What are your choices, compromises and sacrifices?

“Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night.”

Marion Howard (1805-1875)

“The very concept of having it all flies in the face of the basic laws of economics and common sense. As Sharon Poczter, professor of economics at Cornell, explains, “The antiquated rhetoric of ‘having it all’ disregards the basis of every economic relationship: the idea of trade-offs. All of us are dealing with the constrained optimization that is life, attempting to maximize our utility based on parameters like career, kids, relationships, etc., doing our best to allocate the resource of time. Due to the scarcity of this resource, therefore, none of us can ‘have it all’…”

“Having it all is best regarded as a myth…. Each of us makes choices constantly between work and family, exercising and relaxing, making time for others and taking time for ourselves. Being a parent means making adjustments, compromises, and sacrifices every day…”

From ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg

Family blance juggle

What are your choices, compromises and sacrifices?

ENDS

Image 1: by Eugeny (Ef) Kozhevnikov
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mage 2: A balanced family

DO’s and DON’Ts of losing a job

Have you ever lost your job or do you know someone who lost their job?

I was in my teens when my dad lost his job. He was not fired, he was not made redundant. Simply the state research institute he was working in vanished one day during perestroika, leaving over 2,000 employees unemployed with no redundancy payments, no unemployment benefits. Nothing, absolutely nothing…

There were hardly any other jobs around at that time. Factories were closing one after another. Those who managed somehow to keep their jobs were often forced to take unpaid leave for 2-3 days a week or were not paid at all for months and months and months… They kept getting monthly payslips without pay.

“We’ll be OK”, my dad said, shrugging his shoulders and putting away his business suit, “I’ll find some work”.

Dad started his career  in one of the deepest and most dangerous coal mines in the world working at the depth of 720 meters. All his family and mates were coal miners.

As he was a very bright young man, he was selected to go to the University where he got a degree in electrical engineering. Gradually he worked his way up to the executive level in the crown research institute.

He always stayed in touch with his old mates from the coal mine and University friends with whom he has done lots of odd jobs to support himself through the University years. Now he was worried about them. His old coal mine was closed with all coal miners left without jobs.

Coalminers

Some of his University friends, who ended up in different parts of the USSR after graduating from the University, not only lost their jobs but were also forced to leave places where they lived with their families for a few decades.

“At least we still have a roof over our heads. They are less lucky than us,” my dad sighed.

I felt sorry for him and his mates, who were working so hard all their lives to lose everything…. How can you be a man if you can’t financially support your family? Old traditional views on gender roles were adding insult to injury, putting even more pressure on the men of my dad’s generation. Not surprisingly, suicide became prevalent among middle-aged men at that time…

On the rise: The suicide rate among men is at its highest for a decade according to figures from the Office for National Statistics with the sharpest increase among men aged between 45 and 59

Dad was also worried about his secretary, who was close to the retirement age. She had no chance of finding another job.

“I can always go back to working as an electrician or get some odd jobs. It will be so much harder for her,” he sighed.

Since then, I’ve seen lots more people going through painful experience of losing a job. My own family was not spared with my spouse losing jobs twice in the last 15 years.

First experience was particularly painful, as it was our only source of income and we were expecting our first child. Second time was so much easier, as I was in a workforce then and therefore was in a much better position to support our family through that painful experience. We’ve also learnt a lot by then about all DO’s and DON’Ts of losing a job, summarised very well in Shannon Smith’s article:

1. DON’T panic: There are always options, and the key is to let yourself have the time and space to determine what those are;

2. DO accept our situation: Once you’ve given your emotions space to exist, you can start to see the big picture more clearly, enabling you to act in ways that will help you and your career.

3. DON’T clamp up: The shame of job loss can scare people away from healthy and productive social interactions. But that only increases the negative pressure on an already stressful situation. Whether you participate in social networking, real-life networking in your industry, volunteering or taking a class, putting yourself out in the world is often the path to new ideas, opportunities and energy. Yes, even when you’d rather retreat and stay home alone.

4. DO rethink your priorities: separate your wants from your needs and make the necessary changes to reflect your new financial reality.

