Category Archives: Employment

Remembering Old Friends

if you remember people, then they will remember you

don’t just be one of the crowd

This is the time of year that most of us think back and remember old friends we haven’t seen for years, or even family members we hardly ever meet.  I’m reminded of that with every Christmas card I write, and by each one I receive.  Every year I am glad that I keep a Christmas card list, with up to date names and addresses, and that I take the trouble to send a card to everyone on the list.  And like many people nowadays I add a few lines about what my year has been like.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.  ~  Dale Carnigie

There are some places I can go where I am almost certain to be recognised by someone I haven’t seen in years ~ and then I have to dredge through the corridors of my mind to put a name to the face.  I’s actually surprising and delightful when someone you haven’t met for a long time shows that they remember you ~ and it’s cool to be able to show the same courtesy.

It may seem insignificant but, if you remember people, they will remember you and that’s essential if you want to be successful in Life and Love.  Some may find this easy, if they have the kind of photographic memory that can recall faces, names, places, and events ~ but we can all do this too with just a little work.  Back in the day I used to keep a notebook; names and a few personal details of the interesting people I met.  If you’re a guy it’s doubly essential that you remember the women you meet.

The most important thing is to listen ~ stop talking, let other people talk for a change, and really listen.  That doesn’t mean saying nothing, a real man’s role in a conversation is to ask questions and encourage the other person, (or people), to share things about themselves.  Look for things that truly matter to them.  You will learn so much more about people if you try this, and when I was a deliberately good listener I learned a hell of a lot about myself too.

But, FFS, don’t make notes where others can see you writing stuff down.  That will get you into trouble ~ you may even get your face slapped.  I did.

If your notebook is to have any point, then you have to do something with it, preferably at the end of every day.  These days the best thing to do would be to create some kind of a database or computerised directory, even if it’s just simple stuff like partner’s name, children’s names, birthdays, where they work, what they’re vitally interested in…..  Back in the day I had a card index.  These days I have a Christmas card list.

Some say that it’s pointless remembering people because you may never meet them again.  And that listening to other people talk is incredibly boring.  All I know is that I used to be the best there ever was, because I remembered people.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you want to be successful in Love

the at least get her name right

How to Live in Harmony

from discord, find harmony

When you are in harmony with yourself, four things are aligned: what you do, what you say, what you think, and what you feel.  In those mindful moments, things flow without any sense of stress, tension, or negativity.  Your senses, feelings, and emotions fit together and your life has less anxiety, depression, guilt, upset, and stress.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.  ~  Gandhi

Being in harmony with yourself and others is all about being authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, reliable, and at peace with yourself.  It is hard to be at peace with the people, places, and creatures around you when you yourself are not at peace.  It is impossible to be at one with nature when you are not at one with yourself.  Your heart and your brain should be in harmony.

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.  ~  Marcus Aurelius

Sadly, most people never experience long-lasting harmony in their lives.  Most chase after material gain, instant gratification, and transitory relationships.

To be in harmony is to do the simple things right, and to the very best of your ability, energy, and strength;

  • If you want to stay sober, then stop drinking booze ~ don’t think you can ever take just one drink once in a while because you can’t.
  • If you want to stop smoking, then stop going through the motions and get serious about never, ever, smoking another cigarette.
  • If you want to lose weight and be fitter and healthier, then eat and drink well, and get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
  • If you promise to help someone, then remember to be there for them and do the things you promised.
  • If you think someone is being unkind and toxic, then stop pretending that all is well between the two of you.  Share what you truly think and feel, and then do something about that relationship.
  • If you feel anxious, depressed, and sad, then recognise and accept the emotions ~ in fact whatever emotions you feel, recognise and accept them.  But, if you want to feel better, then start acting as if you are 100%

If you want the grace to live your own life, in your own time, then be strong enough to live in harmony with yourself and others and all of nature.  Be authentic, honest, and open.  Some toxic and untrustworthy people will pull away from you, but if you do all this you can expect to have more authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, and peaceful friendships and relationships.

Some say one thing while they are thinking and feeling the opposite.  And most people lie, cheat, and steal.  All I know is we compose our own harmonies in our lives.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

to enjoy the scent of a rose

you must first brave the thorns

I Don’t Know Everything

if you aim to be perfect you will disappoint everyone

For me to say ‘I don’t know’ is a big thing, it takes guts on my part, but I know it’s an immensely positive thing and a clear sign that I am taking the world very seriously and myself not so much.  Sometimes knowing when I don’t know all the answers, and being honest about it, is the best thing I can do to honour those I care for.  I aim t be perfect, and because of that people end up being disappointed.  Yet, when I admit my blind spots, people flock to support me.

