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Laid Off

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About a year ago, I got laid off. Mind you, I had been expecting it, but I wasn't ready because like most people who work a "traditional" job I hadn't really saved due to the fact that I believed in this elusive thing called job security.

Job security doesn't exist. After World War II and the Great Depression our parents and grandparents might have experienced some sort of security in the form of employment.

I went on a wild chase for jobs. I applied to any and every job that I could. Then, after being unemployed for over a month. I began to go to the library.

Reading about unemployment seems depressing, but it was actually the best thing that I could do.

Satisfaction is on the decline in our society. In Miller McCune, I read about this trend in our country.

Well, it turns out our deepening collective funk may not be gender-specific after all. A just-published paper by Chris Herbst of Arizona State University concludes that American men and women “experienced similar decreases in life satisfaction” between 1985 and 2005.“Both sexes witnessed comparable slippages in self-confidence, growing regrets about the past, and declines in virtually every measure of self-reported physical and mental health,” he writes in the Journal of Economic Psychology. His data suggests this rising discontent holds true “regardless of gender, age, marital status and educational attainment.”While this trend toward increased dissatisfaction has gradually become less severe, he reports it has leveled off more for females than for males. As a result, “men’s well-being in recent years has begun to fall more rapidly than that for women,” he writes.

One of the books that I read was a book called "A Whole New Mind" and another book was called "Free Agent Nation" and yet another book "Drive: The Surprising Truth Behind What Motivates Us."

These three books were definitely crucial to learning more than I ever wanted to learn about management, technology, the future of the global economy, sophisticated economic principles, and theories regarding education, and other useful tips for never losing a debate.

As a result, I transformed more and more. I grew mentally and became less productive, but more intelligent and learned how to survive on fewer and fewer resources.

This reminds me of an excerpt that I stumbled upon recently from the Scientific American Mind:

The most surprising and fascinating thing I learned is that there are “introverts” and “extroverts” throughout the animal kingdom – all the way down to the level of fruit flies!
Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson speculates that the two types evolved to use very different survival strategies.
Animal “introverts” stick to the sidelines and survive when predators come calling.
Animal “extroverts” roam and explore, so they do better when food is scarce.

The same is true (analogously speaking) of humans.

After losing a job and therefore my primary source of income, I had to "roam and explore."

I went from a bookish nerd to an aggressive networker and even landed a gig with a marketing firm that focused exclusively on outbound marketing.

The short gig forced me to use my ability to communicate with random people. Furthermore, the job also forced me to be clever.

The other important lesson I learned through roaming and exploring was what my good friends from India had always told me, "Negotiating is a way of life. The first price is never the true value."

I especially remembered the lessons of my two North Indian roommates. Haggling became crucial and I still do it today.

People in poverty tend to rely on their personalities or "street smarts" more than those with wealth.
It's interesting that some people do not believe in alpha and beta males. Alpha males have to be more aggressive and it makes sense that being an alpha male or practicing extroversion would be vital during times of scarcity. Perhaps the alpha male is more desirable because during times of famine, the alpha male reproduced more than the beta male and thus became the natural leader of the pack.

According to my research, we are entering a period where our currency might completely collapse and the powerful economy that we have come to know in the United States will be completely obsolete.

Another observation is in the so-called "ghettos"across America, you're more likely to encounter people who are street vendors and sellers. These occupations, although "informal and underground" require one to be more loud and extroverted in order to make a sale.

Further, in the inner-city, one must intimidate others in your household and in the community. The more you roam and explore without fear of social predators or low-class psychopaths that live in the neighborhood, the riskier it is for you, but high risks lead to higher rewards.

It's amazing how many survival mechanisms human beings develop and further how interesting most of these things that we pick up from childhood or from our environments stay with us regardless of how far we move or how successful we become in life.

The extroverts have a harder time concentrating in class and succeeding in formal education because their world is largely external, but the introvert's challenges are within themselves.

But, I digress, the entirety of the unemployment taught me how to use my charm and creativity to get by and those sort of behaviors were underutilized prior to unemployment.

The idea of actually achieving my dreams and not simply going along to get along within a corporate framework became more pronounced.
Those crazy dreams that I had as a child seemed oddly within reach.

Currently, I'm working on editing my first book and also completing my stint as an actor. I may never make it in Hollywood or New York, but I'll never know if I don't try.

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