The Midlife Bachelor Personal Makeover
>> Attitude Adjustment / Mental Makeover Rev 2.0
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Bad Karma / Good Karma
We as midlife bachelor individuals often fall victim to the ruts that have periodically plagued us during our respective lives. Our personalities and attitudes of today are essentially a function of all the things (good and bad) which have happened to us throughout our lives. Some people by nature tend to focus on or highlight all the negative things that have happened in their pasts, and allow those negative events to exert undue influence over their current attitudes. I refer to these negative personality types as “downers”, or sometimes as “anchors” … an anchor weighs something down, and prevents it from moving forward. There are certainly different degrees of being a downer. Some people are mildly negative by nature while others are profoundly negative at all times. In general, the more negative an individual you are, the less people are going to want to hear your voice! So remember that, okay? Before I talk about how to be positive, I want to give you some examples of negativity so that you can hopefully understand what I’m talking about here.
My good buddy who never gets a date, Mike, is a prime example of someone who exudes negative energy through his mouth most of the time – without ever realizing it. For reasons which will later become laughable to you, you must know now that Mike is profoundly and vocally anti-immigrant. Because we live in Southern California, most immigrants here are of Mexican descent … and Mike takes every opportunity to verbally bash or blame them for whatever real or imagined issue. [My current girlfriend is 100% Mexican – she was born in Mexico City … so I personally have an especially low tolerance for Mike’s bigotries.] I briefly gave a prime example of Mike in action on this topic in the last section when I was talking about good karma in Fundamental Truth #1 … when the girl named Mariah that we set Mike up with was showing off her knock-off handbag, and stated it came from a purse party … which my Mexican girlfriend’s sister-in-law has all the time. I’ll elaborate more on what Mike said here so you can understand his negativity, and the consequences. Upon the introduction to the topic of Mexican purse parties, Mike immediately went into a rant … where he spoke of how Mexicans have chipped away at the value of everything, and essentially cheapened it. He talked of how Mexicans will do anything to make a quick buck – at the expense of anyone … and how if the product is not fake, then it is likely stolen. He often refers to them as “cockroaches – they’re busy when no one is looking, but as soon as the lights come on, they scatter”. Recall that Mariah was half-Mexican, but did not look it … and also try to imagine yourself in Mariah’s shoes when this guy you are supposedly on a first date with tells you (and two other people at the table) all of this. Mariah was so in control that night – I would not have blamed her one bit for throwing her drink in Mike’s face … but she didn’t. She just got up, and promptly left after Mike’s little philosophy lesson. To sum this all up – my point is not that Mike is a racist … but rather that what came out of Mike’s mouth somewhat unintentionally completely destroyed his date with this woman, and also pissed me off (since my girlfriend is Mexican), and annoyed the hell out of the other girl at the table (my friend, Pauline) who had arranged for Mike to meet up with Mariah. Pauline told me the next day that she would NEVER again try to fix Mike up – because he has extreme personality issues.
Remember I said at the beginning of this section that our personalities and attitudes are a function of all the things (good and bad) that have happened to us throughout our lives? Mike’s unhappiness with Mexicans originates from price erosion in his contracting business. For many years, Mike was a tree trimmer – actually a certified arborist … and he used to be busy literally all the time. Over the years, however, a lot of low-cost tree trimming companies appeared in the market here in Southern California – and much of the business that used to go to Mike started going to the low-cost providers … which typically employed immigrant gardeners to do the trimming. Mike was always bitter about this – he was not willing to adapt to changes in his market, or to the economy. [I have other friends who are in the closely-related field of landscape contracting, and in order to survive, they elected to embrace these low-cost changes … they actively employ a high percentage of migrant workers in order to keep their costs competitive. These other friends of mine love immigrants – as they are what have enabled these businesses to not only survive, but thrive.] My point here is that Mike has allowed a bad experience at work (and his own unwillingness to adapt) to severely influence the rest of his life … so much so that he exudes negativity at every opportunity in normal conversation. You cannot spread good karma if you bash a large segment of the population! Plus racism is just not politically correct. Other dangerous topics obviously include religion and politics.
Here’s another example of a haunting negativism that used to plague me through my late twenties. About a year and a half after my first wedding at age twenty-three, I found out that my new bride (the love of my life at the time) had begun cheating on me with someone at work. [I’ll spare you the details because they are really not relevant to the point I’m driving at.] At the time, for better or worse, this made me feel like I was somehow inadequate as a husband – and it also turned me into someone who was overly suspicious of women, in general. I divorced my wife, and then proceeded on a dating mission that essentially involved me proving to myself that I was worth something … that I was not inadequate as a husband or boyfriend or lover. For the next five years or so, I became the type of boyfriend to women who was super jealous, highly suspicious, and judgmental of all of their behavior based on the actions of my ex-wife. I micro-managed these poor women … and either dumped them at the first potential sign of anything wrong, or they dumped me because I was basically a maniac to date. One of my first solid girlfriends after my wife was an Italian woman I had known for some time named Gina. Gina was tan and sexy – and since she had just gotten out of a five-year relationship with a much older man, she was ready to have sex all the time … which we did. As I mentioned, I had known Gina as a friend for six or seven years prior to dating her – so she knew me fairly well (or so she thought). After dating me a month or two, and experiencing how controlling and jealous I was – I distinctly recall her telling me that my wife had left her a mess to clean up. At the time, I thought that was funny, and just a bunch of woman-babble … but after around three months or so – Gina dumped me. The point here is that I allowed what happened with my ex-wife to negatively influence my own behavior for a number of years afterward. Every woman I dated from age twenty-five or so to probably around age thirty or thirty-two paid a huge price for what happened to me with my ex-wife, Michele. I was a mean, jealous boyfriend with a chip on my shoulder … and although I succeeded at getting dates, and securing girlfriends for months at time, my own negativity doomed every single relationship. I suppose that had I realized this, I might have dealt with it better at the time … but I never really connected the dots until much later.
My message to you, my midlife bachelor brother, in telling you these stories of negativism and their consequences is to get you thinking about how you conduct yourself overall … how your own life experiences and evolving prejudices may be influencing you. Every single one of us is different. Every single one of us has had different things happen to us over the years – and how we deal with it essentially defines what kind of person we are. I’m not saying to ignore the bullshit that you’ve experienced in your life … but I am telling you to learn from it, and move forward. Making a mistake is fine, but repeating a mistake is not … this is as true in your work or professional life as it is in your personal or dating life.
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