I know that some act as if they know what to do when, in reality, they are hopelessly out of their depth.  They try to project confidence in what they are doing or saying, when what they really need is a lot of help.

As it goes that’s not me.  Most of the time I have most of the answers.  If I was in Orange County and there was a big earthquake I would know exactly what to do, despite my never having been in an earthquake before.  If I were on a cruise and the ship caught on fire I would know what to do, or if I was in a plane crash I would know what to do to survive and thrive.  The thing is there are not so many options and not so many courses of action.

It gets more complicated when it comes to interpersonal relationships.  Yes, I know what to do, but usually I am reluctant to do it because I’m a nice guy.  When events challenge me it is tempting to fight back and hold firm to my ethics and morals, what I say I believe in.  But, I am reluctant to walk away and tell a wayward person to fuck off and never speak to me again.

Life is unpredictable and uncertain.  And I know that I can never be right all the time.  Sometimes the best thing I can do is chill, step back, and admit this is one time I don’t have all the answers.  Sometimes there is no benefit in my being stubborn, judgemental, and closed-minded.  Successful men are flexible, adaptable, and open to the ideas of others.  Really successful men know when to ask for help.

Some say that only the weak will admit they were wrong.  And that the only mistake Canute made was to try to hold back the sea on a rising tide.  All I know is that when I try to be perfect I disappoint everyone.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures have bugger-all to do with the text

except they’re women trying to be perfect

 

Brain Health

with perseverance and endurance you can survive any storm

Nobody sane wants to suffer a doddering old age when you can’t remember anything or anyone.  And certainly nobody wants to become an early victim of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Maybe most of us have had a parent or elderly relative who has suffered from memory loss, disorientation, poor judgement, mood swings, and a complete inability to live an independently normal life.  To a certain extent maybe that can be expected and accepted when the sufferer in in their 80s or so, but why should it be?  And why should anyone expect or accept the early onset of what should be a disease of the elderly such as Alzheimer’s Disease?

The fact is we can take steps to protect and, if necessary, repair our cognitive abilities.  It’s not rocket science, look any website such as cognitive vitality and you will see that the things that we need to do to protect ourselves against things like dementia are exactly the same things we should be doing to live a healthy life.  In order, and without even checking my information, these are;

  • Stop smoking completely, (and vaping is even worse than smoking).  Smoking will kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
  • Don’t ever use drugs like pot, cocaine, heroin, (and don’t kid yourself that once in a while is OK). Don’t abuse prescription drugs, in fact as far as possible stop taking prescription drugs.
  • Stop drinking, get sober, give up the booze, (and don’t even try to tell me that you can control your drinking).  Drinking will also kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
  • Eat for your brain.  There is strong evidence that the right kind of diet will promote brain health.  To begin with, stop eating canned food, processed food, and fast foods.  Check out websites like Purple Almond Wellness.
  • Get enough good quality sleep.  Keep a regular bedtime 365 days a year, do not sleep in at weekends.  Do not take sleeping medication, you should never need it.
  • Take lots of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine.  You know that you need to walk for your circulation to work properly?  If you try the 10,000 steps a day thing you will sleep alright.
  • Lose whatever causes you stress.  You know that too much stress could kill you?  It will certainly shorten your life expectancy and make you prone to nasty diseases such as cancer.
  • Be active in mind and spirit.  Keep learning, meet new people, get a hobby, do stuff.  If you sit there drinking beer and watching sports TV your body weight is going to balloon and your IQ is going to plummet.
  • Get really, really physically healthy.  This is a big topic, so learn how to do it, start with a website like seven fitness tips for improved physical health.  And don’t just sit there, get up and do things.

Some say that their lifestyle is fine.  And that it’s OK to always drive the mile to the store and back.  All I know is that the average American is killing themselves, and if they’re unlucky they’ll live long enough to kill their brain first.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

being upset is no reason to;

drink, use drugs, smoke…

 

Assertiveness

to be passive is to let others decide for you

Some of you may know that I have been emotionally, mentally, and spiritually sick for quite a while, but that over the last few days I have been recovering from the personality disorder that ails me.  I had another sign of that recovery today when I had a couple of very unpleasant situations to deal with, and I dealt with them effectively and assertively.

What I’m going to tell you isn’t something I’ve picked up off the web, or read in a book ~ I guess it harks back to when I operated at the highest levels in the fields of international banking and finance.  Today I used that accumulated knowledge, with a little something extra added from my recent life experiences.  In short I was extremely assertive and sorted things out without being aggressive.

