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ironiya • this career-oriented blog—published on biweekly Wednesdays—looks at the positive and sometimes ironic sides of a kaleidoscopic range of workplace and life issues, from education and employment to discipline and discord •

dealing with daily pressures: fresh-squeezed juice

Your job promotion depends entirely on addressing daily pressures while completing extraordinary work by Friday for a project impacting the entire company.
 
Your spouse’s crucial work commitments cause all the week’s family responsibilities to fall on your shoulders alone.
 
You’ve lost your job and have accepted two or three jobs either within or outside your field rather than lose your house to foreclosure.
 
Your child’s or parent’s illness means that you’re burning candles on both ends of the day, as inattention or cutting corners is not within your repertoire.

These and countless other scenarios—faced by millions of people each calendar pass—point to the essential companions of positivity and selflessness that can make or break, that mean the difference between success and failure, that foster either normal breathing or a heart attack. Read More 

the persistence of ego: flash lite

Each of us is born with distinct gifts, to be developed and expanded through discipline and desire, or to be left to fade through apathy and anxiety. They encompass the kaleidoscopic range of human experiences, from construction worker to concert violinist, from doorman to doctor, from gardener to golfer, from proctor to president. Yet why must society make delineations, create class categories, foster exclusivity?


A concert violinist must go through decades of disciplined practice on top of requiring the inborn gifts, yet is the construction worker—who labors through years of apprenticeship and stultifying weather conditions while helping to create the concert hall—a less valuable person?


A doctor must go through endless years of highly specific training and staves off disease, yet is the doorman—who helps to guard the doctor's co-op against crime and murder, and keeps order—a less valuable person?


A professional golfer must devote immeasurable time to drives and putts while offering entertainment and ready aspiration, yet is the gardener—who maintains the course and cultivates beauty and oxygen with perpetual toil—a less valuable person?


A president, whether of company or country, must cultivate expansive education, political skills and charisma to guide and inspire groups of people with much at stake, yet is the proctor—who oversaw the president's bar exam and ensures integrity and discipline within life-changing circumstances—a less valuable person? Read More 

storing and accessing mistakes: i cloud

Making mistakes can be a source of true peace.

What a ridiculous statement, no? How could it be so, and why does it never feel that way at the moment?

For those determined to move ahead tangibly—both personally and professionally—and not just to aspire, the follow-up question, “What can be gleaned from this?” is key. None of us can know at all times where to step and where to avoid, what to do and what to avoid, how to embrace and how to avoid; such a valuable avoidance instinct can only be built up over time, over problems solved, over situations lived through. Read More 

the persistence of ego: flash lite

Each of us is born with distinct gifts, to be developed and expanded through discipline or desire, or to be left to fade through apathy or anxiety. They encompass the kaleidoscopic range of human experiences, from construction worker to concert pianist, from doorman to doctor, from gardener to golfer, from proctor to president. Yet why must society make delineations, create class categories, foster exclusivity?

A concert pianist must go through decades of disciplined practice on top of requiring the inborn gifts, yet is a construction worker—who labors through years of apprenticeship and stultifying weather conditions while helping to create homes and offices—any less valuable? Read More 

putting your best foot forward: track & field

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You’ve got résumés out to 100 companies. How to make sense of it all? Categorize them by type, location, priority or preference. Follow up with each contact as if the only one. The personal touch can never be overestimated. Don’t send an email, but write (in longhand) and mail a card thanking for the opportunity. Use the post office’s breast-cancer stamps—not to impress anyone, but simply to do the right thing. And even though this is through and through a business relationship, don’t forego the personal touches, the fellowship of similar interests, the acknowledgement of mutual goals. Keep track of even small details, an effort that will distinguish you as a prime prospect. Read More 

the rules we live by: spare keys

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For myriad reasons both secular and spiritual, we strive to live by a set of rules, a group of key tenets, that will best serve the overall good.

But what of the less obvious of these behaviors? What of the aspects of daily life that are not generally seen, obviously recognized or otherwise reinforced? These can be equally if not more important for lives of integrity and productivity.

Do thoughts and self-regard remain humble in the wake of praise? Is gratitude present no matter how hard the work, how deserved the reward? Is conduct that recognizes and embraces others a natural part of every day, of each interaction? Read More 

confronting consequences: the glass sealing

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Perhaps the report doesn’t need those few extra pages, or the annual checkup can
wait a few more months, or you’re sure the car can go a few thousand more miles
before its oil change, or the complicated home project is almost good enough, or… or… or.

It’s not unusual to become tired in what can be a difficult economy or with the kaleidoscopic range of daily obligations, to feel that just making it through the most urgent priorities is enough, to leave uncompromising thoroughness for another, more doable day. Read More 

to graze or cut deeply: knives & forks

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Someone cuts you off on the turnpike, the expressway, the highway or the byway.

Someone promises you something but doesn’t deliver.

Someone leaves integrity at the door.

Someone d, e or f.

These realities can either graze or cut deeply, the knife entering with various levels of pain. The reaction may be to turn that around, to fight, to never let it rest. If it’s a matter of personal #integrity, then there is really no choice. Go knife to knife if need be. Read More