The Single Rider

Treading the fine line between "alone" and "free"…

Archive for the ‘psychology’ tag

What am I good at? Survey says… part 1

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ImFeelingInspiredYeah, so, probably wasn’t the best time to start a new blog! Job has been chowin’ down on my life with a fair amount of regularity and consistency. At last, I’ve managed to carve out some time to work on Manifesting… The Musical! ;) I still like that title, but it’s more whimsical and self-indulgent than descriptive. Therefore, we’re going with What am I good at? Survey says… for this series. I’ve polled the tribes and they have spoken. Without further ado, let’s get started!

What Am I Good At?

A (merely quasi-) scientific exploration into my mad talentz and skillz

Introduction

The purpose of this exercise was to find out what skills and talents I possess according to people who know me from all walks of life. The exercise is modeled after one that appears in the ebook, “The Principles of Successful Manifesting” by Thomas Herold, founder and CEO of Dream Manifesto LLC.

Population Selection

Over the years, my key interests have driven me to seek out communities of the like-minded, in both real life and online. These communities – or tribes – were targeted for population selection. Individuals with whom I’ve had frequent and/or high-quality interactions have had ample opportunity to observe my behavior and form opinions as to my particular talents and skills – What I Do Well. “Frequent” does not necessarily mean “recent”. My key interests tend to morph as the years pass. “High-quality” is harder to define. It pertains to the level of exposure to one another via shared experiences, whether they are shared virtually or in real life (IRL). The more we share, the more we know about one another. Therefore, the better the respondents knew me, the more accurate – and therefore, useful – their responses would be.

Method

The population received a message, either in an email or else posted to the private forum, which said this:

Hola, friends –

I’m working on something – myself!

I’d like to ask y’all for the favor of your opinions. I am asking people from all different walks of my life, people that know me well and people that know me not so well. If I get the same general responses from people who know me in different ways, then that means they’re all on to something. I realize that a few of you know me only from the internet, but what you have observed over the years is in fact behavior, so I believe it’s valid to ask cyber friends as well as RL friends to respond to these questions.

Here are the questions – feel free to answer some, all or none, as the mood strikes you!

- What do you think I’m good at?
- What do you think my talents are?
- What do you think I should do with my life?

The first thing that comes into your head is probably the best answer.

Thank you in advance for your time

xxx
Erin

Responses were received on the same platform as the request was delivered (email or on the forum). Responses were analyzed and normalized for measurement, and the resulting data was plugged into a spreadsheet along with some demographics.

Metrics

Data collected and analyzed includes the following:

• Polling method (email, forum)
• Gender
• Venue
• Tribe
• Common Interest
• What I Do Well
• Career Suggestions

Venues, Tribes and Key Interests

Venues
The three venues or contexts within which the tribes I belong to generally meet to interact are –

• Real Life
• Internet
• I-2-RL

Behavior (interaction, relating) is not limited to “real life” in this, the 21st century. Internet life can be active, rich and rewarding. However, interaction on the internet requires different methods than interaction in real life. The chief difference is the mode of communication. In real life, the primary mode of communication is verbal; whether face to face or on the phone, it usually involves vocal cords and ears. Verbal communication can also be accompanied by vocal inflections, facial expressions and other bodily cues that convey context and nuance. Alternatively, internet communication has been primarily via text – the written word. Recently, audio and video communications have been introduced, but the prevalent mode is still text. Lack of vocal inflection, facial expression and body language can often lead to misunderstandings on the internet. Therefore, successful internet communication requires an additional level of attention to the selection and interpretation of language in the written form that is not generally required in IRL.

In addition to Real Life and Internet, there is a third venue, a hybrid of Real Life and Internet. It has become more and more common for people who initially meet and interact via the internet to arrange to meet in real life. In the cases of my Sanibel and Disney tribes, the initial meeting usually occurs at the travel destination that is part of the common interest, often for large “meets” but just as often for smaller groups who happen to be vacationing at the same time. Sometimes, these meets result in cases where Internet relationships take hold and cross over into Real Life. For the purposes of this survey, this venue will be identified as “I-2-RL” (internet-to-real-life). One-time or infrequent interaction offline is not considered for inclusion in this group.

Tribes
A tribe is the community and context within which I have had the most interaction with the respondents. Tribes are more than just collections of people; they are also the socio-ethnographic backdrop against which the respondent has observed my behavior. In some cases, a respondent and I belong to more than one tribe together. To simplify the analysis, I selected the tribe within which the most frequent and/or highest quality interaction has occurred.

