.  Your family’s history or anxiety might have been passed on to you or a stressful environment like a job can be the cause of your anxiety.

The good news is that there is treatment and only a specialist can assist with controlling your anxiety.  There are even tests online that make it easy for you to diagnose whether it is severe or normal.  Only you and the help of a specialist can conclude what is best for you.

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