365 – August Posts

365 Challenge: Day 172 – Me

Posted on

Me: used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself as the object of a verb or preposition

me.png

Some people are born without any selfish bones in their body or thoughts in their mind. Many are absolutely incapable of thinking about other people, reserving every moment of the day for themselves and themselves alone. I’m willing to bet that a majority of people out there fall somewhere in between on this scale of extremes. I know I certainly do, hopefully somewhere right in the middle, but definitely aware of the times when I am too focused on myself, feeling like ‘it’s all about me.’ Having a healthy ego or confidence in focusing thought or action on yourself is a good thing when managed properly. But there needs to be a fair balance, which is why today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is ‘me’ and comes, of course, with suggestions for a change in our approach to each day. I’m sure you ask: “Will this guy ever shut up about himself, always with advice?”

I’ve decided to institute a NON ‘me’ day each month, rotating it into my schedule so that I purposely focus on other people and not myself. I think it will do wonders for my outlook and humility to see and understand things from other people’s perspectives — and not just my own. It certainly won’t be easy, at least not the way I have this planned in my mind, but I believe it’s important.

I’ll share a few examples but am ultimately curious what others think of this exercise, as well as how they handle things in their own life. The most obvious illustration I can share is my WordPress blog: ThisIsMyTruthNow and the 365 Daily Challenge. It was created as a way to help me identify what I wanted to do in the future and as a method to connect with people from around the world. When I choose the word each day, I relate it something specific about me and my life. Many wonderful people comment on it each day, and we have an interactive dialogue regarding how the word fits in both of our lives. It’s a great tool to get to know someone, but there is a downside. Shocker, I know!

The discussion and online friendship is being kicked off because I started talking about myself. Not because we randomly met and began a conversation about something other than either one of us. On the flip side, I try to read everyone’s blog that I follow to learn more about them; sometimes I have little time to comment, and there’s just a “like” after I’ve read the post. While that’s fine for most days, given how busy we all are, I think it’s important to learn more about other people and build on relationships by clearly focusing on other people and their blogs. What I’m planning to do is pick 1 day a month where I have a very tiny post to cover the 365 Daily Challenge, which will reduce the time I would have used for both writing my post and responding to comments. In its place, I plan to respond to as many other blogger’s posts from that day that I can fit in.

The comments will be all about them and their post. Not me or how I felt about it, but something to let the blogger know the value they’ve brought to the table. It might be hard, for instance, if it’s a book review we both read. How do I comment without indicating how I felt about the book? But isn’t that the point sometimes? Your feedback, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, should be about the person who wrote the post sometimes too, not just your own opinion. {Aside: I am not referring to when someone comments on my post — it’s ALWAYS been an equal balance about both of us, so please don’t change how you interact with me — this is just about how I want to change my interaction on other people’s blogs!}

It’s only fair to spend time focused on that person and their words without introducing your own experience as the primary response. I’m not saying this is how it should always be, but it’s a healthy exercise to train ourselves to stop being so “I” and “me” in our responses. Sharing experiences often leads to a strong relationship, I fully agree, which is why I wouldn’t do this all the time. But picking 1 day a month where I focus only on the other people in my life seems like a fair thing to do. And it’s not only online in my blog or my social media connections. It should be everywhere. For instance…

Phone conversations. I want to pickup the phone to ask others how they are doing. Focus on what’s good or new, or sad, in his/her life. See if I can do something to help them or brighten their day. Hopefully no one interprets this as me saying I’ve not done this before, as I definitely do think and focus on other people. But as we get busy, we often forget a bit of our manners, falling into traps of relating everything back to ourselves and our own experiences. I think it will be a great way to re-energize and engage with someone who maybe felt a little distant lately, or in need of a pick-me-up in the form of a good conversation about their life with a friend they hadn’t chatted with in a while.

I’d apply the same to letting someone else choose where we went for dinner or what TV show we picked to watch that evening. It’s often the little things in life that go a long way, especially as we all get busier and use technology to do the work for us, rather than good old-fashioned intimacy between real-life people. I’m generally aware of balancing the conversation equally among both parties, but not always. This is simply a way to ensure I’m being less selfish, more open and bringing about a little positive change across other people’s life. You never know when someone needs a bit of extra attention, but even more important, when they deserve it. The world is too small (sounds kinda funny, huh?) and life is too short (really, it is) to not put in the effort that might make it a better place for someone else.