To be assertive you must first of all make damn certain there is something wrong.  To be assertive when there’s nothing actually wrong, or about to go wrong, is just to make yourself look like a jerk.

Then figure out exactly what is is that went wrong, is wrong, is about to go wrong, or just isn’t happening at all.

Find the most senior appropriate person you have access to who might just be able to do something about your issue.

Tell that person succinctly, but with enough detail for them to fully understand, exactly what the problem is.

Tell them exactly what you want them to do about it; just saying ‘I want you to do something about it…..’ is being passive aggressive and not assertive.

Tell them when you expect the appropriate action to have been taken and the results you want to see.  Give them a time limit.

Tell them what will happen if they don’t do what you want them to do ~ but don’t threaten violence, that’s just being aggressive.

Tell them again what you’ve just told them, but this time summarise the whole thing in as few words as possible.

To be assertive requires intelligence, energy, determination, and a willingness to go out on a limb.  Being assertive does not require aggression, machismo, raised voices, or female seductiveness.  Maybe a little charm helps in the right situations.

Assertiveness works to help you get what you want, need, and desire in every single situation you can think of.

I also know how to utterly and completely deflect assertiveness when it’s used on me, but maybe I’ll tell you that another day.

Some say that assertiveness means carrying a big stick.  And that assertive people say no to almost everything.  All I know is that if I want it enough, true assertiveness will get me everything I desire.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this is not assertiveness

just violence and aggression

When There Is No Cure

there is no in-between, it is either all or nothing

sometimes you just explode

Our personalities stem from deep within our subconscious and are everything about the way we feel, react, and act.  A personality disorder is when parts of our personality cause problems in our lives.  A personality disorder will adversely affect how you cope with life, deal with relationships, how you behave every second of every day, and how you feel.  There is no cure.

The symptoms of a personality disorder may be treatable, but the underlying damage to your personality is not.  Because there is no cure, any treatment has to be long-term and specific to the individual concerned.  For example, some personality disorders respond well to medication, (Bi-Polar Disorder), while for others medication is both useless and probably dangerous, (Borderline Personality Disorder).

The men in white coats now believe that personality disorders are hard-wired into whoever is unfortunate enough to suffer one of the 10 different disorders, and they say that’s about one in twenty of the population.  (Personally I believe that far more than 5% of people are living with a serious personality disorder.)  The theory is that is you have a personality disorder you will never be able to shake off its symptoms.  This is not true.

Personality Disorders are most likely incurable, but the symptoms can be managed.

  • Crisis management.  Self-harm and suicide is common among sufferers of a personality disorder.  I have Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), and about 10% of all those who suffer from BPD kill themselves.  At times you may be hospitalised for your own safety and because you are a danger to others.
  • Medication.  There are some drugs to help sufferers of depression, anxiety, mood-swings, and psychosis.  Medication does not treat the underlying personality disorder, merely the symptoms.  Mostly antipsychotic medication is no more effective than a placebo, and has horrible side-effects.
  • Talking Therapy.  Depending on where you live there may be a few talking treatments that just might help suffers of a personality disorder. These include art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive analytic therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy.
  • Sheltered living.  Some suffers of personality disorders have such difficulty in dealing with everyday life that spending a long period in a therapeutic community is the only way they are able to cope at all.
  • Learning about your illness.  The likelihood is that anyone suffering from a personality disorder spends a lot of time in the confusion of not knowing WTF is happening to them.  If you learn, then you know, you may understand, and then you may be able to recover.
  • Self-Directed therapy.  The chances of me receiving any suitable treatment in my lifetime are just about zero.  Therefore my only recourse is to use self-help.  Luckily self-help treatment for personality disorders does work ~ if you do the hard work, every single fucking day of your life.
  • Avoidance behaviours.  Most sufferers of a personality disorder are / or have been into alcohol abuse, drug misuse, gambling, compulsive shopping, unsafe casual sex, never leaving home…..

Some say that if you have a personality disorder you may as well just curl up and die.  And that extreme avoidance behaviour is the way to go.  All I know is that if you do the hard work you can get over the sh*t and be happier.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

never leaving home is one solution

it is NOT a viable long-term solution

 

Defeating Dark Emotions

the heart is a strange beast and not ruled by logic

if all you have is a lonely beach…..

Nobody is rational about emotions ~ that’s why they’re called emotions.  And yet, I am handling my extreme and chaotic emotions quite rationally.

