The “Willing to Work on it” Attitude – Don’t be stubborn, wake up and live

The much better response to change at work or at home is what I call the “willing to work on it” attitude. When the boss explains everything will be changing, this person doesn’t have to me gung ho but they can show interest by being willing to work on it. People like this thrive in life and relationships.

How do you face change? When you are told at work there will be new ways fo doing things, do you cringe or do you get eager to find out what they are? With your spouse, when they sit you down and say they have something difficult to tell you do you cringe or do you get curious to hear what it is? I have found that adversity has one of two effects on people at work and in relationships. Let me explain them and you can decide where you stand.

One response to adversity is to ignore it. Playing aloof about the need for change is like ether, it puts a person to sleep and retards growth. At work these people react with phrases like: “Oh well, just another thing” -or- “I’m not going to do that” -or- (my personal favorite) “I already know and do all that.” These people are frozen in the past unable to change their habits and energies to be in sync with “now.” In relationships these people ignore issues of failing intimacy and assume they are right all the time. If their partner is passive and enjoys abuse of this nature, they will stay and enable the person. On the other hand, the spouse may not be so forgiving and she/he may leave the marriage. The ignorant person will make excuses for their lack of action. They will refuse to see the need for change as an opportunity to be happier in the relationship and instead … blame the other one.

The much better response to change at work or at home is what I call the “willing to work on it” attitude. When the boss explains everything will be changing, this person doesn’t have to me gung ho but they can show interest by being willing to work on it. People like this thrive in life and relationships. They don’t die when the old model of business and relations fails. They continue learning, growing, and moving outside their comfort zone*. In fact, they learn to feel relatively comfortable outside of their comfort zone. It’s quite a feat but with effort, most anyone can attain it. In a marriage, this type of person is always reminding her/his spouse that she/he cares and is willing to change as needed. There is a bit of stress here but that is not always a bad thing. The person who is “willing to work on it” will be respected more in the long run. She/he will also be far more trusted and thereby entrusted with the treasures of work and home.

Column: ‘Blogging from Nowhere Land’

If you find a sleepy nowhere land to live in and it’s fairly close to everywhere, you should buy a house there. Nowhere Land is highly under-rated, on the contrary, it can be quite juicy with life! Not everyone can live where it’s happening. Heck, nowadays with the internet, everything is happening everywhere, nowhere men and women are harder to find. 

cropped-profile_2015_hawaiiluau_300px.jpgDamien Riley is a blogger and podcaster who writes a column at RileyCentral.blog once a week. He has an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton, he married a princess (now his queen) and together they have 3 children.

Living nowhere has its advantages. I live in a town called Victorville and it’s conveniently seated 2 hours South of Las Vegas and about one hour from Los Angeles. The only thing to do here is going to movies and go out to eat. We have the basic corporate chains: Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Red Robin. These are great places to eat, I’m not knocking them. Living in the high desert dusty sands of Victorville can have its advantages though.When you want to go to see a film, Cinemark holds the monopoly up here. Tomorrow I’m going to see a novelty showing of the original Planet of the Apes, which will be insanely fun. Still, we don’t get indie films up here and the theaters cycle in the trendy blockbuster stuff week in and week out. This is fun, as long as I can get someone to go with me. My wife used to be gung-ho for any film I wanted to see, I remember driving way “down the hill” (This is a colloquial term for driving South down the Cajon Pass toward Los Angeles and Orange County.) On that date we drove about 90 miles to the UC Irvine move theater to see Jennifer Lawrence in an indie film called Winter’s Bone. Over the years, her mind has become more closed to crazy indie films like that, especially the horror and goofy stuff I’m reviewing these days: ie; Tusk, Swiss Army Man. So, I have taken to seeing films like these with my daughters or by myself at home. If I review a trendy blockbuster, it’s likely I saw it with my wife. Horror or goofy, I probably didn’t.
We have a mall up here that is first class. I still like to shop at Barnes and Noble, even though I really don’t read. If I have a general interest like lowering blood pressure or another sort of fact sheet, I might look up a free pdf online and read it in my Nook. Otherwise, I’ve learned I don’t have as much patience for books these days. I push myself to read other peoples’ blog posts but books are sort of on the back burner for now. The last novel I read was Nos4a2 by Stephen King’s son “Joe Hill.” He also wrote Horns which was a horror that I truly loved. There is an amazing food court and a Starbucks kiosk. I’m an avid coffee drinker so I love to get a Starbucks on my app. Every purchase earns me stars and enough stars gets me a free drink. Starbucks is a holy word in my house. My wife and I must spend 10K there a year (guesstimate). They have a See’s Candy store in there where I have bought my wife Valentine’s Day candy for years. The line is never unreasonable. I used to live in Orange County and I can tell you there is almost always a mile long line in those malls for See’s Candy on Valentine’s day.

There are a few parks up here that are pleasant to hang out at. They are hot in the Summer though. I think anyone living up here learns a way to get wet and stay cool. I have my pool. It costs me a lot to keep up but I love it so I spend happily. Jumping in a pool up here on a 108F day is akin to a religious experience. In the evenings, I enjoy my jacuzzi that I usually heat up to 101F. Kids love playing at the park. There are regular “ice cream man” trucks that jingle by. One plays the Music Box Dancer song by Frank Mills and I always love hearing it. Liberty Park is a great place to have an impromptu picnic. Several times we have picked up a box or friend chicken, some drinks and sides, and laid down a blanket for a tasty lunch. The kids get to play and we can lay around with our laptops or just lay on each other’s stomachs and have a nap.