How about you? Do you find that you talk about yourself more than you should? Do you have tools and tips and tricks to balance out your interactions? Share with ME please!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Advertisements

365 Challenge: Day 171 – Blank

Posted on Updated on

Blank: (a) showing incomprehension or no reaction, (b) unrelieved by decorative or other features; bare, empty, or plain, (c) a space left to be filled in a document

blank

I spent a little energy this morning thinking about the posts I need to write in preparation of a long-weekend getaway to visit family in Louisiana this weekend — if we are able to get down there given all that’s occurred with Hurricane Harvey (more on that later). A few words popped up, which I’m outlining in my head as to how I will blog about them for Saturday thru Tuesday while I’m away. The one that felt pertinent for today is the word ‘blank.’ I checked the trusty online dictionary, as I always do, and found a few appropriate definitions for the 365 Daily Challenge.

It all started yesterday when I was attempting to be funny with a comment on a post from my friend Nel @ Reactionary Tales. I left a few words blank with “____” for her to complete. She came back with a hilarious response and it just made me laugh until it then bugged me because I couldn’t remember the name of the game/quiz/magazine that you could buy to play with your friends and fill in the words. I kept thinking… am I getting old enough to be one of those guys who says “wuz that ole game we done played back when…” (yeah, apparently when I get old I bring out some southern accent that I do not have) and then I just wanted to cry about it. I did not cry. Too many other things got in the way. But sometimes a good old-fashioned cry helps. There I go again… “old-fashioned” — why is age such a big deal today? OK, I am way off topic. Nel finally knew what I meant, after a few back and forth jabs, she said “MadLibs?” For a second, I wondered if she had an expression on her face, sorta like, ‘dude, that game is so 1990s…’ Does anyone even know what I am talking about?

madlips

Anyways… ‘blank’ started it all. Then I was walking home from meeting a friend for lunch and I had a song that kept popping up along the way. I  found myself singing along (in my head — at first), not really knowing who sang it or what the name was. Finally, there I am walking down 1st Avenue in NYC with my phone, searching the lyrics I could remember, finally stumbling upon it. And then I was sadly ashamed of myself. Not because I couldn’t remember the song name or the artist. Not because it was someone very current and popular. Not because it made me feel so old. But because it was Taylor Swift. I mean no offense here. And I know very little about her. But for some reason, I don’t like her. Too many news articles about all the issues she has dating. “Get over yourself girl, shut the hell up and live your life. Stop telling me about it.” OK, rant over… again, if you love her, sorry, I don’t mean any offense.  The song was “Blank Space.” Well… I’m still not a fan of Ms. Swift, but it’s been playing on Spotify a few times a day around my apartment. I really need to take away Ryder’s permission to use my laptop.

For a small laugh, picture me… shorts and a tank top… walking down a NYC street… with my iPhone blasting “Blank Space” and no headphones… just speaker volume on high… singing… I’m a little shocked I made it home without someone — really, anyone would have at that moment — beating the cr*p out of me for torturing them with my awful voice and dance routine. Yeah, the head was bopping side to side… “cause we’re young and we’re reckless… go down in flaaaaaaaaames” {Aside: Ironic word. Eh, I will not validate that this happened. Never put in writing what might come back to haunt you.} It’s playing right now as I type this post. Here you go, enjoy my torture, click to listen to the song (not me):  Blank Space.

Back to the 365 word… I began creating my author website yesterday (https://jamescudney4.com) and it’s got so much blank space because I don’t have a lot of graphics, photos or images to use yet. Once the book cover comes back to me and I approve it, I can load more. Until then, it feels so blank! And I kept thinking… what do people want to know about me? How much should I put on an author website. I mean… I reveal EVERYTHING about myself on “ThisIsMyTruthNow” but what should I do on the new site? Any ideas? I could use some advice and input as I am apparently not creative enough to figure it out on my own. Or maybe I’m so creative in writing that I can’t design a visual blog and website. Help!

