119: One Job Could Change My Life

poopThree Steps

I don’t want this architecture degree,
the $60,000 debt and 90 hour weeks
just so I can get the job
that will change my life.

No.

I want the job
that will change their lives.

Why am I scared to admit the truth?
I want to change the world!
They get nervous when I say it
but I’ve stopped hiding.

I went to school.
I designed “sustainable” hotels.
I followed all their rules
And still I wanted more.

I went to Lima,
I met people in the slums.
“Human settlements”
they’re so elegantly called.

I cried with all my body,
paralyzed by the sight
of children walking home from school
through dust they had no way to escape.

Step one: design them showers.
I used Nature’s own designs
to recycle the costly water
children carried home on foot.

I hear poetry in the screams
of Our Great Mother
whose children are wasting
her gifts and their lives

while their buildings scrape the sky
and architects forget to ask
where do the showers go when
there’s no fresh water left?

And who will rent the offices
when people are scrounging for food
because the temperature’s too high
and the farms are all too far?

Mr. Politician, I can’t hear your ignorance
over the screams of OUR planet.
Nothing drowns them out and I can’t stop,
my body sobs along.

Hey, are you listening?
Do you know what’s up in Bangladesh?
Did you hear how millions are drowning
because of your addiction to oil?

My dream job doesn’t exist yet.
I know the why but not the how,
the what but not the when.
Step two: MS in GeoDesign.

Sustain-ability,
that’s step three.
Uniting people, buildings and nature,
building holistic communities, together.

Societies of living systems,
cities that are resilient, people
that are healthy and strong, that
is my dream.

Architect: it’s not a job.
It’s a call to the power of the universe.
The power to inspire change,
to build hope.

REDUCE stupidity and arrogance;
realize freedom and equality
and design a world where we all
have water to shower, clean air to breathe.

REUSE profit and power;
prioritize community-welfare
and remember we are all
children of the same Earth and stars.

RECYCLE laziness and complacency;
live up to those ideals and values
about which we talk the talk because
now, my friends, it’s time to walk.

117: Activating Power

In this life, power has been more of something for me to overcome than something to discover or activate. I’ve always been confident and now you’re thinking, “whaaat a lucky duck!!” but I want to assure you it’s not all roses and sunshine on the flip side of the shyness coin and I invite you not to be jealous of the way over-confidence made women hate me and men intimidated by me.

Since stepping onto the path of living an aware life, I’ve toned down my power by becoming aware of its nuances, how my power affects others and how theirs affects mine. Since I did a third chakra meditation this morning, I thought I’d share this list of 15 things highly confident people don’t do as an exploration on ways not to give away your power. You can find the original list here.

1. They don’t make excuses.

Highly confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.

2. They don’t avoid doing the scary thing.

Highly confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.

3. They don’t live in a bubble of comfort.

Highly confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.

4. They don’t put things off until next week.

Highly confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens. [Although sometimes, it really is okay to take a break until next week.]

5. They don’t obsess over the opinions of others.

Highly confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.

6. They don’t judge people.

Highly confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.

7. They don’t let lack of resources stop them.

Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.

8. They don’t make comparisons.

Highly confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.

9. They don’t find joy in people-pleasing.

Highly confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.

10. They don’t need constant reassurance.

Highly confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.

11. They don’t avoid life’s inconvenient truths.

Highly confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.

12. They don’t quit because of minor set-backs.

Highly confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).

13. They don’t require anyone’s permission to act.

Highly confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”

14. They don’t limit themselves to a small toolbox.

Highly confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort.

15. They don’t blindly accept what they read on the Internet as “truth” without thinking about it.

Highly confident people don’t accept articles on the Internet as truth just because some author “said so”. They look at every how-to article from the lens of their unique perspective. They maintain a healthy skepticism, making use of any material that is relevant to their lives, and forgetting about the rest. While articles like this are a fun and interesting thought-exercise, highly confident people know that they are the only person with the power to decide what “confidence” means.