Saturday, January 24, 2015

Betrayal of One's Trust

One form of betrayal: Accepting a bribe
I have made it no secret in both this blog and the other blog I run that I am not a fan of intellectual dishonesty, and I certainly don't like it when someone betrays my trust. For someone who I thought was a friend (or true family member) of mine to turn around and deal crookedly with objects such as money and goods, and then not help me in the process really hurts. I have family members consistently stab me in the back when it comes to giving me what I am owed, and despite this, I have moved on from this kind of nonsense. Why? Well, it's simply because of the fact that I never had a true connection nor a real emotional investment with certain members of my family who I haven't seen in person in ages that makes the healing process easier for me.

Betrayal. It will always hurt somebody no matter who is doing it. Whether someone is betraying someone else for the first time or if he or she has done it a dozen times, it doesn't matter. Especially talking about myself and my situation of being on the Autism Spectrum, the act of betrayal has a deeper effect on me.

Money is an object that people obsess over, unfortunately. People use money as a source of power. If people have more money than you, they may feel that they have control and influence over you, even though that's not always the case. The more money someone has, the more he or she feels that they can dance around issues and tell you half-truths, and then tell you complete lies. I'm sure that some of you reading this blog now have experienced this form of betrayal when someone promised you something (money-wise) and then you ended up being the one to pay for it in more than one way. It hurts, and there's no other way around that.

It makes one wonder in this day and age whatever happened to just being honest. What happened? Why did people adopt this mentality that they could get by for as long as possible if they acted anything but honest with others? Where is the logic in that? No matter who you are, autistic or not, you will NOT get through life by being dishonest with others. People will eventually find out your lies and they will realize that you have betrayed their trust, and it will be hard for them to trust you again. Being honest is being fair. Being honest is being truthful and showing sincerity. To be honest is to be free from deceitfulness.

Gossip: Another form of betrayal
Someone can also be betrayed if a supposed friend of his or hers talks about them behind their backs. Money doesn't even need to be involved in this case. When you have someone tell you to your face "Yeah, I would be glad to spread the word about your awesome project!" and then that same someone turns around and tells others "Don't buy into his project! It's terrible!" then many things are already clear about this person. For one thing, this person has a big mouth who just loves to tell made up fables about others, and secondly, he or she never really was your friend to begin with because he or she never bought into your ideas in the first place. Sometimes people operate this way. They initially blend in with the crowd and go along with whatever you are doing at first, and then when the time is right they will pull the rug out from under you, embarrass you and glorify themselves through the act of gossip and rumor-spreading. This happens frequently.

Being on the Autism Spectrum, I know that we get this feeling. I know that people who are on the Autism Spectrum experience the feeling of being betrayed by others. I assume that those who betray autistic people think they can get away with it incredibly easily, but I am making this blog post to encourage fellow autistic people to speak up and address these kinds of issues. No matter how you address it, you have to bring it to light. Being quiet about an act of betrayal isn't wise.

Just because people on the Autism Spectrum can be sometimes slow to act on matters related to betrayal doesn't mean that they won't remember that act. We have photographic memories. We know exactly what happens when an act of betrayal occurs. We don't forget and it's pretty much impossible for us to forget. We can spot shady people at any given time. We can pick up on the body languages of dishonest people. Truth be told, I have developed an interest over the years in watching crime drama shows on TV and I watch some of these shows because they clue me in to what I need to be seeing when it comes to a crime scene. I try to stay alert to all the tipping points, to everything that is said and done during an episode. It never hurts to make like a detective and find all the clues that will lead you to the truth.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Willingness To Learn

Always have the willingness to learn
Although we can stick to strict routines that are hard for us to break, we can't deny the importance of obtaining knowledge on different things. We should always have the willingness to learn new things about stuff that interest us, and normally we do find ways to educate ourselves on certain topics. There are plenty of topics that an autistic person has no knowledge on whatsoever, but with the process of learning any autistic person can get more knowledge on topics if there is a genuine effort to learn.

For example, I have taken a Game Theory online course in the past and I am currently taking another Game Theory class. I am obviously no expert in Game Theory but I have the willingness to learn more about it. This topic generally interests me because not only do I want to know more about it, but through the educational process I would be able to answer a few things concerning Game Theory. I can refer back to some Game Theory methods if someone were to ask me hard questions that were around that level.

Another fact is that I have taken an online course in entrepreneurship and I believe I know much more about entrepreneurship now than I ever did in the past. Am I ready to start a business venture right now? I'm not quite sure because there are some variables I have to work out first. I have to decide what kind of business I would like to start, how my business plan will be structured and what I could do to move my plans forward. Acquiring economic help from investors requires sufficient information about your proposed businesses or products because without critical information you will be leaving investors in the dark. That is not a good thing.

I also have the willingness to learn plenty about topics concerning UX Design, Gamification and Cloud Computing. I am not intending to become a world class expert on any of these subjects, but I am intending to gain sufficient enough knowledge on these subjects so that I can communicate with other people who do know a lot about these things. I want to be able to perform some deeds on even the minimal levels of UX Design and I want to be able to apply methods from practices like Gamification, and I want to be able to establish a mini-foundation when it comes to Cloud Computing.

I believe that you don't absolutely need to be an expert on one thing in general, but rather you should aim to be serviceable in more than one area. We have heard of multi-tasking and this practice has its benefits. Some people (mainly financial experts) may say that multi-tasking is harmful for you and that it will waste your time, but I don't believe we should be listening to these people. As long as we manage our multi-tasking routines well enough we should be just fine. As long as we can develop an idea of what we want to create, how we want to promote and market it and who our connections should be in spreading the word about it, then we should be just fine.

