Monthly Archives: January 2016

What is happy?

I heard or read the other day that 7 out of 10 people are not happy with their jobs.  Why do people continue in careers, jobs, industries where they aren’t truly happy with what they’re doing?

Could be financial – can’t just quit, have a mortgage, debt, school, etc to pay off.  Could be emotional – can’t just quit, it gives me purpose or a sense of well being, or even making you feel like you belong to something or are a part of a group.  Could be mental – I can’t just quit, who would hire me, what am I good for, what would I do?

Regardless of why people stay in places that aren’t fulfilling, to me it all comes down to one question.

What are you willing to do to change the situation?

In a lot of cases, I think people are lost, and have almost given up on ever getting something better or different or fulfilling.  “It’s hopeless” or “It’d never work out” are common answers to “Why haven’t you tried to change”.

I think the main problem is something I learned a while back, but haven’t really been able to put into practice – it’s not about dropping everything and moving to an island (which is one of my dreams).  It’s about making adjustments.  Adjustments to practices, to thought processes, but most importantly, to attitude.  If you find yourself always behind the 8-ball, what can  you do to prepare for things, or even better anticipate things so if something does go sideways, how can you deal with it?  How can you deal with attitudes and temperaments that can conflict with yours, or just downright try to bring you down?  How can you plan ahead or even just mentally prepare yourself for the grueling day ahead?

I like to start by being thankful.  I know it sounds cliche, but even if everything is falling down around me or everything is sunshine and roses – starting with thoughts of how I am thankful for things really helps.  It also helps me put myself in the shoes of the cranky, the stressed, and the anxious to maybe see from their point of view.  Maybe they don’t have the necessary skills to cope with stress or deadlines.  Then again, they may just be an asshole, but the key here is to let that be, and be the best person you can be.

I’m a big fan of japanese culture.  The word Samurai essentially means “To Serve”.  I use that in my every day attitude to help me help others.  One of the ways I found to help with that is being thankful for my health, my job, my family, and the opportunities that around around me.

So back to the question – what are you willing to do?

Take small steps to make changes.  First with attitude – be thankful.  Then, look at what you could be doing instead of getting upset at the inability of it all, and do some reading, or watch some videos on something you’re really interested in.  Then, who knows what can happen.  That’s really up to you.

Hope this helps!

It’s all in the approach

Ever have one of those days?  Of course, everyone has them.  You get out of bed and say “ugh” automatically when you are coherent enough to know you’re awake and have that first thought of what you have to deal with.

Lately I’ve had about 90 of those in a row, and I’m convinced that a lot of it might be time mismanagement or making too many promises that land me in the deep end trying to get everyone everything they need.  That’s something you can solve and work on, but there’s another factor that I forget sometimes that I had an epiphany of sorts today.  It’s really obvious, but when  you’re neck deep in molten lava problems, it’s hard to see it sometimes.

How are you approaching the situation?  With despair, anger, depression, or feelings of doom?  At times, yeah.  I think the key for me is to be constant – read your notes, reminders, promises you made and make sure you’re keeping up with communication.  People will stop coming to you all at the same time (come on, you know they wait in a group to hit you at the once) if you’re proactive and let them know what’s going on instead of burying yourself in the sand or closing the door to your office.

Once you are doing better at communicating, look at what you’re agreeing to.  Can  you really do that, or is that something that can wait, or you can delegate?  Don’t automatically say yes unless you have an idea of your resources.

For resources, you need some way of tracking things.  Right now, a calendar book with the week on two pages is working for me.  Every time I get something, I look to see what I’m working on to see if I can or one of my team can accomplish it.  Once I agree to it, set in the dates for when  you talked, and what the expected finish is.  Get agreement on that and move forward.

I walked around ducking around corners because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.  Be open and honest, and learn when you can and can’t say no.  When you get something, be sure to understand what the priorities are and set them so you can agree on it.  Once I started thinking about it, organizing more, and communicating better, my stress level came down and my confidence level went up.

Anyway, hope this ramble helps someone in the same situation.

Turn it around – the art of seeing the lesson


Everything we do is an opportunity to learn something.  I thought I knew a lot more than I actually did, so when I was tested on it, I fell on my face.  So do  you let it get to  you and get defensive?  sometimes, but not now.

So I’ve decided to do research into the questions I fell short on – the small definite details on ssis tasks, and pivot queries.  I was asked to pivot a table in a sql query and I KNEW they were going to ask me that, but I didn’t look at it before I went in and I got burned on that and quite a few other things I thought I knew.

I’m going to put together a class for SQLSaturday on Pivot Queries.  How and what I’m going to explain, I’m not sure, but everything needs a starting point and I’ve been saying I’ve wanted to try it, so this will be my chance.  Hopefully I can come up with interesting things to talk about in Philly in June (if they accept the proposal).  If not, i’ll know a lot more about Pivot queries 🙂

Everything has a lesson you can learn if you look hard enough.