Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why The Person That Cut You Off In Traffic Today Awesome....

....Okay, Maybe Not That Awesome But Keep Reading

It was very hot in Phoenix today, heck it's after 0900 pm PST and it is still 111 degrees!   In related news, tomorrow is Friday, ESPN Sports Center will get a lot more exciting in about a month, and water is wet.    

One of my favourite things to do in any weather is go to a bookstore and read segments of random books.   The last time I did this I read a book about leadership, sociology and the different stages of groups\individual behaviours and development.    The stages discussed were:   

  1. Life Sucks
  2. My Life Sucks
  3. I'm\We're Great and You're Not
  4. We're Great and Life Is Great : Everything Is Awesome

In this post I will talk about how I have personally gone through all of these stages in my own life along with some public examples where applicable, what stage is my personal favourite and why that person that cut you off in traffic this morning may really not be all that bad.

I was in stage one "Life Sucks"  from about the fifth grade to high school.   My dad retired young when I was in first grade and he moved the entire family from Denver where I had a lot of diverse friends to Iowa where for some reason I could not make any friends.   The weather in Iowa was interesting in that the winters were beyond freezing and frequently involved subzero days, 20+ foot snow drifts and snow days which meant that we would have to go to school until mid to late June shortening the summer break.   My parents divorced when I was 13, my siblings and I moved to Tucson, Arizona. 

Arizona is where I transitioned into the other levels, let's start with stage two "My Life Sucks".   I was getting used to Arizona but I liked the change and the weather was definitely void of snow days.   My first day of school, which was a Junior High School literally smack dab in the middle of an Indian Reservation, was less than favorable.    When walking to class after lunch some  gangster fellow pushed me down to the ground  and stood over me.   He kept asking me what I "claimed" because apparently I was wearing the colours of a rival gang.   Lucky for me some fellow came up to the aggressor and told him that I just moved from "Idaho" and that I wasn't a threat.   Funny sub story, the gangster that wanted to beat me up and I became friends and I quickly moved into stage three. 

I spent most of my life in the "I'm\Were Great and  Your Not Stage" as a matter a fact I just transitioned out of this stage earlier this year.     Basically all of my friends were cool but people that I didn't know, didn't hang out in my clique or even didn't root for the same sports teams that I fancied were "worthless losers" or worse.  This stage is very popular in the music business amongst rappers who have beef with each other and fans that get into vapid conversations about how Rapper A is not as good as Rapper B.   It embarrasses me to even share how long I was in this stage but it's worth it because I do want to share that these first three stages are the most negative, toxic and unhealthy place to live from.   If you are in  one of these stages now I invite you to join me in stage four ASAP.   

Stage four "We're Great and Life Is Great", going off of the rapper example in the prior example both Rapper A and Rapper B can be cool.   I used to really side with one team in sports and get crazily upset if the team that I was rooting for lost and sometimes even get into verbal arguments with folks rooting for the opposing squad.    This year's Super Bowl was embarrassingly the first time in my life that I didn't feel that way.    Being a Denver Broncos fan is was hard to watch the Seattle Seahawks dismantle the Broncos and end up winning by a score of 79-4 but it wasn't hard congratulating Seahawks fans and the actual team for having a great season and a great performance in the Super Bowl. 

 This stage also reminds me of a cartoon-like movie  about self-locking building bricks (which is very fitting because I believe that children naturally start life out in this stage) and the following thought which was shared with me earlier today: 

"...the truth remains that you could not be who you now are, if others were not who they now are. 

Including those people you sometimes wish were not who they now are." 

What a profound thought.   If things have not turned out precisely the way they did you would not be reading this right now and traveling down the path you are traveling down.   The guy that cut you off this morning may have set of a random unseen series of events that led you to that one really great thing that happened to you. 
The moral of the story is that we are all one in the same and you can live in any of the stages discussed in this post but it is highly recommended to go and remain in stage four if you want a more powerful and empowering experience in life. 

Until we read again, 


p.s.    Excited for the book which is coming out Late 2014

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