OCEAN-5 Traits-Intro

This week we are starting a new segment geared towards our personality. Get ready as we begin to dissect our soul, or that tender part that makes us feel … feelings … and stuff. 

Moving on!

 Characternaturedispositiontemperamentmakeuppersonapsyche, and identity all describe our personality. So, what is personality, and why is it important? Imagine, if you will, a life without personality. Smiles and frowns would not exist. We would go about our business without emotional impulses. Music, dancing, even corny dad jokes would not have a place in this world. <Scream> The horror!

Our personality plays a huge role in who we are and how we interact with others. Are we open to new ideas or do we have a death grip on tradition? (The song from Fiddler on the Roof is now stuck in my head.) Perhaps we are neurotic (moody) in the most extreme way. Is that bad or wrong? Not in the least, so long as we treat others well and keep our negative disposition and anxieties in check. And that my friends is where the Big 5 Traits come in.

There are other tests and personality defining tools out there. However, as of today, there isn’t a single test that fits everyone. That is how unique we are across the board. Even the Big 5 falls short. However, I love it for it’s simplicity and the traits score changes as we change. So, without further adieu, I present the Big 5 traits.

Think of OCEAN and the five traits become easier to remember.

Openness – Those that score high here are creative, abstract thinkers, and may love new challenges.

Conscientiousness – High scores here point to a thoughtful, goal oriented and organized person. Attention to detail may be a top priority.

Extroversion – (also written extraversion) Expressive, loves to converse, and finds meeting new people rewarding may define a top scorer in this category.

Agreeableness – Score high here and we may find a person who cares about others. They tend to be more of a team player; as opposed to a competitive person.

Neuroticism – Anxiety and stress may plague this high-scorer. They may be the one to get upset with ease.

There you have it folks the five traits we will cover through the next several weeks. We’ll cover the good, bad, and the ugly side of each personality. It’s all in an effort to help learn what makes us act the way we do. And, how to change. Seriously, people can change their personality. With that being said… Do no run out to annoying people and tell them to change or how to change. That would be uncouth. To the level of uncouthness that uncouth would shout “I’m not like that!” Don’t be that person. This is for us to use so that we may become better towards those around us. Or so that we may become the person we want to be.

So, until the next blog live life, be happy, and find life’s happiness.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

 

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The Light Bulb

Darkness envelops the room.  Each step is  made with caution; remembering key item placement. Recollection of past encounters with the sofa, end table, and recliner intensifies the “Marco Polo” moment.

A flip of the light switch would be capital. Instead, a little toe cringes with each step. A noise from the darkness brings inquiries filled with hair raising fear.  The black canvass builds the perfect stage for imagination to dance on. One can almost see a clown with a knife-filled smile. Or perhaps the coat rack makes the perfect clown mannequin. Either way, expletives were announced.

The hand glides along a painted sheetrock wall until the target is found. A single flick chases the darkness away. Another pinky toe is saved. Though completed many times before with different results, an enlightened thought enters the room.

Does the light bulb know the darkness, or does the luminary friend merely shine; unaware of the salvation?

Positive people bring happiness as a light bulb brings peace of mind. The depression, stress, and tension melt within a single smile. Hope is found in the realm of a friendship; not realizing the peace and happiness captured in the moment.

How sad the world would be without a light bulb.

The Battle Within A Soul

Darkness envelops as fear takes hold.

Anxiety clouds the mind.

A dry throat reveals the nervousness within.

Hopelessness beckons the heart as despair soon follows.

These to behemoths have quenched the life out of millions and seek millions more.

Salvation seems so far away.

However , a truth resides deep within.

Darkness can only reach an absolute value. Once the light is completely extinguished darkness has reached it’s full capacity.

But, light has no limitations. What starts as a spark soon wisps into a flickering flame.

Forced to back throttle, darkness loses it hold. A roaring fire quickly illuminates everything. Darkness will always have it’s shadows, but light will always control the shadows. Thus, continues the battle within the soul.

Creation Of Happiness

What started as a single brush stroke on a blank canvas turned into a whirl of colors.

There were no images, just and onslaught of colors being added at a whim.