5. DON’T neglect your well-being: Watch your stress levels, whether that means taking up meditation, yoga, or simply trying to smile more.

6. DO take a balanced view of your situation: refocus on the positive aspects of your life, your nearest and dearest….

“…We’ve gotta hold on to what we’ve got…
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot…”

THE END

Image 1: from http://www.itrelease.com
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mage 3: from http://www.photosight.ru/photos/1787191/
Image 2 and 5: from http://englishrussia.com
Image 4: from http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Image 6: from http://www.bluefrogtravel.eu/bluefrog/index.php?dosanddonts 

What is your motivation?

How do you get motivated? What gets you up early in the morning fired with passion and ready to take on the challenges that await? Or, do you find yourself struggling to get going and dreading the day?

From When Money Can’t Do the Job

We all go through periods in life where motivation can be tough, where the routine gets monotonous and we find ourselves dragging a little. How can we find motivation?

Most people think that rewards or punishments motivate people the most.

From http://www.familybeforefortune.com

However that is not always the case. In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink points out three elements of true motivation: autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Autonomy is “our desire to be self directed”; mastery is “the urge to get better at stuff”; and purpose is “making a contribution to society”. In other words, people are very motivated if they can choose how/when to do their jobs, are very competent at it, and are helping make the world a better place.

What is your motivation?

THE END

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

From http://off-campus.weebly.com/

As Michael Straczynski once said, “People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

Considering this general tendency, it does not come as a surprise when we see men being blamed for all problems affecting women.

image

From http://terry73.wordpress.com

Women do have lots of problems. As Sheryl Sandberg points out in her book Lean In, “the blunt truth is that men still run the world. This means that when it comes to making the decision that most affect us all, women’s voices are not heard equally…”

There are lots of reasons for this. “Women face real obstacles in the professional world, including blatant and subtle sexism… Too few workplaces offer the flexibility and access to child care and parental leave that are necessary for pursuing a career while raising children…”

Embedded image permalink

From https://twitter.com/workingmothers1

As the result, the whole society suffers: “The laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve. Legendary investor Warren Buffett has stated generously that one of the reasons for his great success was that he was competing with only half of the population. The Warren Buffetts of my generation are still largely enjoying this advantage. When more people get in the race, more records will be broken. And the achievements will extend beyond those individuals to benefit us all.”

Men in a boardroomFrom http://www.wemadeit.ca

When asked how American women could help those who experienced the horrors and mass rapes of war in places like Liberia, Leymah Gbowee (Liberian peace activist who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize) responded with four simple words: “More women in power.” We do need more strong women in power who don’t play victim, who don’t make themselves look pitiful, who don’t point fingers but stand firmly and deal with the problems.

Quote

From http://www.pinterest.com

We do need more women in leadership roles to improve conditions not only for all women and children, but for men as well.

“Why improving conditions for men?” one may ask.

As Sheryl Sandberg points out. “Today, despite all of the gains we have made, neither men nor women have real choice. Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential. …

We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. If more children see fathers at school pickups and mothers who are busy at jobs, both girls and boys will envision more options for themselves. Expectations will not be set by gender but by personal passion, talents, and interests.”

From http://cdn2.thegrindstone.com

Like Sheryl Sandberg, I hope my children will be able to choose what to do with their lives without external or internal obstacles slowing them down or making them question their choices. If they want to do the important work of raising children full-time, I hope they will be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender. If they want to work full-time and pursue their professional aspirations, I hope they will also be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender.

From http://d.gr-assets.com/

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

😉

THE END

Mid-Week Giggle with Laziness

Laziness
From http://jokeallucan.blogspot.co.nz

Laziness is truly a mother of all bad habits – a habit of resting before getting tired. 🙂

One of my favourite old cartoons is about laziness – a very cheeky laziness indeed. This cartoon has English subtitles that can be turned on and off via the menu button at the bottom of the YouTube screen (in the right-hand side corner).

Did this cartoon remind you someone you know?

A family member? A neighbor? Or may be a colleague?

Hope it gave you a good laugh as well 🙂

Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it's only kept a secret from the person who fails.  - Robert Half

 From http://izquotes.com

😉

THE END