050 – The Golden Rule & Throwing Pearls to Swine

050 – The Golden Rule & Throwing Pearls to Swine

Life is unfortunately full of unequal exchanges. You give more than you get. Or you get more than you give. Over the long haul, these types of exchanges always tend to balance out. But the process the universe uses to balance things can occur as chaotic.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares his experience with unequal exchanges.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Treat others as you would like to be treated
01:36 – Enduring hell
02:46 – You can control what you say, not what others feel

Transcript:

The golden rule is “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always treated others with kindness and respect and understanding and given them plenty of space. Even if they get angry, even if they’re weird people, they’d usually get a second and maybe even a third or fourth chance with me.

As things went on and I got taken advantage of and didn’t want to be a doormat anymore, I decided that I couldn’t be that kind or that giving. I couldn’t be that respectful of everyone.

Because the reality is a lot of people just don’t deserve it. But those seeds were planted.

And I’m still a kind person. I try to treat people with respect and treat them the way that I would like to be treated as much as possible. So, I’m not just thinking about me and my convenience.

If it’s about me and my safety, that’s a whole other fucking matter. I will get out of a situation as quickly as I possibly can if it’s about my safety, and I’ve had to do that.

But if it’s not a matter of safety, I’m the gentlest giant you’re going to find. And I’m not that big. 6’1”, 6’2” is tall, but I’m not huge. I’m not Michael Jordan. I’m not an NBA star.

And so, when I think about the way that I’ve been treated – and I’m not referring to my friends – but when I think about the way I’ve been treated in the last year plus… In a situation where I can’t find a fucking home or I’m having to go from place to place, at times paying for exorbitant Airbnb fees, trying to figure out what the fuck I’m going to do next, working my ass off every single week to make sure that an income comes in so I can sustain some kind of lifestyle.

Have I been treated all that well? I mean, it’s human to look at the situation and evidence for all the reasons why people didn’t treat you with respect. I could do that, and I’m sure I could find a bunch. But the reality is I haven’t been treated badly by everyone.

But some of the most disappointing ones are the ones that should know better, in my opinion. But they do say that when crimes occur, it’s usually someone you know. It’s more likely to be someone you know stealing from you, taking from you, or doing things to your property than someone you don’t know.

And it’s just like, “I may have made you feel a certain way, but you have to take responsibility for how you feel.” It doesn’t work the other way. You can’t put that on me. I can control what I say, but I can’t control how you interpret it and how you feel about it as much as I might want to.

So, if something is going on, man, come to me first, and let’s have a conversation. Seriously. Don’t just go assuming things. Don’t just go and make plans of your own. I’m a safe guy. I’m not going to do anything to you.

But if it’s something concerning my living situation or my lifestyle, come and talk to me first. Jesus Christ.

Living Out of a Motel

Living Out of a Motel

I always saw it in the movies and thought to myself, “that can’t possibly be practical.”

My concept of hotels, motels, and inns in general has been that they’re just as expensive, if not more expensive, than Airbnbs. Which is a little ironic, because one of the selling propositions of Airbnbs used to be that they were cheaper than hotels. Check the prices now. At least in Canada, they’re practically the same if not pricier at times.

In my search for a temporary home, I stumbled across an extended stay rate at a motel in Penticton, BC, which I found to be just as reasonable – if not more reasonable – than renting an apartment. And, as of yesterday, this is where I now reside. Not for the long term, I don’t think, but at least for the next 30 to 70 days or so (at which point I might be looking for a similar arrangement in another city).

Motel living is not bad. It’s not perfect. There’s no workspace to speak of, they could have done a much better job of sound treating, and it’s obscenely bright in the morning (fortunately, I managed to hang a blackout curtain in front of the window by the bed without using any tools or nails). But I know you could do a lot worse. After all, the room has a couch, bed, fridge, stove, microwave, sink, bathroom, heating, and even an air conditioner. The fact that I’m not forced to eat out every day is a major plus.

At least temporarily, I’m also closer to a couple of friends I might not otherwise have the chance to visit.

Penticton isn’t much bigger than Okotoks, AB, but it appears to have some decent food options, and all the basic amenities one could ask for.

Although I don’t have much of a choice right now, I intend to keep embracing the spirit of adventure as I seek out a more permanent place to call home.

Traditions

Traditions

There are traditions you enjoy and those you don’t.

I’ve been living nomadically since June, and that has basically meant I’ve been surfing from couch to hotel to Airbnb for nearly seven months.

Today, I left yet another Airbnb, in Calgary, behind. A month was supposed to be a long time – certainly longer than some of my stays. Time enough to contemplate my next steps. And, while I’ve figured out a few things, I certainly wouldn’t say I can see miles ahead yet, especially in terms of work and income.

Either way, when I’m between couches, hotels, or Airbnbs, I usually find myself sitting at a Starbucks doing my work until it’s time to check in at my next destination. For a long time, I’ve enjoyed doing some of my work from a Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. I’ve even tried to work it in into my schedule at times, because I see a noticeable boost in energy or productivity.

But this is a tradition, it seems, that’s growing a little stale.

It could be because I don’t enjoy leaving one place for another. Not that I don’t like travel. It’s just that, at this point, waking up, packing up, cleaning up, and departing to another destination is becoming rote.

It could be because the novel is always more interesting than the ordinary.

It could also be because I’ve been under the weather since Monday, so even though I’m lucid enough to produce good work, I’d much rather be laying in bed than coaching, writing, attending meetings, or otherwise engaging in my leadership program. It could be that I’m simply not finding joy in what would otherwise be a welcome change of scenery. Flues have a way of doing that to you.

For the next month or so, I’ll be lodging in Okotoks at my parent’s.

Today, I suggested to my parents that we create a new tradition where we go to the mountains for Christmas. They seemed open to the idea.

But I digress. More and more I’m hearing the urging to find a more stable living situation, even if it’s not entirely permanent. There will be a more permanent home in my future, I just don’t think it’s going to be in the immediate future. I think it will show up around May or June 2023. And I have some idea of what I’m going to be doing in the meantime.

But what I’m getting at is that even though they say, “the grass is greener on the other side,” the more you venture out and try things, the more you realize the messiness of life maintains the license to intrude whenever and wherever it wants, even if that “whenever and wherever” is some permutation of your dream life.

I’ve heard wealthy people say money is not all its cracked up to be. I’ve heard famous people say it gets old. In a way, I think I get what they mean. It’s about traditions. And while we tend to think of traditions as annual getaways or visits to places emblazoned on our memories, traditions are playing out at a micro level too. It’s worth paying attention to the micro traditions you have in your life, because as they say, success is hidden in your daily habits.