Each stroke brought happiness closer and the heart lightened. This was evident in the choice for brighter colors.

The brush whisked along with a lighter touch and a flick of joy at the end.

Troubles and toil melted away.

All that stood was the canvas and the thousands of brush strokes that wiped our soul clean. No image, just a creation of happiness.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

The Jealous Leap

Imagine landing a dream job that required no work, but the pay was outstanding. At first one may show signs of excitement and thrill. “I can’t believe they pay me this much to set here and do nothing.” Maximum pay with little effort. Woo-hoo!

Upon further inquiries we learn that most people end up quitting the job. That’s why it pays so much. “Who in their right mind would leave a job like this?” Six months roll by and we watch new people get hired then get promoted. We still have our dream job of doing … nothing, going nowhere, nor speaking with no one. Yep, at least we have our dream job. Six more months roll by and we are still in the same spot doing absolutely nothing, while others are getting promoted. We are going nowhere. “No woo-hoo’s now. Janet!”

We begin to ask ourselves “Why do they get promoted and I don’t? I deserve a promotion too.” This, my friends, is jealousy. Despite having the highest paying job in the company, (did I forget to mention that?) we grew bored with what we have. A promotion means a fresh start, and new beginnings. In our position we will never have the challenge of networking with new clients and climbing a new ladder.

Our dream job doesn’t sound so dreamy. This applies to other aspects of our lives; house, car, husband, wife, or anything we associate with. Someone will always be in a better position than us. They will always have a newer product. We  take our position and how lucky we are for granted. People climbing the corporate ladder are wishing to be paid to do nothing. We never listen to hear them say “Man, you have it great.” We are so focused on what we don’t have, we lose sight of what we do have. Ever hear of a person walking away from a perfect marriage to marry some else. Newsflash: Nothing is perfect.

This is what envy does to us. We lose value in what we have. We leap for greener pastures without any appreciation for the one we have at hand. We foolishly forsake everything we have worked so hard for. It is a self-destruction that we must overcome.

How do we prevent this jealous leap? Appreciate what we have. Find contentment in not having the latest and greatest. If we are judged by others for not having the latest gizmo, then we need to reconsider the quality of people we associate with. No one should belittle others for the sake of stature. How juvenile.

No matter where we are in life (whether starting fresh or gaining veteran status) there is one thing we all must learn. The corporate ladder is nothing more than a hamster wheel turning the gears of the company machine. There will always be someone above us. We will always beacon to the needs of others. So don’t give up that dream job, car, house, husband, wife, or life for what appears to be a better position. For once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Change is not bad, but a jealous leap can lead us somewhere far from where we want to be. Don’t get snared into this trap. If what we have is broken, then we should learn how to fix it. Not everything in this world is disposable. Taking self-pride in what we have and where we are will go a long ways.

So, until the next blog live life, be happy, and find life’s happiness.

 

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

Heaven Isn’t What We Think

Imagine a place with no struggles, no pain, no challenges. Nothing can hold us down. All of our dreams come true and everyone gets their way. In this magical world there are no losers. Welcome to heaven y’all.

In my opinion, this is more like “Welcome to Boreville”. A place with no challenges sounds like Snoozapalooza. But why? Why do we need challenges? Is heaven going to be challenging? Am I Going To Be A Failure In Heaven Too?! Sorry couldn’t resist the humor of inserting the word “too”. 

In order to enjoy an event or place we must find satisfaction. Which means we have requirements and certain boundaries that we enjoy. What’s enjoyable to one may not be enjoyed by all. Maintaining these boundaries is how we regulate the pleasure we experience. But what about the challenges? Why would heaven have challenges? Simply put, we need satisfaction. We require that feeling of accomplishment. That “I did it” moment is more vital to our happiness than most give credit. We don’t just want to climb that mountain. The need for a struggle is real.

If we take a look at our lives right now, how many of us feel as though we are in a rut. Eat, work, sleep embodies our lives. There are no challenges, accomplishments, or goals outside of these three activities. But we don’t have to live in a Bland-topia. By setting small goals, we give ourselves a little change and a chance to say “Hooray”. Serious note: I prefer “Ta-da”. Once little goals become the norm, we need to set bigger goals. This doesn’t mean we need to overload our plate. Instead, we need to replace small goals with bigger goals. If you are wondering, yes bigger goals translates to less goals. Bigger goals take more time to accomplish. (Just so we are all on the same page).

