Circumference of Me – Chapter 4

4. You’re terrified? Good!

Whether you are just starting off on your career journey or you have been a long-time employee, you may think every day that you are living on the edge of your abilities.

You’re not.

If you are like the huge majority of workers, you are ensconced inside a mile-wide comfort zone, not daring to step near the edges of your experience and abilities.

You may not recognize it, but your abilities will not grow, and the impact and importance of your experiences will shrink unlessand until you takes the necessary steps to live on the edge. Taking steps – even tiny, baby steps – past the edge of your self-imposed comfort zone is absolutely necessary for your personal and professional growth.

You know why you don’t venture closer to the edge. It’s your fear of failure — of biting off more than you can chew, of not gathering moss on your personal rolling stone, and a bevy of other clichés. Fear of failure is not fatal, but it’s also not conducive to progress among the office ranks.

If you feel you are watching the life drain out of your frame of opportunity — your abilities aren’t growing and the value of your experience is shrinking — then you have two choices:

  • Step back into more familiar surroundings and possibly stifle unseen opportunities, or
  • Step closer to the fearsome edge and get sucked away into a whole new universe of opportunity.

Of course, it’s frightening. The unknown always is. We all want to know what’s behind the veil of uncertainty in business or in life. Once you set foot in uncharted territory, you are where your hitherto accepted limits aren’t accepted, anymore.

It’s a time for reflection, reviewing old goals and setting new ones, and working to mesh your unspoken dreams with your new reality. You have faced your fears and taken decisive action to change what is within your power to change.

You are not the same person you were before you made a conscientious decision to actively seek change. Without experimentation, without exploring the depths of your potential, without expanding your knowledge base and business acumen, you cannot climb higher on the success ladder.

That which terrifies you also creates an opportunity for growth.

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Play Like

By George Smith

Okay, listen up, Pilgrim. Let’s play a game all readers over 45 have played as  child: Play Like.

Let’s play like I’m a supporter and die-hard supporter of the promises, policies and platitudes of President Donald J. Trump. A stretch of the imagination, I assure you, but this is the game when girls could play like they were princesses and boys could play like they were armored knights attacking the heathen Visigoths.

In Play Like anything is possible.

So, Trump was not found guilty of collusion with Russia, according to the Atty. Gen. Robert Barr’s preliminary, summary report on the final report Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report. That does not mean he did not collude; it means that no determination was made.

(Note: Forget Play Like.  I was not very good at it 60 years ago and am worse at it now. There is no way I can Play Like I understand or appreciate one single thing about the Trump Administration.0

Digest that for a minute. So, if supporters of Trump presume that there was no collusion, but a serious question remains: Why did a fistful of Trump’s associates/campaign aides/WH officials lie to the FBI and in congressional committees about their contacts with Russians?

Even a devil’s advocate, if reading and research counts for anything, can come to the conclusion Trump and three of his family members have not been exonerated; the continuing investigation has simply been moved to various state-level prosecutor offices from New York to Florida. Why? Presidential pardons are not in play in state crimes.

Does anyone find the loyalty of Trump supporters in the face of his constant lies, hid chaotic management style and his inability to open-mindedly consider advice from his military and intelligence and subject-matter experts in governing this country even the least bit disconcerting?

How many people in this country find troubling his refusal to even attempt to understand the historical importance of NATO or the Paris Climate Accord and why Trump’s diminishing the necessity and effectiveness of these coalition-building organizations borders on abject stupidity and malignant neglect in  respecting our allies?

Oh, his supporters say, “It’s the economy, Stupid!” I get that, but I also know the last recession hit in 2008 and the last seven years of the Obama Administration demonstrated steady economic growth (Look it up!). Trump inherited that trend and took sole credit for rising key economic indicators. What, pray tell, will he blame for the present slowing economy and rising budget deficit?

The GOP tax cuts are a classic example of how his supporters accept any program or promise and the accompanying spin he paints over the narrative explaining the reason the program fell short of expectations or failed altogether. “This tax cut is going to cost me a lot of money,” he said when on the sell-the-program trail promoting the cuts to help the middle class. When the bill passed, he shouted gleefully to the Richie Rich crowd at Mar a Lago: “I just saved you all a lot of money.”

The tax cut dramatically helped the top tier of wage earners and hurt those in every other tax bracket. Plus, the then-candidate who promised to balance the budget dumped another trillion-plus dollars on top of an already opulent deficit.

If you are a Trumpeteer until the cows come home, the fat lady sings or until you are on the other side of the grass, then, seriously, you don’t care that he has cheated small business owners who helped him built his empire; you are not fazed by the fact he brazenly claimed he can sexually abuse women because he’s famous and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in hush money to hide escapades with a porn  star (while his wife was home soon after giving birth) and a Playboy model…and there are hints of may other dalliances.

It bothers you not that he had affairs with two future wives while married to two ex-wives or that, despite the fact he is a prolific liar, fraud and serial bankruptcy conman, you prefer him over any alternative.

You and the rest of his faithful followers don’t care that he cozies up to dictators and despots and will not condemn the torture and deaths of American citizens ordered by the leaders of North Korea  and Saudi Arabia. And, forget the president is endorsed by white supremacist groups and took more than 18 months to utter one negative word about those addled-brained, mouth-breathers who proclaim that all whites are superior to all other races.

Simply, you don’t care…you are just peachy-keen happy he is not Hillary Clinton.

I didn’t like either choice in 2016. But the president we ended up with will be vilified as the worst leader in the history of this country.

And that is the only thing predicable about Donald Trump’s presidency.

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