I guess when I say there is nothing much to do here I mean cultural things. There are no playhouses or theaters. There is a community college but no University. I say it’s no wonder why so many denizens up here succumb to drug use. Crystal Meth and Heroin are a couple of the big ones. I’m sure LA and Hollywood have problems with more expensive drugs. I guess that’s why I started blogging a few years after I moved here. I could connect with people all over the world through the blog software Wordpress. Facebook wasn’t invented yet so there was still a little prestige and mystique in blogging. Nowadays when I say I’m a blogger, some people equate that with someone addicted to social media. The blogging I do is far more content oriented. It is social but I seek to leave the world a better place with the articles I leave behind. Facebook is more about liking your friend’s son’s Bah Mitzvah (sp?).

As a teacher, I get breaks throughout the calendar year. My contract is from August to June with some weeks off in-between. Even when we were struggling financially years ago, my wife Sarah and I made sure to plan and take family vacations as much as possible. We still do. This past Summer we went to Hawaii, OC Beaches, we’re going to Vegas in a few days, and tons of movies, restaurants and other stuff. We really do live like Kings. Still, before anyone go resenting us, trust me we live month-to-month and both of us have hefty student loan payments. Our son can’t qualify to waive his college tuition, so we feel sometimes on the outside up here. I don’t ask for anyone’s sympathy but I would appreciate a level of respect that we made choices to get where we are and there are always consequences whether you make choices for college of not. It’s called adult life.

It’s a sleepy place I live in but I recommend a place like this for life. We aren’t a stone’s throw from anywhere but we can get in the car and be somewhere pretty quick. And so do you see the value of living in nowhere land? Oh I almost forgot, the traffic is virtually non-existent.

Opportunity Awaits You, Relax and Take it Today

If you don’t grab opportunity, someone richer and smarter will. I tell my students that they can go to college. Many voices in their lives tell them otherwise.

We of education and a measure of success owe it to the youth today to provide them with a vision.

Furthermore, hope for college and a life beyond. In the 1980’s, it was possible to finish high school and start a lifelong career. Since then the factory system along with the assembly line has died. The service jobs are all still there but they don’t pay enough to pay the bills. Uneducated people in the service industry end up renting rooms with other low paid people and the family unit suffers all around.

I have a respect for those in the service industry but it is a lie to tell our young students today that is all they need to have the American life they see on tv and the silver screen. We’re raising dropouts who know the good life as they have perceived it. They don’t understand that a cool sports car is owned by people who have a college degree more than those who deal drugs.

We need to tell them our success stories.

Even if we never lived in a poverty situation, everyone who is educated and thriving in our society has a story. When we tell kids our story, we are fighting against ignorance and propaganda. We are providing a clear light in a hazy grey universe.

Take a ten year old’s mind for instance, I teach this age of child as my job. Ten year olds are immediate creatures. This means, they want the reward now. The further away the reward, the less interested they become. I show them stairs and explain They are on the 4th grade step. Every step is another one closer to their dream. Have them visualize their dream. Nurture their dream with them.

We should never forget that where there is no dream, the people will die.

After all, as great as we think our careers are, would we do them for free? I know I wouldn’t. We need to get kids the buy in that any person would have. If we don’t we will see more and more kids drop out. As I said before, there really is no dream anymore for the uneducated. They may get lucky but I am talking the law of averages. We owe it to them to wake them up. I know it can feel tiring when they don’t respond right away. Strain to do it, you can sleep when they’re older, educated, and successful.

Your thoughts?

4 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block as a Blogger

From the post: “I’ve used many methods of browsing blogs. So far, the easiest and most broad in scope has been through using Google Reader. You can develop a collection of favorite blogs over time and visit them in one place rather than bouncing around blog to blog.”

A lot has been written out there about what subject matter gets blog traffic and backlinks. What hasn’t been written about enough is how and where to get the inspiration to blog. That’s why I am sharing a few sources of inspiration I use.

  1. Reading other blogs. I’ve used many methods of browsing blogs. So far, the easiest and most broad in scope has been through using Google Reader. You can develop a collection of favorite blogs over time and visit them in one place rather than bouncing around blog to blog. The blogroll is all but obsolete when you consider the handy nature of feed readers like Google Reader. As I read, I usually don’t even get through three blogs before I have an inspiring idea for a post. It is a good idea to recognize the blogger who wrote the article in your article. However, if the new post idea is not clearly related, you should feel no obligation to do so.

  2. My kids. When I consciously take time away from my duties of life (including my computer) I get at least one or two inspiring ideas to blog on. I guess the only advice here is to do something with them away from the computer. If you end up making it into a profitable post, make sure you pay then with a trip to the pizza parlor or something else they’d enjoy.

  3. Movies reviews! I love writing these at my other blog and here: rileyfilm.reviews

  4. Google Trends. This is another excellent service Google provides that shows you what people are searching for. This is probably not a sure-fire way to get visitors but it can get you thinking and therefore inspired to write a post that will indeed be relevant.

Those are four inspiration sources for me. I hope you’ll try them out and find success in your blog journey.