Let’s say our goal is to visit a new place. A nice easy place to start is our hometown. Find a park or hiking trail. Or perhaps a new store to window shop. From here we can plan a road trip to the neighboring town. Then next we can plan a weekend vacation to another state. The idea is to start small with our goal then grow.

I believe heaven will fulfill our satisfactions. That’s why I believe we will have struggles and accomplishments. That’s not a bad thing. Look how far we have come within the last 100 years overcoming obstacles. We were built for problem solving. It’s what we do best, and it makes us feel good.

Our satisfaction changes from person to person. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to defining what makes us happy. If life has us down, perhaps we need to look for satisfaction. A new hobby may be in order. Shall we dare to plant a small herb garden? It doesn’t sound like a challenge, right? Just put some plants in a dirt and watch them grow. One would be surprised at the difficulty faced with such a simple hobby. Nevertheless, the simple satisfaction derived from this can enhance our experience; and our happiness. And that my friends, is my point. We need to be satisfied. It’s what makes us happy.

So, until the next blog live life, be happy, and find life’s happiness.

 

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

Being A $imple Man Part Four

“You can’t buy happiness.” Bologna! (Well, sort of.) Money can allow us to have moments we treasure. Happiness does not come from money, rather happiness comes from memories.  Most people who go on cruises look happy, and they are making memories. Isn’t that part of happiness; enjoying life. So, in this aspect, money does effect our happiness.

In part one, the statement “A simple life does not mean a poor life” was made. We are often quick to judge people who live on an economically sound budget. What makes us judge others by what they drive, what they wear, or where they live?

It is human nature to size ourselves with others. This is how we evaluate how we are doing in life. Not everyone grows out of this stage. But for those that do, life begins to make sense and happiness is found. This brings me to a quick interjection.

There are only two things to do in life:

Live life. This means work, pay taxes, AKA adulting. Go to local festivals, museums, or parks. Try new experiences. Read educational books to continue learning. You get the picture.

Be happy. That’s all. Just be happy. I had to learn how to be happy. I could take any situation and tell you how terrible it was. I don’t know exactly when it hit me, but I decided to change my perspective. What if there was no negative; just yes and not yet. By abstaining from looking at the negative side I learnt how to see the positive in every situation. Yes, I became “that guy”.

Anywho, back to money-talk. Whether we make a lot-of-money or a little-of-money, we need a budget. No one with good sense goes without a budget. We cannot just look at our bank account and say “oh look I have money, I can afford it.” Don’t do that.

So, let’s pretend we do not know how to budget. Trust me, none of us come into this world knowing how to balance a check book. Each bill or expense is an eager nemesis waiting to devour our pay check. Our job should be to save our pay check from being totally devoured. By allotting a percentage to each expense, we allow for growth.

Table time.

Giving 10% Transportation 10%
Saving 10% Health 5%
Food 10% Insurance 10%
Utilities 5% Personal Spending 5%
Housing Cost 25% Recreation 5%
Monthly Spending 95% Wiggle Room 5%

The table above is an example I like to use. One budget does not fit all so please feel free to change any variables. This only an example. Remember, a person making $7.25/hr is going to have less to spend than someone making $15.00/hr. I know this is common sense. However, I am always surprised with I see someone trying to live outside of their means. Doing this will always set us up for failure. This is why we need a budget.

Money has a huge impact on our potential for happiness. I say potential because in the end, whether we have money or not, our happiness is dependent on us. Our financial budget will give us peace of mind that bills are being paid, if we are within our means. We will also have the opportunity to save up for recreational moments (concerts for example). By staying on a budget we may feel as though we only work, eat, sleep. However, our happiness is a reflection of us. We control our emotions. Yes, times can get tense. This is why it is important to stop and relax. (As stated in part three of this  blog series. It’s all coming together Bwhahaha!)

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and find life’s happiness.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis