Friday, January 30, 2009

Constraints: The Babyface lesson.

So, I was going to write this long post, really emotional and depressing about feeling undervalued. I felt undervalued because I was offered a job today. Now, I should consider myself lucky that in this economic climate I even received a job offer. So, yes, that's great. Go onto Craigslist, the Rants and Raves section, and see how many people are there complaining about having all this experience, multiple degrees, and not being able to find a job. But the salary they offered me is extremely low, really not to live on. I will probably have to move in with family members to get by. The area I live in is so expensive -- I had hoped that I would have enough to at least pay the mortgage on some foreclosed property.

But that was not in the cards for me. I'm thinking about how to view this in terms of my constraint perspective -- achieving more by having less to work with, or working within a confined space/modality/etc. What turns me on is the idea of having this salary and then being able to find money from other sources -- online, selling stuff, using my creativity.

However, I will have severe constraints because most of my day, at least from nine to five, will be used in the company I will be working for. So my constraints will be really strict in terms of time. Instead of "you have four hours to do so and so," it will be like "you have forty-five minutes to work on this, etc."

But I feel kind of have to see the movie "Babyface" with Barbara Stanwyk, an amazing movie from the 30s. You can get it on Netflix. It's exceptional in its gritty reality and how real the emotions are captured. Babyface is this girl whose father owned a bar that she was forced to work at, and then she ran away with her friend to New York with essentially nothing. However, she was able to leverage her intelligence, looks, sexuality, and other parts of herself to get to the very top of the social ladder. The movie is controversial because of the cold, ruthless way she went about doing this...but I know how she feels. That hunger for comfort, for success, to feel protected by money, to not have to worry about money, having your own place.

That's why this low job offer excites me. I'm going to accept it, I think. I can't be jobless. Just call me Babyface.

Here she is plotting and scheming her way to the top, her friend Chico looking on:

I feel excited. Enthralled. But I feel so hungry for it. Hungry as babyface. Take action. Make moves. Plot and scheme. What were her constraints? What constraints was she operating in? Well, she had to support herself. She had no connections, so she was operating with no social network. She used what knowledge she had to leverage her way further up the social and career ladder -- in the movie, they show her moving up the different floors of the skyscrapper she worked in. First she was in the filing department, then mortgages, then finance, then bonds, whatever. So it's about leveraging within whatever constraints you are working in.

It is fun to work yourself from the bottom to the top. It feels exciting. I want to work hard. I want to work smart. I want to use everything I've learned about meditation, diet, exercise, feng shui and cleanliness, to get where I want, to get what I need.

I'm tired of those fools that say money is bad, that we're not supposed to like money, we're only supposed to earn a certain amount within a certain context. I am sick of being poor. Yes, I'll say it. I don't want to be poor. I am like Babyface right now, right before she moves to New York, in some ways.

I am going to work within my constraints. I am going to outsmart everyone. I am going to leverage what I can to get higher up, to get there faster, to get more than those I am competing with. I can get it because I'm hungry for it.

I'm not going to fool myself anymore. I am not going to pretend that money is something that I can live without, something that is nice but not neccesary. It's too bad money just doesn't float to me through the ethers. But won't working for it, earning it, feel good? Money is what I need. Babyface needs money.

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