Mid-life crisis and the mechanism of self-worth

An accomplishment is an outcome of one’s sense of identity and self-worth, not the other way around.

It shouldn’t be viewed as an evidence toward your worth. It shouldn’t be something you use to affirm your worth. 

Group 1. Accomplishments
How much attention you can generate by how you look. 
The number of athletic achievements. 
How high your income is.
How much commendations you received for what you have done.

Group 2. who you are. How hard you work, how supported you are, how confident you are, how resilient you are, how kind you are, and how ambitious you are.  The mechanism behind why you have Group 1. today.

I emphasise this over and over: I’m not a psychologist. But I observe this anyway.
People who focus on Group 1. are run by them. People who focus on Group 2. are driven by them.

People who focus on Group 1. mourns the end of their youth. Group 2 celebrates the arrival of wisdom. Group 1. is focused on impressing others. Group 2 focuses on connecting with others. Group 1 fears change. Group 2 causes change.

Everyone has a bit of both groups in them.

I’m watching mid-life come upon me, and I’m entertained watching the part of me embracing it and the other part of me freak out about it. And that’s how I came up with this article. 


The Negative Effect of Likability

A guy plagiarises. There is no doubt. There is no way that’s a coincidence.

Ellen, a big-time celebrity, supports the offender by giving him an interview on her talk show, and HGTV gives him a contract to start his career on TV.

One thing that’s clear to me is this.

Ellen and HGTV had already decided to support Tim before they found out how serious of an offence plagiarism is.

Unlike violence, plagiarism (including copyright infringements) does not give you a visible scar or a lost limb or a lost life. 
Plagiarism steals your identity, your soul, and your entire career.

Simple example. One incident as a student will get you expelled from the university I went to then the entire academic profession.  Zero tolerance.
There was a huge uproar about whether or not Amy Schumer stole jokes.

And there has been nothing about HGTV’s hiring of Tim. No discussions. No criticism. No nothing. Keep in mind – this is a talk show host whose guests include a great number of musicians, writers, dancers, comics, designers.

This is the impact Ellen has.

First, she is incredibly likable, and you’d hate to upset her and make her sad or angry. Just breaks your heart, doesn’t it.

Secondly, I’d fear getting on the wrong side of her.  For instance, her interview of Caitlyn Jenner. It seemed Ellen’s view was “caitlyn must support equal marriage because she is transgender,” and nothing else was acceptable. Caitlyn expressed that she has become a supporter – mentioning being “against” in the past. Ellen couldn’t see the positive in this. Not only at the peak of emotions upon hearing this then but also she repeated it later on a radio show. She has one view, and everything else is wrong.

Third, but most importantly.
Being on her good side means she might promote your work. There is personal gains in siding with the wrong.

Ellen says the plagiarism was accidental. Your eyes says “no way.” But you don’t say a thing.

Ellen says that an accidental plagiarism is OK. Tim doesn’t offer a full and complete apology without adding excuses. And no one says anything.

Plagiarism has been not OK for a century, one of the most hated crime among creative professions, and Ellen said it’s OK, and now it’s OK.

It is not OK. 

Ghomeshi and witness credibility

I do not know what Ghomeshi has done. And I do not believe it’s fair to try someone by public opinion.

But I’m frustrated by articles, blogs, and social media writing as though there is one truth and anyone contradicting is a liar and is therefore not credible, which are mostly directed at the witnesses.

1. Every time you repeat a story, it contains a bit of information that is untrue. Does a conversation like this sound familiar?
“You were there too.” “No, I wasn’t.” “yes, you were! You were standing by the bar talking to a tall guy in a blue jacket you went to school with.” “…no. I was with mom in Hawaii. What’s with all the details?”

2. Two people in a situation may come out with two different sets of stories which are both true. But one set of events that physically happened. That’s why I’m glad this is tried by a judge, trusting in their experience and knowledge. Did she say “no”? Did your hand make a contact with her after she said “no”? BDMS, intentions, what they wrote to each other, and everything else are expected to be different.

This phenomenon is described everywhere you see. But an example might illustrate this best. 

In the show Louie S4E10, Louis C.K.’s character Louie tries to get physical with Pamela Adlon’s character Pamela. He physically controls her across three rooms, has his hands under her shirt, the struggle goes on for a while, and holds the door shut and leans over her as she tries to leave. The entire time, she is repeating “no” and even saying “this would be rape if you weren’t so stupid. You can’t even rape well!” She, before she leaves, allows him to kiss her over her mouth where she’d tucked her lips into her mouth. She pushes him away as far as she can, and exits. Louie fist-pumps “yesss.”

Right off, you can easily see, Louie claiming
“She couldn’t have hated it. She let me kiss her.” “I so didn’t want to, and you knew it. I let you kiss me so I could go home.”

Later in the season, Louie and Pamela go into “but you kissed me back!” “no, I didn’t!” (viewers can see her lips remained tucked in). Frighteningly, Louie gives an impression he truly believes Pamela kissed him back. 