The tribes selected for the study are:

Disney Fans – lovers of all things Disney. Primary focus is on animated films and and visiting Disney’s theme parks. Interaction began 5-7 years ago
Friends Back Home – these individuals are primarily friends from high school or from the performing community on Long Island. Interaction began 10-30 years ago.
Sanibel Fans – these are people who have belonged to a few forums online devoted to visiting Sanibel Island and collecting seashells. Interaction began 5-7 years ago.
Siblings – this is my birth tribe. In this survey, a “sibling” is a respondent who is either one of my brothers, or married to one of my brothers. Interaction began 20-45 years ago.
Sistas – these are women who are members of a private, all-female support forum. All of them are also members of the Disney Fans tribe; however, greatest quantity of high-quality interaction has occurred in the Sistas forum. Interaction began 5-7 years ago.
Tech Geeks – my oldest online tribe, this group of individuals started together in a technical support forum for distributed computing in the early to mid 90s. It is also the smallest tribe I belong to, consisting of three Englishmen, a dude from Pennsylvania and me. Interaction began about 15 years ago.

Key Interests
Disney – shared primarily with Disney Fans and Sistas tribes; secondary interest with Siblings tribe.
Family – primary interest shared with Siblings tribe.
Geekery – primary interest shared with Tech Geeks; however, technology has become a very mainstream interest and therefore is a secondary interest shared with virtually all other tribes.
High School – primary interest shared with the majority of the Friends Back Home tribe. “High School” really means “we were once all young together”. It should be noted that not all of the tribe still lives “back home” but once a member of the tribe, forever a member of the tribe  ;)
Long Island – catch all for friends who are on Long Island and therefore “back home” but with whom I never performed and with whom I did not attend high school. Typically, I met these people when I was already an adult but not within the context of work or music/performing.
Performing – the third leg of the “Friends Back Home” stool, performing is an interest shared with people I know from studying vocal music technique/repertoire and participating in musical theater and opera productions in New York.
Shelling – the collection of sea shells, primarily from Sanibel Island. The Sanibel Fans tribe often self-identifies as “militant shellers”. “Militant” shelling involves the study of optimum conditions for shelling and the use of tools and other gear to facilitate the hunt and capture of specimens. For some, the interest also extends to cleaning, polishing, displaying or crafting with the collected specimens. This interest is shared almost exclusively with members of the Sanibel Fans tribe.

*~*~*    *~*~*    *~*~*    *~*~*    *~*~*

So… fun stuff thus far, huh?   Wait till we get to the part about normalization of responses – woohoo!   Until next time….

Written by Erin

September 28th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

The Law of Be Careful What You’re Attracting

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IMG01000_TSRA friend directed me to some resources regarding “The Law Of Attraction”, and while I was reading there, I discovered that one of the authors had made use of a Ouija board to receive guidance. I have a healthy respect-from-a-distance for Ouija – meaning, I won’t play. No sireee bob, you cannot make me, and I will leave the premesis if a Ouija board makes an appearance.

See, I read The Exorcist when i was ten. Yes, you read that right. I was ten. I read lots of things I should not have read at that age, but The Exorcist is the story that left it’s mark on my psyche. I’m just never, ever going to stick around to watch what happens when someone pulls out a Ouija board.

I’m not at all sure that it’s true that “spirits” communicate via the Ouija board; I think it’s just as likely that the subconscious minds of the players are at work sending “messages”. But I reason that the Universe is all about balance, and *IF* there are good spirits, then there are also bad spirits. I’m pretty sure that if you open the door to the good ones, you cannot guarantee that the others won’t piggyback on in somehow, too.

Whether by Ouija or other means, if one should encounter a spirt…how would one know that it’s one of the “good guys”? How do you know it’s not an evil spirit who will take possession of your body, slap your grandma, kick the cat and burn down the neighborhood or something?

I am so bad at boyfriend radar (I have ZERO romantic radar), I shudder to think how profoundly bad I would be at spirit radar. I can just see myself going along, lah ti dah, thinking I’ve got a Seth or an Abraham communicating with or through me, and all along it’s, like, Hitler or Rasputin – or someone REALLY evil, like… nope, not going there.

So, how about you? Have you ever “gone there” with a Ouija board?
What happened? Tell me, tell me – leave me a comment!
Or if you’re shy, send me an email; I’d love to hear about it.

pixidust-at-optonline-dot-net remove the dashes

Written by Erin

July 12th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Quest for Knowledge

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Getting my own way… by getting out of the way!