And lastly, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, my mind is a complete and utter blank over what is happening in Texas and Louisiana from all the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. I lived through the super storm Sandy in NYC years ago. I lived in NY during 9/11. I watched Katrina hit New Orleans years ago. But for some reason, seeing the flooding — and what it’s done to all the people of Houston and the surrounding areas — has created a huge blank space in my mind. Blank over shock. Blank wondering how do they survive. Blank at how anyone can possibly handle this much water and not lose everything they ever loved. It’s awful to witness, which means it’s impossible to imagine what’s really happening to the people most impacted by it. My mind is just blank as to how / why / who / what / when / where…. and everything that comes with it. I send tons of love and prayer and hope to any of the victims and people impacted by this tragedy.

I considered just leaving the whole post ‘blank’ as a very small way to remind us all not to be empty or blank in our support of others, but words often do more justice. We love you Houston. We should do anything we can to help them. And while I am and will do something outside this blog, I also dedicate this post (completely poking fun at myself) to them, in the hopes a little laughter will go a long way to pushing everyone to help the victims survive and carry forward.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 170 – Feedback

Posted on Updated on

Feedback: information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc., used as a basis for improvement

feedback

Feedback is often hard to accept, especially when someone suggests that you change something you are doing. Not many people are open-minded enough to truly look at the advice in a way that removes their personal feelings or emotions. It’s a process and learned skill that takes many years to fine-tune in order to make the best of the situation.

When I was younger, I had a hard time accepting any sort of feedback — either good or bad. I had a habit of immediately feeling threatened, which often resulted in my opinion of the person who had been sharing his/her thoughts suddenly being knocked down a few pegs. I often thought I was always right and that other people didn’t understand me. It’s a common reaction to hearing any sort of potential negative response, even if it’s presented as constructive criticism. This carried over into my first few years as a manager of employees. When it came to review time, I tended to mark someone higher than they were in fear I’d hurt their feelings. After the second round of performance appraisals, it suddenly dawned on me: if you don’t tell the person what’s wrong, it will not get any better. And if it doesn’t get any better, then it will become an even larger problem that you try to cover up because you missed it the first time. Wrong Reaction!

Feedback is important, whether it’s positive or negative. There are tons of studies on the right way to present it, as well as the wrong way. Since I’m not going to include intelligent reports here, because I’m lazy, this is really only my opinion. But I’m certain it’s right. {Aside: Shh… I told you earlier, I no longer think I’m always right. I now know it! OK… just kidding, in case you’re new to my blog and don’t yet fully understand my brand of humor…} I try to balance the positive and the negative feedback when I critique other people’s efforts or share an opinion on what they have chosen to do. I do it for a few reasons, but mostly it’s because that’s how I like to receive feedback.

No one is perfect. Everything can always be a little bit better. Doesn’t mean it should be. But there’s room for improvement and it often takes another set of eyes to shed light on it. No matter how many times I taste a meal that I’ve made over and over again, there is something I can do to make it even better. As much as I re-work a paragraph in my novel to the point I feel like it’s brilliant, there is another way of saying the same thing that is just a little bit better than my draft. These are good things. Not bad things. Life is not about achieving perfection. It’s also not about achieving “good enough,” in case that’s where you thought I might be going. It’s about finding the middle ground where you, as the creator or the person doing the task, can feel pride and joy over your accomplishments.

As I matured and researched the ways to give and receive feedback, I found my own happy medium for the approach. I share all the things I like. I share a few things I see that could be received differently (either positively or negatively) by others with a different perspective. I share a couple of things I’d suggest doing in a better way. But I also explain why, how I could be wrong and how I could be right. It’s not my decision and I’m not the authority, but it’s my personal opinion and only something the receiver should “take into consideration.” It goes hand-in-hand with my own belief not to intrude in someone else’s life for any reason. I will tell them if I think they’re doing something that could hurt them or another person, but beyond that, it’s unfair to put my expectations on another person’s life, beliefs, choices, actions or opinions. Feedback is simply a way of sharing an alternative way of doing something.

When you ask for feedback, it’s imperative that you go into it knowing you might not like the responses you get back. If you can’t accept that, maybe you shouldn’t ask for feedback. I’ve chosen on occasion not to ask for feedback because I wasn’t ready to hear the constructive criticism. It was about me. Not about the person sharing his/her feelings. That’s the important part — you have to be in a place to both share and receive the feedback, as it’s not a one-way street. When someone says “I didn’t like this because of “x” reason, it needs to be explored. Perhaps through discussion, one of both parties involved will change their opinion by learning additional information. This is why I generally prefer interactive feedback, as it is a chance to give a full-circle review and discussion so that feelings may be less hurt, ideas may be more open and change might be better accepted.