And they do end up going out and getting into a relationship despite the past offence. Does that mean Louie did not try to rape her? No it doesn’t.

The most unintentionally brilliant part of this episode is that this attempted rape scene immediately follows Louie’s very feminist stand-up routine.

The most striking part of the Louie episode must be the reactions from the actors.
Louis C.K. responded to the criticism saying he and Pamela Adlon were enjoying themselves shooting that scene. The actress Pamela, contrary, recalls noting to Louis C.K. “Someone is going to be angry.”

One event that is on camera. Two stories from the characters. Two stories from the actors. One of them wholly believing he did nothing to violate her does not negate the fact she was violated.

Reason 2: I love being average-looking

Louie S4E02 “so did the fat lady” finally put into words what I’ve been trying to say.

People who are truly confident in themselves would flirt with anyone.
People who could use a little help with confidence would see it as assurance when people with high status “view them worthy of their time.”
People with low confidence – people who truly need help – see an arm candy to be a necessity in their life and “how their date boost their social status” factors heavily in their mate selection.

And this is why I love having been born average looking. I have an automatic filter for people with unmanaged confidence issues.

People who don’t listen

Here is a list of people who aren’t listening.

• problem solvers: “Have you considered…” “Go do…” “you wouldn’t feel like that if…”
• cheerleaders: “I love you, and I believe in you!” “don’t worry – you can do this!” “You’re bigger than this!”
• Minimizers: “Be positive!” “Remember. There are people worse off.” “it’s not that bad!” “You shouldn’t worry.”

You think you’re a good listener and don’t fit into any of the categories above?
Then what it means is that you’re not self-aware. Because everyone does it.


A good way to notice that you’re doing it is by hearing you think/say “I am listening! But…”
What comes after that “but” is always “I think” (or can be rephrased with the “i” subject). It’s about you.
And listening is about not being about you. 

Next time someone is talking to you, hold back the first two things and keep your mouth shut. Just hum along “uh-huh” “hmmm.”
Watch your loved one’s eyes light up and connect with you at a whole new level. 
If your loved one is really used to you not listening, it might take a few of those for them to notice. Give them the chance. 

Why does it take a while?
Because “not listening” creates non-listeners. Confiding your vulnerability and having a solution returned is incredibly hurtful and harmful. We are trained not to acknowledge the hurt because they’ll minimise that hurt too and cause more hurt. 
So, they might express vulnerability to you then shut their ears knowing you’d immediately offer a solution instead of a listening ear. 

Now, after you saw that expression, when you’re alone, think about this: Why is “having your opinion heard” more important to you than seeing this expression in your loved one’s face?
Does everything have to be about you?
If you really struggle making it about them not you,

Can it be about you making it about your loved one?

“Frustration culture”?

Millenia seem to truly believe it’s the society’s fault for not providing them with affordable housing in vancouver.
Do they feel the same way about New York? Tokyo? Downtown Toronto?
If vancouver is responsible for providing them all with affordable homes, what about the other 3 million Canadians who’d love to move here? Why does Vancouver or the Province owe you a home in one of the most expensive cities in the world?

Once there was a town in the central BC. It was a logging town, supporting forestry workers, merchants, teachers, and a few casual restaurants. It was the 80’s before we thought about stewardship, so they eventually cut everything around them bare.
People who would move moved. Township and the Province proposed school closures and downscaling in infrastructure.
The people and the media had a tremendous uproar.
“We are not moving out of the home my grandfather built and do the job that is passed down generations.”
Two. Two generations. Their grandparents moved there, their parents did similar jobs, and those young adults hadn’t even finished school. Two is apparently a family tradition they expect the government to preserve for them.
And there are no more jobs because there are no more trees because of their own actions and choices.

Transit is down yet again, and people are upset. Sure, if you can’t afford to live in vancouver because you were not born in the ’60, you’d commute using transit. And it’s frustrating when you get delayed.
I grew up in Japan, solely dependent on transit. In Japan, in the country where other delays are so few and far in between, transit delays were quite common and I left home with enough time to allow for it.
I wasn’t frustrated. I didn’t compare myself to car people. I didn’t compare myself to people who don’t need to commute because they live in $600,000 condos that are a size of my bedroom. I did not expect trains to run on time.

Why am I seeing so much frustrating on media and social media?

Who are all teaching these people unreasonable expectations and such a sense of entitlement?

Why isn’t anyone telling them “hey, if you’d chosen to live in vancouver, you’d have a second job instead of just some occasional delays.”

Aren’t we teaching ourselves and people around us to see “on time” as a bonus and delay as normal?

I’m half way certain that someone with a political agenda is causing frustration on purpose to either drop the public’s confidence in the government or to distract from another political issue.

I think millenia have to take back control. Do not let people give you unreasonable expectations. Do not allow people to use you.