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06282009839.jpg I was browsing the merchandise at Walt Disney World a couple of weeks ago when this mug crossed my path. I took a photo and sent it to Facebook, with some crack about wishing that “you have a knack for getting your own way” was true. I put it back on the shelf and walked away.

You’ll notice, it’s now sitting on my kitchen counter, awaiting it’s opportunity to become the vessel from which I drink the Elixir of Life. I figured, if I don’t believe it, then it definitely won’t be true. And if I DO believe, then I’d better start acting like I do. So I marched myself right back there and bought it.

After all, what exactly is wrong with having a knack for getting one’s own way? Nothing! As with all things, if the ability to get what one wants is exercised within a balanced and loving context, then sin cannot live there.

I’m sure that my initial rejection of this concept had elements of socialized (false) “nice girl” modesty lurking beneath. It was also influenced by past experiences, disappointments where I didn’t get anywhere close to my “own way”, my heart’s desire, what I’d been dreaming of.

Well, a dream is just a dream, a thought is just a thought, and neither can venture any further into reality without me driving it. I can drive manifestation either actively or passively. I have lots of experience driving things actively – that’s what has made me successful with most things in life. Notice I said “most” ;) But driving the manifestation of my dreams passively – well, I have very little experience “letting go and letting God”, mostly because I’m too scared to relinquish control to something I cannot quantify.

StarGazersI’m going to try something new. I’m going to try driving a wish to come true, to manifest it into the physical world, by getting the hell out of the way and letting it happen. First step – believe that I have a knack for getting my own way.

I’ve now got a physical reminder from which to sip the Elixir of Life (coffee) :) Let the manifestation of dreams begin!

PS – a grateful shout-out to a certain fairy godmother for her encouragement *~*~*~*~*~*~*

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Written by Erin

June 28th, 2009 at 9:05 am

I was going to abandon this idea, but…..

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I was driving home from a shopping expedition this afternoon, approaching the I-75 overpass up on Colonial, and I noticed a bunch of construction on the other side of the interstate. Looked like hotels – wanted to confirm that and tuck it away for future reference for when Bro No. 1 comes with the family. He likes to dump the kids here and take himself and wife off to the hotel. I’m ok with that!

Anyhow, I made a right after going under I-75. Fairly new-looking road. I did see three buildings back there. One was the office of a home builder – probably their design center (it was fairly large). Right next to it, a new Candlewood Suites; however it does not have a pool, so I don’t know how Bro would feel about that.

And at the end of the court, a tall, broad building that says “NOVA Southeastern University” on the side of it. Lots of construction vehicles sprinkled around the unfinished parking lot, but the building looks like it’s nearly completed.

So I quickly call my home phone and leave an answering machine message for myself, so I don’t forget to find out what this is all about. Turns out theres a BIG campus of this school in Fort Lauderdale, but there are all these “distance learning centers” sprinkled here in Florida, and as far flung as the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Las Vegas. This is apparently one of those “distance learning centers”.

I found the page where they tell what programs will be offered here; one of them is Mental Health Counseling.

I was seriously thinking I wasn’t going to do this. I loved school; it also damned near killed me, seeing as getting my BA in Psychology coincided with the most difficult years of my career at the Firm, AND with my “other career” singing with the opera company on Long Island. I look back at those days and shake my head. How did I cram it all in? Where did I find the time? AND, I was still an ABC Daytime and HBO Sunday Night junkie back then too – I watched HOURS of TV in addition to writing papers and memorizing performances in other languages! Why did I do that to my life? What was I thinking?

But, you know, the initial supposition that originally led to my going back to school in the first place is still valid. I am not going to be able to retire the way my parents did. I’m eventually going to become obsolete at the Firm. I’ve had a good run, but my years of service are starting to add up to the point where I’m going to be entering that category of folks who are candidates for “early retirement” (translation: here’s some cash, get thee gone).

I’m going to NEED a second career.

My other choice for second career would be horticulturist at Disney. However, I’d have to move to landlocked Orlando – ok, there are worse things, but I’m REALLY enjoying being near the beaches here. You might have noticed. LOL

Well, they aren’t done building it yet, even. I can make the same deal with myself that I made for the BA. Be back in school learning SOMETHING by time I was 40. I went back when I was 39, in fact. So now, I can say, “be back in school for 2nd career by time you are 50″. I’m 47. I have some time.

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Written by Erin

March 30th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Posted in Quest for Knowledge

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