Now that I don’t have a ‘boss’ looking over my shoulder every day, I have to ask for feedback, as opposed to receiving it through normal or natural means. It can be hard to ask someone to give you honest feedback, but if you don’t have the strength to ask for it, then you might not have the strength to receive it. As I move forward with getting my edits back from the publisher next week, I am realizing that is my next real round of feedback. It’ll be the last stop before the novel is completed and put in the hands of readers to decide how and when to review my work. And that will bring another whole round of feedback, which could be good and it could be bad. It took me a while to accept it, and I’m still not 100% comfortable, but I know if it goes poorly, there will be something to learn from it that needs to be considered before I move forward with another step.

When I get to the crux of it all, the secret to accepting feedback is learning how to give feedback. Once you find the words to tell someone how they are doing, you also learn how to interpret when someone is sharing feedback with you. The key is to listening, not just hearing what they say. Recognize the words. Understand the choices they made with how they told you. Figure out what it means from your perspective and their perspective. And in the middle somewhere, sometimes closer to them, sometimes closer to you, is an answer where you can feel pride and joy.

How are you at accepting feedback? Sharing your opinion with others? Do you balance the good and the bad? Or do you tend to shy away from anything negative?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 169 – Doghouse

Posted on Updated on

Doghouse: (1) a place where a dog sleeps, (2) a place you go to when you are in trouble

 

dog

Feels like Groundhog Day. Every time I wake up lately, this laptop is sitting where my food bowl is supposed to be. And instead of getting to eat, I’m forced to type away for a few hours, coming up with some brilliant little “Post from Ryder.” I just hope you all realize the torture I go through simply so you have a few minutes of reading material. And all I ask in return is for my own space, a doghouse, where I can close the door and ignore the world around me for a few hours each day. But do I have one? No. Why, you ask? That’s a good question. Dad 2 wanted to buy the materials to build one. But Dad 2 doesn’t have those types of skills. Dad 1 might be able to build it, but he said things like “permission from the building,” and “are you gonna help?” Do you see what I live with? I have this lovely Enchanted Terrace outside and it would be amazing to retire for a few hours every afternoon where I can relax and have a cozy little sleep. I’ll keep working on them, but if you have any pull over Dad 1, please assist. I promise to make my posts even better.

So today’s word has a few meanings. I was in the doghouse again last night for something I have little control over. I am a food addict. I can’t NOT eat food when I see it. So I begged and begged for some of their dinner. They had beef cooked in a brown sauce in a giant orange Le Creuset pot in the oven. With carrot and potatoes and onions, and a whole bunch of deliciousness. Something about wishing autumn would arrive sooner. I don’t know. I just wanted the foods. There were 3 big pieces of meat in the pot. I assumed one for each of us. But Dad 1 said no, that the third piece was for lunch the next day. But I pushed and persisted and eventually they filled my bowl with some people foods, even though Dad 1 said it was a bad idea. Then it happened. It always happens. I can’t help it. After I eat the food, I run around whining that it hurts in my belly and I throw it up all over the floor. You remember that infamous rug I mentioned a few weeks ago? Yeah, happened again. It’s not my fault. They gave it to me! But now I’m back in the doghouse ’cause they said no more food for a week. Is there an emoji for a sad dog? That’s me. But today I get to see Grandma and Grandpa. They are coming for a visit. They always sneak me food. And I am never in the doghouse with them.

I am getting worried that I may have to put the dads in the doghouse soon. I heard them talking about a puppy again. I protest. I turn 10 years old on September 3rd and I’ve been an only dog for the last 5 years. I had a sibling my first 5 years, but she isn’t around anymore. (‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has always been my policy. The dads think I am a Republican, but I’ll never tell.) Anyways, don’t you think I deserve to not have to put up with another dog in the house? Seriously… I don’t like them. They make messes. Rambunctious. Take all the food. Shed. Oh… wait… that’s me… now I think I understand why Dad 1 is always yelling about my fur babies rolling across the floor like dust bunnies. Mmm… rabbit. I’m hungry. Oh, off topic again. So no puppies allowed. They don’t get it. If they bring one home, I’m moving out. Does anyone here have a good home they want to share — two rules: (1) food all the time and (2) no other dogs. I might be OK with a cat. Or smaller animals I can eat. No birds either. They are mean.

