By: Ken Boone
The last blog post I wrote has gotten stuck in my brain. You could say it was cathartic. You could also say it was ego-deflating, because it brought me face to face with one of my many character flaws. But since I’m writing this blog, I’m going to take the glass-half-full approach and say it was inspiring.
If you recall in last week’s blog post, I told you about a pattern I’d developed over the years where I would habitually put other people’s needs and wants in front of what I needed and wanted. While it felt pretty good to put it down on paper, that wasn’t sufficient to get it out of my system. I knew that, because every time I read the post (which was a lot), I found myself asking, “What am I going to do to fix this?”
My college degree is in economics, which means that I studied a great many charts and graphs. In addition to the elementary supply and demand discussions, my professors talked a lot with me and my classmates about factors that were exogenous and endogenous. What in the heck is that? It’s really simple: Factors can be outward or inward. Similarly to when instructors would bring up the “Which came first, the chicken or egg?“ debate, solving it wasn’t the plan. The plan was to get you think about it and to be able to intelligently explain your conclusions.
How does this apply to me and why should this be of any interest to you? Well, we all encounter stumbling blocks. Obviously, the first thing we try to do is determine how to overcome whatever obstacle arises. The next step is more of a forensic one. We need to determine if the obstacle was placed by outside forces (exogenous), or did we place them there ourselves (endogenous). For me, and maybe even for you, my friend, this may be a familiar theme.
For decades I thought the world was out to screw me over, when in fact I was carrying around an imaginary sign that read, “Please Screw Me Over” along with a defensive attitude that just might have helped bring to bear the rejection I feared and hated.
Growing up, I felt like a donor baby. I don’t think I was an “oops” but did feel that one day my parents might strip me down for spare parts. That’s a long story I may not reveal to anyone beyond my long-suffering wife. Sorry, Celia. (Editor’s note: I am thriving, not suffering, with you, honey!)
I’d hear coded messages, such as “if we could just combine the best features of you and your brother, imagine the resulting person.” That was warped on two fronts, 1) a trusted loved one is suggesting that I’m either defective or not a whole person, and 2) I was the second born. I still get a little jumpy when I hear a chainsaw!
Compliments were not generously doled out in my direction. Whether or not that is true, that was my perception of things. Ironically, while getting reamed out for doing something really stupid, I was praised for being some sort of a genius who could excel at anything I put my mind to doing. Then I would get the swift kick in the ass. In business, that’s known as the sandwich technique of criticism. That technique has proven to be quite successful, except that the positives were the meat and the critiques were the bread, not the other way around.
Needless to say, it seemed like I intentionally screwed up and took the berating just to get to the praise and affirmations. That, my friends, is no way to live and develop normally. I think I even did that while working at a prestigious accounting firm for 10 years. They were wise enough to put up with me in order to get the good I had to offer. To this day, I can’t thank them enough for all they did!
In the course of my life, I came up with a lot of pretty good ideas. I was also pretty good at a crude form of cost-benefit analysis, where I would run through several scenarios and arrive at whether the idea was viable. That earned me the reputation within the family of being somewhat wishy-washy. I could hear a particular voice reminding me that I lacked “stick-to-itiveness”. Of course that was followed by the old “you can do anything you set your mind to doing”. After which, it was suggested that I may have a call to the ministry. The ministry? How the heck did we get there?
After a while, ideas stopped popping into my head. I felt stifled. The only things that kept me from going nuts were watching my son develop as a baseball player, and amassing a bunch of material things. The house in the best neighborhood, the car with all the latest features, and of course, the well-fitting suits!
After careful analysis along with reading and re-reading my last blog post, it was no surprise to me why I kept pushing back the release date of my podcast “Songs From the Journey.” I realized that the obstacle was endogenous with an exogenous root. Again, there’s blame to go around, but now is the time to find and get into the solution.
This week, I created new artwork. This week, I argued with Celia over the format of the show. Since she’s the co-host, and the sensible one, we’ll probably go with most of her ideas. This week, I identified and reached out to a few people I think would make great guests. When I came up for air, I found that I got a lot accomplished. In fact, I’ve come too far to turn around. I also discovered that I’m a pretty decent graphic artist. And I didn’t need two slices of criticism to find that out.
For those who are interested, the show is scheduled to launch on Friday, Jul 26, 2019. It will be published bi-weekly, alternating with Celia’s podcast “ISO Peace & Healing.” I plan on doing a 10-episode season, whether I get 1,000 downloads per episode or just a few. Then, after a small break, I’ll dive into Season 2.
There will be no chainsaw sounds, but there *will* be a very cool theme song and “yours truly” will compose it. Do you remember what they say about the one who writes the songs? (They write the rules!)
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About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.