Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It was an intense but good day today. I'm on a panel reviewing proposals for one of the federal agencies. Putting together a good research proposal takes not only technical understanding but an ability to "sell" your idea to a diverse review team. I enjoy the exchange of thoughts and working to build a consensus on a proposal.

I also found that just being here has been a breath of fresh air. It's like a shot in the arm to be around people who have a lot of interest in getting something accomplished and in seeing the best ideas funded. Maybe it was just what I needed this week.

There was a nice get together tonight at the home of the agency director. I've known her for a long time. We talked quite a bit about my leaving my current position and pursuing some other activities in my field. One of the nicest compliments was that I was a "visionary" and that the field would greatly miss my participation. Wow! I haven't heard those words in a while.

So that got me thinking that perhaps I still am not really good at being my own cheer leader. And that some of what has me down about my current position is lack of any kind of encouragement. I know that's what finally got to my wife. She felt that working at the lab was like a "black hole" that sucked the energy out of her.

Is this still my attempt at needing approval and a pat on the back? I think that is part of it. I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to maintain enthusiasm in a situation where there is little positive feedback.

The bottom line is I'm feeling renewed energy and a sense of relief in knowing that I still love this field and have a passion for the work. I just know that I need to change the work environment.


  1. Positive feedback is so important. I really do believe that. There is something about it that just makes whatever you're doing that much better. But you can always give it to yourself too.

    I love the post and the image is so beautiful and perfect. You are always inspiring me!

  2. i'm happy for your renewed energy!

  3. Thanks for this post, and the reminder that no matter how busy I am, providing some positive feedback for those busting their tail around me is crucial for a good workplace environment.

  4. I'm reminded of one of my favorite principles ... perseverance.

  5. as one being sensitive to rejection, yes, I do tend to thrive on positive feedback. It is the othere side of the same coin, I think.

  6. This reminds of all the times that I THOUGHT something good about a person but didn't SAY it to him/her. Those small positive feedbacks can mean the world to a person. Thanks.

  7. It almost sounds like a sign from your HP?

  8. Ahhhh renewal in any form is so cool.

  9. One of the hardest "old ideas" I've had to let go of is that "...I shouldn't need positive support from people..." - fact is, I do.
    Fact is, I get the reinforcement I seek - part of the promise that I will "...create the fellowship (I) crave...".
    Thanx for the reminder and congrats on the kudos.

  10. I need positive feedback, too, Syd. It helps me to maintain my motivation.

    Love ya,


  11. Syd, the realization that we are competent and vital means little without reinforcement from those around us. Good for you on letting God bring you someone who could tell you that and you didn't even try to diminish it. We all need approval and it is not this need that wraps us up, it is how we seek it. You are now a seeker on the right path. That is what people are seeing. Confidence: a state of being almost as alluring as romance when used correctly and with the right motive which obviously you have. Happy happy happy for you!

  12. LOVE the picture. A good post too!

  13. I'm glad that you're getting back so much of the positive affirmation that you give to others. We all need and deserve to give and to get-- love, care, positive regard.... It sounds to me as if you are reaping what you've sown and to my way of thinking, that's good karma and a great place to be. Congratulations!

  14. Happy Thursday Syd. Beautiful pic and great post.

  15. change in the work environment, is that more a change of your perspective? I know what you mean though it is like service work, i really do not like my area and the disunity towards service, but I have such a passion for the message of recovery I still stick with it. you are awesome Syd, in case you haven't heard it in a while, what ever your decision you will find a way to carry the passion with you. By the way, you just got tagged.

  16. I stayed in that place of lost motivation, of being in a 'black hole' that sucked my energy, and no satisfaction for too long.

    My answer finally came and it was.....retire. AND I love it.


  17. I dunno--before I retired I had LOADS more time to call "my own". However, that's what I did NOT need--time of "my own". I needed time for God, whatever this is, and wherever it takes me...

    I know you'll do GREAT whatever--and wherever, Syd!

  18. You deserve it Syd, I know what u mean of positive feedback someone should learn Betty that!
    No Joking, I really read well with you, thanks for making me think about a lot of stuff as well this holiday

  19. Great suffering and great love are A.A.'s disciplinarians; we need no others. Some of us have taken VERY hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job, wife or no wife, we simply do NOT stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people (places and things) ahead of dependence on God

    I really believe that what the job is doesn't matter. it doesn't matter if you are a street sweeper or a vip celebrity. Both 'jobs' will challenge you in deeply personal ways, and show you where you are 'stuck'

    as ajahn chah used to say
    "Everything is teaching us'

    There is good and bad in every job. i think what you are suffering from is disillusionment with the WORLD. not with your JOB. you are seeing how LIMITED the 'world' is. how it cannot provide a lasting refuge.
    well thats what I think
    by all means look around. but like bill says

    " Job or no job, wife or no wife, we simply do NOT stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people (places and things) ahead of dependence on God"

    its true. it really is.

    so be a street sweeper, or a famous author, or a wealthy investor, or a prize fighter, or an academic, or a charlatan.
    it doesnt really matter. because whatever you choose, you will come up against your own habitual tendencies and limitations.

    I have learned to find meaning in service wherever I am. I do not need to be in a ? refined position to feel good about my job. There is nothing wrong with refined positions.
    Humans are the same wherever you go. I think you are expecting more from your job than it can deliver. Stop looking for 'refuge' in your work. the only real refuge is in ? 'god' (i use the term loosely) but you know what i mean. the Buddhists call it the deathless, or the 'awakened life'. in aa we call it 'practicing the principles.
    the world is deeply unsatisfying. the only way to give life meaning is to perceive it through the ? 'lens' of the spiritual life. this is normal. all my sponsees feel like this at 9. I tell them it is normal, that they have entered the world of the spirit, and so the 'world' looks very different now.
    I think you will be fine. Have a nosey around. If you see something fabulous, take it. But mostly its the same ol same ol. Nomatter where you go.

    Totally !!! off the point, I caught Colin Farrell's glance on the way home through town today. Cool! Didn't stop and introduce myself, (would be far too uncool) but it brightened up what was already a very pleasant evening :) Right I'm off

  20. Giving positive feedback can enhance job satisfaction and boost
    motivation. I happy you feel energized. Best wishes.!!

  21. Thanks for that share, Syd. It is what I needed to hear today. I have been struggling at work, and you gave me words for my feelings.

  22. It's always nice to get an unexpected pat on the back.
    In my line of work(construction) it is absolutely unheard of.

  23. I also work without positive reinforcement - whenever I get it, I sure appreciate it though. And I think that is the way we are designed, to be loved and appreciated.

  24. Thanks for sharing your vision with us.

    I like a balance between positive and negative.

  25. Sounds like good things are going on in your life. For so many years I lived often with the motive of pleasing people, looking for my affirmation from others. I gave them a place that no one really should have except maybe God and myself. I read a quote this morning by Maya Angelou. The gist of it was that when she really began to understand that God loved her, she realized that God's approval and her own made a majority. I thought that was so powerful. I struggle at times with those old motives but am much quicker to catch them now and realize that I must be my own best friend and allow my Higher Power to meet my needs along with my own efforts. Have a lovely weekend! ~Jeanne

  26. It's hard to have a positive outlook when those around you don't. Something that was said to me early in my sobriety comes to mind...I was told by someone in my home group to be the change I wished to see. In other words lead by example find the enthusiasm you remember and light a fire under those around you. If that doesn't work, know that your doing what you need to do to bring the change you wish to see. (Hugs)Indigo


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