 

I decided not to post pictures of me today as I don’t have a doghouse and until I get one, no pictures! But also because something happened with the link from the laptop to the iCloud and the pictures won’t open. Dad says he’ll fix it soon, but he’s so busy these days, who knows when he’ll get around to it. For now, he just hangs around the house all day long. I kinda love it. Both Dad 1 and Dad 2 used to leave around 7:30 am and come home at 7:30 pm. Twelve hours to myself is a lot. I would meet my friends for lunch at the French restaurant downstairs (they serve my kind thankfully). I’d go for walks. I’ve asked for a doggy door so I can get out to the terrace by myself, but that hasn’t happened yet. They don’t want me out there alone. I guess I can understand that. I do chase the birds and jump higher than they’d like. But now Dad 1 is home all the time. I don’t want him to go back to work. I like the company. But don’t tell him that! He’ll get an ego. OK, it’s time to get all cleaned up before Grandma comes. I’ll tell you more about her next week. Love you all! xoxo Woof!

This is what I’d do with my doghouse!

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Ryder has gotten to know so many bloggers over the last year, he’s decided to recommend one to each of you during his Monday posts. This week, he’d like you to meet Vinnie. Vinnie and I met somehow (don’t recall!) about three months ago, probably over a movie review one of us wrote. He’s big time into films, but that’s only one part of his blog. He’s a really genuine and caring guy, always sharing of himself and interacting with his friends and followers. He’s had some great advice to me over the last few months, but also has been encouraging and promoting bloggers he is friends with too. An all-around guy, he’d be a great addition to your WordPress Reader. And doesn’t he look cool in the pic with sunglasses below? If you don’t believe me, you can see a blurb from the site’s About Me section below:
    • “Who is Vinnieh? That’s a tough question but here’s what is known.  From a very young age cinema has been one of the biggest things in his life. Snapshot_20140612_1He loves the absolute hell out of movies and would probably die if there were none in the world. He’s just the typical young man; smart, interesting, devilishly handsome(OK the last one may be a lie). He is sometimes known as Vinster or Satrap. The aim of my blog is to write about the movies I have seen and hear feedback from the many other’s who populate the blogging world. Feel free to stop by and comment on my posts.”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 168 – Technology Jobs

Posted on Updated on

Technology Jobs: jobs I held in the technology field across multiple companies over the last 15 years

tech.jpg

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived

The current set of 5 Sundays covers the major groups of roles / jobs / positions I’ve held over my career. Though I have had about fifteen titles over the years, when I broke it down into smaller groups, week four is all about the jobs I held in the largest portion of my career — technology management. I worked in the three primary industries and companies during this period: (1) telecommunications, (2) retail consumer products, (3) entertainment, media and sports industry.

  • Senior Vice President
  • Vice-President
  • Director
  • Project Manager
  • Senior Business Analyst

 

info.jpg

 

In last week’s segment, we ended me with working as a process analyst, designing and documenting all the policies, procedures and processes that were used to run the technology department in the company where I worked. Once that project was completed, they broke apart my group and assigned us to different parts of the organization based on skill-set. I’d apparently picked up on the requirements gathering, testing and training components of software development, which meant I would become a Business Analyst (BA). In this role, you meet with all the prospective users of new software to document their needs and requirements. You then work with the programmers and developers who code them. Once the software is built, as a BA you participate in testing the new features and then training the end users in how to make it work for them. I held this role for about two years, promoted to a Senior BA, focusing on the software our company built for email, cable on demand and internet-based phones in the telecommunications industry. I enjoyed it most when I delivered a product that made my customers happy. I also loved building and writing the testing and training plans.

My mentor pulled me aside one day, noting that I have incredibly strong management and organizational skills. She wanted me to become a project manager, which would oversee all these initiatives to build the new software rather than be the person on the team actually building them. I thought it would be a good career option, so I took courses, got certified and became a project manager. Around this time is when I took a one year hiatus and moved to California, where I worked for Sephora US in their corporate division. I blogged a bit about this in the San Francisco post, so I won’t repeat it here. I enjoyed working there and wish I was back in the wonderful world of consumer products and retail.