Feelings cannot be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem. ~ Anne Frank

Feelings cannot be ignored, and yet I am ignoring some incredibly powerful feelings that boil like black lava with in me.

I suffer from a very serious mental malady which creates wild, extreme, and powerful mood swings, and yet outwardly I am calm and grounded.

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.  Or I can go mad by ricocheting in-between.  ~  Sylvia Path.

The Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), that torments me creates extreme and instant feelings; anger, bitterness, disconnectedness, fear, guilt, insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, lust, paranoia, rejection, resentment…..  and a kaleidoscope of all of those and more.  Yet, through putting in the hard work I do not now often react to these negative feelings, nor act upon my intricately-constructed negative thoughts.

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.  ~  James Thurber

In the very recent past I would oft give my negative feelings and darkest thoughts free rein, and that never ever made things better, reacting to negative feelings and acting upon my darkest thoughts always, always, made everything in my life much worse.  About 10% of everyone who has suffered from BPD commits suicide, and a greater number die from the near-suicides of such things as alcoholism, drug addiction, and risky, impulsive behaviors like promiscuous casual sex with strangers and insane driving.  Those with personality disorders also have a higher than average risk of ‘lifestyle illnesses’ such as cancers, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, strokes, and heart attacks.

For me, when the inner emotional pain got bad I would retreat into the self-destructive oblivion of alcohol ~ which is very akin to temporary suicide.

In my lowest moments, the only reason I didn’t commit suicide was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink any more if I was dead.  ~  Eric Clapton

Three very simple stratagems have relieved me of the torture and torment I have suffered for as long as I can remember.

  1. Learning and understanding everything I could about my personal personality disorder.
  2. Delaying my reaction to negative feelings, and delaying taking any action following my darkest and most evil nightmare thoughts.  If I delay long enough the darkness passes.
  3. Keeping busy and avoiding idleness, even if doing something was outside of my comfort-zones.

To recover from Borderline Personality Disorder I have had to embrace change.

We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone.  ~  Roy T. Bennett.

Some say that the emotion that can break your heart is the one that heals it.  And that there is nothing they can do but to follow their heart.  All I know is that it’s a good thing that I’ve finally found a way to control myself.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

eventually the night comes

and with the night come the nightmares

Problems Just Don’t Go Away

the only way our problems will go away is if we solve them

Most of us, myself included, tend to ignore problems unless and until they step up and smack us in the face.  If something bothersome, or a bit irritating, or mildly inconveniencing is going on in our lives it is very much easier to close our eyes and ears and ignore it, rather than deal with yet another piece of crap.

So; the check engine light has come on in our car….. and how many people will just ignore that for days or weeks until the next regular service is due?  Or, we are fed up with opening the mail, which is always just bills and junk anyhow, so we stop opening our mail altogether.  Or, in my own case, sometimes I would feel so bad that I would get blind drunk for days and days just to escape the emotional pain, rather than work on the causes of my torment.

I can absolutely guarantee that if there is a problem, no matter how slight, then unless we accept that there’s a problem and do something about it, that problem will grow and grow until a minor issue becomes something fucking extremely serious.  In my own case, my getting drunk and insensible was nothing to do with alcoholism, or liking the party life, it was because I have a very serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD).  I’d, (sort of), known that for a few years, and so had my doctors, but did anyone actually do anything about it?  Hell no.  The easiest thing to do was ignore the real problem and get me some easy alcohol counselling instead.  Controlled Drinking is an oxymoron.

About 10% of people suffering from BPD commit suicide, which is about a thousand times higher than the norm across the whole population.  Booze was never my real problem, Borderline Personality Disorder was.

Same with car problems, the easiest thing to do is ignore them and assume they will all get sorted out at the next annual service….. whenever that is.  That check engine light could just be a little electrical fault.  Of course some real problems with your car might leave you stranded on the interstate in the middle of the night.  Or kill you.

If you notice a small problem, or you’re unhappy about something, then you could just ignore it and assume it will go away of its own accord.  And it might.  But it’s more likely that in a while a small problem, that would have been so easy to fix back then, has turned into a very serious issue indeed.

I have learned that there are no shortcuts in life.  That all the bad things that we feel, all the suffering we go though, and all the shit that happens to us are usually not the real problem ~ rather these are merely the symptoms of some deeper and more serious issue.  Unless we put in the hard work, dig deeper until we understand our problems, then every now and again something fucking frightening is going to happen.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

smoking and drinking in a bar alone solves no problems, and neither does casual sex

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished~  Lao Tzu

the evening always happens in its own good time

What if all behaviour has a probability of both success and failure?  How would we increase the chances of our being successful, and decrease the probability of our failing?  Well the first thing we have to do is stop seeing everything in terms of Yes / No, Black / White, Angels / Demons, and instead begin to accept that the world and the people we meet exist in shades of grey.  Instead of our totally failing at something, we need to accept the premise that it is possible to be moderately successful.

