When I came up with the idea for Sensing Sage, about two or three months ago, I felt a huge rush of energy. Not only was I finally able to define myself, I would be able to reach other people who also combine rationality with intuition, and together we’d be one big happy online family. Then, as my pink cloud slightly deflated, I began wondering: are we, perceptive systemizers, truly a different type of people? My specific doubts were not so much about intuition, but much more about rationality. Is it even possible to be rational? Am I deluding myself? Is it purely a situational thing?
This week, several things happened that allowed me to re-evaluate. Since – though fairly rational – I’m absolutely terrible with making choices, I’m going to just write about all of them. Chronologically reversed, for no particular reason.
So the very first thing happened about half an hour ago…
I think it was around July this year that I had to come to terms with the truth: I was unhappy.
It was a weird thing, and a cliche at the same time. I had everything: a steady boyfriend, a good job at a Big4 company, a beautiful home, plenty of friends and hobbies. Yet I couldn’t feel joy. Don’t get me wrong, on a rational level, I knew my life was perfect and I’d done a good job getting here, especially being just 27. But on a more emotional level… I felt numb. Disconnected. Unhappy.
Now I don’t think I’m being very original here. In fact, isn’t that what we do these days? Get everything we want, then decide we don’t want it? I’d read about it in books. Hell, “Eat, Pray, Love” ranked pretty high amongst my favorite books. So how did I fall into this trap? Why couldn’t my perfect life just be enough? Continue reading “Why you are unhappy though you have it all”
I’m human (I have this confirmed by a very drunk guy in Stockholm, who looked at me and a friend I was hanging out with and spoke the deep wisdom: “You… you are people”). Which is why I guess it’s okay for me to have bad days. You know, those days where everything is the same as always, but suddenly you feel both like beating somebody up and crying all night long? Yesterday was one of those days, and as much as I hate to say it, there’s no rationalizing away those. Because sometimes, it’s matter over mind. And while you KNOW you have nothing to complain about, you still feel shitty. Continue reading “What if we deserve good things?”
It’s the International Day of the Girl and something is bothering me. I’m a girl in tech and so far in every company I’ve worked for, I was one of the few. And the girls who worked with me almost all operated on the soft side of tech and IT: most of them were analysts, testers, UX-professionals, marketeers. Not engineers. This is not new, of course. Nor will you be surprised when I tell you the demand for more women in tech/IT triggers conversations in board rooms and even governments. We acknowledge the problem. Create policies. Offer sponsorships. Even start mentoring programs.
But let me ask you something…
This is a topic very close to my heart. So close, in fact, that I considered not to write about it (or to be more specific: I did not consider writing about it), but then one of my best friends told me I should and since he’s usually right, you’re now reading this. Shifting the blame here, yep.
My story starts a while back. After getting my university degrees, I got a job in IT at a company crafting financial software. Though the company culture was a really good fit, I’ve always hated finance. And IT… well, I guess it was alright… but you know what I thought would be REALLY cool? Being able to combine IT with marketing and user experience. To each their own, I know, but for me, digital marketing was (and still is) the dream. And so, I learned more about marketing. I got certified in Google Adwords and Analytics. Took classes in branding and storytelling, SEO and content marketing, social media marketing and A/B testing and e-mail marketing. Went to conferences. Read books. Practiced, both at home and doing marketing for the company I worked for. And then, at some point, I decided to leave the company I was working for.
After high school I studied Social Work for somewhat over a year and in that period I heard the word “feedback” more often than you can imagine. In fact, we had a whole class dedicated to giving eachother advice on how to improve ourselves (calling that ‘feedback’) and acting on it. Now myself, I was a strong-willed (read: stubborn) girl and I distinctly remember how during one of the first sessions I asked our professor:
“But what if I don’t agree with the feedback? Why do I *have* to act on it?”
I never got a satisfying answer, but soon enough I realized it was the only way to pass that class. And so I did, tweaking my personality week after week, until I became somewhat more friendly, a lot less me, and still nowhere near perfect. As I kept practicing this way of dealing with feedback over the years, feedback started feeling like one of those three-headed dragons: you chop one head off, and three new ones instantly emerge in its place.
What is feedback, really?
It took me years of self-annihilation before I finally understood what bothered me about the ‘Social Work’ approach to feedback. The problem is that our common use of the word, though infinitely handy for teachers and employers who try to shape us in a certain way, implies certain norms about the way we should handle feedback. Simply googling the word “feedback” returns the following definition from Miriam-Webster as result #2:
“Helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, etc.”
Sounds like our usual understanding of feedback, doesn’t it? Continue reading “Two common misconceptions about feedback”
When it comes to having a good judgement, logical reasoning is super important: if you know A, it can help you get to B, C and so on. However, logical reasoning is only that – a way to get to knew places based on initial information and your knowledge of how the world works. So let’s say you know that A leads to B and you observe A – you can safely conclude B will happen. However, several things can go wrong in this scenario:
- You think you observe A, but it’s actually D. Or X. Which don’t lead to B at all!
- You think A leads to B, but in reality this is not (always) the case.
- Yes, A leads to B. Unless there’s also K, in which case A & K lead to Q. Unfortunately, you don’t know that, or you do know that but you don’t observe K and assume it’s not there.
In all of the above scenarios, if you’d conclude B – you’d be wrong. Continue reading “How the right mindset can improve your judgement”
Have you ever asked someone for advice, only to hear the well-know “follow your heart”? What the hell does that even mean? Of course, if you’d actually ask someone what they mean by this cliche, you’d most likely hear something along the lines: “do what feels right”. You know what feels right to me? Cats. Cats are soft and warm and feel perfectly right. But that’s probably not what people mean, is it?