After returning to NYC, I implemented at least 30 new systems over the following few years until the financial crisis in 2005 when the Sarbanes-Oxley financial control regulations were implemented on all public companies. I was asked to lead this initiative for one of the parent companies subsidiaries, which meant I had to commute into NYC every day to meet with the various business areas. I took this initiative on for about 6 months and when it was completed, the CIO asked me to join her as a Director in her organization. Soon after, I found myself living in Long Island, taking the train 90 minutes each way into Manhattan to work as a middle management level leader in the technology department.  This is when my career took off and I developed a very special bond with my mentor. She’s now someone I consider family and we talk all the time.

Over the next 8 years, I climbed the corporate ladder and ran nearly every part of the whole department during my tenure. I also worked heavily with our legal, procurement, human resources, communications, operations, finance and audit departments, building my full range of corporate skills. By the time I left in the summer of 2016, I’d amassed an enormous amount of knowledge about how companies work. All of these skills are things I apply every day in my personal life, but also that my personal life taught me how to best do in the business world. When you’re organized, and you take a very holistic approach to things you do, these are known as transferable skill sets. Even now, as I focus on building out a plan for launching my first book and then the second one, it’s all these skills I’ve learned, which will contribute to making me successful in the future.

While I was very good at all of these technology jobs, it was not my primary passion. Choosing to leave this life was not an easy decision, but it was the best step in my career last year. I may go back in the future if I decide writing doesn’t work out for me, but I will be very cautious about the type of environment and industry I choose. I want to have a passion every day when I “go to work,” not a feeling of being disconnected from the things that make me happy. And this will lead us into the fifth and final portion of my list of careers, next week, when we conclude with “writer.”

Or is it comedian???

If you really want to know more about this side of my life, I have another professional WordPress (WP) website called “The Art of the Balanced Perfectionist,” where you can see my resume, projects and philosophy @ https://jamescudney4.com.  Anyone else work in a company for over 15 years? In technology? Have thoughts on these worlds? Share away…

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 167 – Destiny

Posted on Updated on

Destiny: the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate

estiny

Destiny and fate. Two words that often come up in conversation with friends when you are thinking about the future. Maybe you’re drunk and pondering the purpose of life. Perhaps a child has just asked you about it and you wonder how to respond. Or you wake up screaming from a nightmare wondering what will happen in your future. Curiosity whether someone greater than us is controlling all the movements or it’s fully a free will situation. Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is not about religious beliefs, nor whether or not evolution has an impact. It’s about whether or not you believe in the concept of destiny. I felt like it was something to share with all my online friends… curious what everyone believes for a couple of reasons I’ll mention a bit later.

Destiny is often mistaken for an extreme wish that something will happen. I want to be a writer, I was destined to be a writer. I’m not sure if that’s true. I know that’s what I’ve wanted to do for as long and as far back as I remember. But whether that’s what was meant to be is definitely not a concept I truly understand.

What about two people whose paths cross several times without realizing it before they are finally introduced and fall in love. Were they meant to be together or did it just happen that way because they live in close proximity?

We all make choices in our lives, constantly changing the path and the direction we follow. Is destiny navigating behind the scenes or are we just making decisions as they are presented to us with whatever knowledge we’ve amassed up until that moment?

I would totally say something wrong like this!

Quite a philosophical post today. Not a long one either. Just something to get us thinking over the weekend… why do we do the things we do? how much control do we have over what happens around us? do we believe in fate or destiny? Or even more introspectively… do we want to believe in destiny?

I would like to think that I have some control over my path and my decisions. And I think I do. I am fine living in NYC but if W said tomorrow let’s move to California, I’d be fine with that, too. And if I decided to give North Carolina a chance after that, I’d be fine. If I am good living in all those places, where does destiny fit in? Is it controlled by your surroundings, e.g. the place you live? If so, does that then limit the people you interact with who can be part of your life? Or the jobs you can hold? Or the activities you engage in?

So many questions involved to try and understand whether destiny controls us in the background. It really makes you realize that with so many potential combinations of how things come together, it’s actually infinite. And if something is infinite, can there really be any control over the outcome? So… before any of us get caught up in trying to solve this little dilemma, maybe I should keep myself on a bit of a straighter path with the point of this post.