This goes against everything I believe and live by.  I have a personality disorder, and one of the traits of this illness is called Splitting ~ seeing everything in black and white, being completely successful, or a total failure ~ with nothing in between.  Everything in me says there should be no shades of grey.

Real life is not like that.  You may have a pretty good marriage without it being perfect.  Or, you might have a decent job without it being your ideal career.  And, you might be reasonably healthy without looking like a Greek God with a hell of an adonis belt.  To be more successful we need to accept that life is what it is, and then work fucking very hard to get more of what we like, want, need, and desire, and less of the things that annoy us, make us angry, depress us, and make us feel like crap.

One way to do the hard work to achieve greater success is to get away from our black and white thinking need to make immediate changes, our need for instant gratification, our need to make things happen Now!  Instead we should learn to use patience and time in our favour.

I do things fast.  I think fast, I read fast, I solve problems quickly, I jump to conclusions, I am impulsive, I have vicious mood swings, and they happen Fast!  This is all part of the borderline personality disorder I suffer from, and I know I need to control this.  The wiser man takes his time to think before he acts.

A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.  ~  George Savile

Charging off at the far horizon is all very well ~ it’s exhilarating and exciting.  But what if it’s the wrong horizon, what if you’re going in the wrong direction?  The wiser man takes time to prepare, to make certain he is ready, to ensure that he’s going in the right direction.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.  ~  Abraham Lincoln

When there is time, the wise man uses that time to his best advantage.  Only when there is something truly urgent and immediate does a wise man act fast.  And, in an emergency all the good stuff he has done in the past, because he was patient enough to always do the very best he could, all that good stuff will come to his aid and strengthen his arm to help him to do the right thing, even when he has to do it fast.

In the long run we shall do more by sometimes doing less.  ~  Charles Spurgeon

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you just know who is going to win this one

 

How To Be Happier

Happiness will not come to you.  Happiness can only come from you.

There are lots of books, TV shows, podcasts, and blog posts that purport to tell us how to be happy.  Some focus on the practical aspects, some on emotional states, some are spiritual, and some others are religious.  Personally, I wouldn’t give much weight to anyone with religion telling me how to be happy, because it will always involve God, (in one way, shape, or form).

God and I went in different directions some time ago.

There are also lots of pithy inspirational sayings about happiness.

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.  ~  Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Not everyone would agree with Roosevelt.

Therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, priests, and inspirational speakers can most likely give us a host of things we can do to improve our happiness.  From; building a growth mindset for happiness, to being optimistic, to ending negative thinking, to taking breaks from social media, to trusting in your higher power, and having a healthy lifestyle.  Having a healthy lifestyle sounds like a good start to me.

Another good start to greater happiness, that comes both before and after having a healthy lifestyle, is dealing with your addictions.  I have yet to meet an alcoholic, problem drinker, drug addict, casual drug user, chronic gambler, someone who often has casual sex, or anyone with an eating disorder who was happy in any way shape or form.  Addicts and people who go against their inner beliefs always live with inner misery.

In fact the list of people who live in utter misery is both long and heartbreaking.  The very sick, the starving, the poor, people living on the streets, those who have recently lost a loved one, refugees, and anyone who abuses their body, mind, and spirit are likely to enjoy little real happiness.

However, some say that you only need 3 big things to be happier;

  1. Work.  Most people don’t like or enjoy their work, which is sad and bad.  Those people should bite the bullet and find a better job for them.  But being out of work means you’re going to be broke and miserable, and work gives you money.
  2. Money.  Money can’t buy happiness, but try living flat broke in modern society to know what misery is.  Having just enough money will make you happier than being broke.
  3. Marriage ~ or a stable long-term relationship.  This gives you things like friendship, security, and sex.  People who live alone for too long are usually miserable and can become mentally ill.

It’s much more complicated than that, but I guarantee that if you don’t have all of those three things you will be very unhappy, probably depressed, and perhaps even suicidal.

Some say that money can’t buy you love.  And that sex without love is just a meaningless mechanical act.  All I know is that for a healthy person to live without sex and companionship is almost the definition of misery.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

friendship, companionship, and sex may come in many different forms

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