While I often encounter this conundrum in my own life and brain, it was on mind this week not because of me… but because of a character in my book. She’s been through a lot. And as I decide the ending to the character’s story and the novel, I find myself asking on her behalf if the following statement is true:

Destiny. Do you believe in it? I’ve love to hear everyone’s opinions. Thanks in advance for sharing.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 166 – Comet

Posted on Updated on

Cometa celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when near the sun, a “tail” of gas and dust particles pointing away from the sun; the Broadway musical I watched this week

comet

A comet is basically a dusty snowball that shoots around the sun, often remarked for the images they create with trailing gases and the speed at which they can race through the galaxy. Sometimes that’s how we feel… like a comet shooting gases (our mouths off) all in the vain of trying to get somewhere. Although I try to keep my mouth shut 99% of the time, there have been moments where I just needed to vent. And that’s OK. Venting can be a healthy way to let off steam and propel you forward to whatever comes next.

A friend of W’s, who is also now a friend of mine, suggested we see the Broadway play, The Great Comet of 1812, this week. I love Broadway and I enjoy going to musicals and shows, but they can be expensive. When this one came up, knowing I had a list of others I knew I wanted to see, I wasn’t initially interested. I was also way too busy to stop and look up anything about it so I felt educated in my decision. I remembered seeing it mentioned at the Tony Awards when we watched them last June, but also uncertain if it had been nominated or just discussed. Then I remembered Josh Groban was in it, so I got excited and said, “yeah, let’s go.” The day finally came this week and we went to dinner first, where I asked about Groban’s role and the point of the whole show. Again, I really should have looked it up in advance. Two things happened at that moment: (1) Josh Groban isn’t in it anymore and (2) It’s an adaption of parts of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace.’

OK, three things happened, the third being me dropping my fork and grabbing my glass of cider — with alcohol, of course, as I was not thrilled about seeing the show anymore. But I hide it well and got through dinner, hoping maybe it wouldn’t be a boring show about fighting and fixing things and the world from 1812. I love history and I love all things based on timelines, but War and Peace on a weeknight? Another glass of cider… maybe two… dinner ends, we walk to the Imperial Theatre. I’m online, looking at all the advertisements and watching people on line waiting to get in. (Aside: oh, that was funny… on line… on line…)

It’s a Russian story, so I am starting to grow more intrigued. But at the same time, I’m worried it’ll be boring, despite my friend seeing it five previous times and raving about it. Sometimes I can be quite a lump when I get an idea in my head that something will be bad. And then I won’t let any positive thoughts shine through. By the way, that’s not a good way to be — I’ve worked hard to get rid of those parts of me… but every once in awhile they shine through. Kinda like a comet, I suppose. When we arrive in the theatre, I’m absolutely shocked, impressed, magnetized and confounded. They’d re-configured the entire theatre to look more like a cafe. Seats were removed in the normal seating area, replaced with mini-stages and walkways for the actors to wander around and interact with the audience a bit. There were seats on the stage, both regular seats and tables as though you were in a 19th century Russian club. It was breathtaking. I loved it and asked tons of questions in the fifteen minutes before ‘curtains’ opened, as there were no curtains. The actors had already been out wandering around talking to people. It truly was a remarkable show, in my top 5, and I’ve seen hundreds at this point in my life.

The music was incredible, everything from opera to rap, reggae to house club, ballads to rock songs. All original. All chosen to determine the mood of the character who was ‘center-stage’ in those scenes. The choreography was impeccable, almost like a circus performance with almost unbelievable body movements and dancing. The lighting was brilliant and always on point. I never pay attention to the lighting, but between smoke machines, lanterns, spotlights, strobe lights and lights descending and swinging around the entire theatre, the beauty never ended. Truly one of those shows were you are fully immersed in everything happening, as it’s basically a 360 degree play all around you. I don’t often buy albums or music, but I will be getting this one.

I also have a new theme for a giant birthday party next year. And I hate birthday parties. That’s how fun this show was. I implore anyone in the NYC area to try to get there before it closes on September 3rd. And if you miss it, find a performance somewhere near you just to hear the music and see the fantastic beauty. If you’re interested in learning more, below are the links to the Broadway play’s website and Wikipedia’s page on the show.

 

 

So be your own comet. Leave a trail. Shoot across the galaxy that is your world. And give things a chance before you get all pissy over something that you’ll end up loving!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.