The willingness to learn is key to us who are on the Autism Spectrum. I have failed plenty of times in my life, and more times than I would have preferred. Most of the time it wasn't due to a lack of effort, but sometimes I just didn't have the right connections to make something work. We are in a time now in the world where networking becomes very important if you want to get something off the ground. I know it's challenging for us who are on the Autism Spectrum because many times we just want to keep our ideas to ourselves and we just want to keep polishing our ideas all on our own. However, there will come a time when we need to reach outside our comfort zones and contact people who know more about topics than we do. We need to also develop the willingness to speak up and ask for help from time to time.

Learning serves as a bridge to bigger and better things down the road. Learning is the polar opposite of immobility and idleness. When you learn more about something you make progress. When you take in a learning experience you move forward in pursuit of at least some of things that you want to obtain. You take whatever you learn and apply it to something that you want to accomplish in your life. Whatever you learn becomes a tool for something useful in the future.

Monday, January 12, 2015

We All Have Flaws

We all have something that throws us off
We all have flaws. Not all of us will admit that, and some of us don't want to admit that until after the fact, but it's true. We all have things that hold us back from being on our A game, so to speak. We all have defining traits that make us awesome in some areas, but we also have defining traits that make us anything but awesome in other areas. There is no such thing as a normal (not supernatural) human being who is perfect. There are plenty of things that I know we would take back if we had the chance to press the Rewind button and do something over again.

People on the Autism Spectrum need to accept the fact that not all of their traits are positive ones. There are things that we as autistic people truly do excel at, but then there are other things we don't do well at all with. We are smart and gifted in areas that we feel interest us and in areas that we develop a more thorough understanding with. There are some moments in life where we have no expertise nor any knowledge in whatsoever, so we have to take a step back and let the experts do their thing.

I never claim to be perfect and I never will. If anything, people have told me countless times that I don't give myself enough credit and that I underestimate myself. I believe that I am well skilled in a few things, such as doing one thing that I love which is writing, but also I have a photographic memory and I pay great attention to detail. I am more of the quite type of guy and I am far from the partygoer. I let other people speak first and then I chime in with my own thoughts. I am comfortable with the "listen first, talk later" approach in conversations.

I have my own set of flaws that are pointed out to me one way or the other. Sometimes I do let my emotions get the best of me when it comes to certain subjects. A trait of Asperger's Syndrome is that I tend to stick to strict routines and it's hard for me to break these routines and do something completely different. Once I commit to something I want to see it all the way through, and to a fault. I will see something through even when I know that something isn't working. There are times when I do need to stop doing certain things, and yet I try to find reasons to keep doing those things.

Good quote

People would be lying to me if they told me that they have no flaws whatsoever about their lives. I mean, you could be one of the most successful business tycoons in the history of the United States but you can still have fundamental flaws regarding casual conversations and general socializing events that don't involve business models. Some of the investors who are very business savvy and invest their money in entrepreneurship projects can sometimes be mean-spirited and have a hard time lightening up on others.

Case and point, I recently watched an episode of that popular entrepreneurship show "Shark Tank", the show that is hosted by Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, and I heard one of the investors tell a lady who had a business idea that she was a cockroach. A cockroach? Really? There wasn't anything professional about making such an insulting statement because regardless of how you feel as an investor towards a person's business idea, you don't resort to personal attacks. Calling people who come up to you with some ideas "cockroaches" or "little people" doesn't reflect back on you well at all. If it were me as the investor, I would politely tell the aspiring entrepreneur "I understand why you are passionate about this business idea, but I don't agree with this idea. I'm sorry but I will decline your offer. I'm out", and leave it at that.

There are some people I know who are otherwise very kind people as they are very kind to me. However, these same people can create storms filled with swear words and various profanities and these verbal storms are hard for me to hear. I don't approve of swearing and I prefer it if people didn't excessively swear around me. I find this to be a flaw for many people, and especially for those who know that swearing is prohibited in the Holy Bible. There are times when people really don't need to swear, and yet they will just blurt it out because of a habit they developed some time ago.

I believe it's important to not only acknowledge your flaws for your own sake, but for those around you whom you care about dearly. Being able to accept your own flaws means that you know that you are not perfect. Accepting your own flaws means that you are okay with the things that you are not good at even if they interest you. Accepting your own flaws doesn't mean that you are a failure, but rather it gets you away from the fatal dangers of excessive pride. You fail if you deceive yourself with pride. You fail if you convince yourself that you are perfect in every aspect of life.

I get down on myself quite often. There are times when nothing is going right for me and I look around and wonder. I tell myself sometimes when I'm not in a good mood that I am a failure, but then I look back at the things I have already accomplished in my life and I re-examine everything. I am not a failure at all. I know that I am a flawed person and that I will make mistakes at any given time, but I have done some positive things that help other people. I have done some positive things that have helped myself. I have my flaws and the mistakes I have made are those I can't take back, but I keep moving forward. That's why I'm not a failure.

R.I.P. Stuart Scott, one of the first sports newscasters I listened to.
The above quote relates to battling cancer, but I believe in a broader sense this can also be applied to battling the potential fear of failure. You overcome failure by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live. It makes sense all the same, right? We all have our flaws, but none of our flaws should be so great that we can't succeed in anything.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Emotional Investment

Emotional Investment

When you emotionally invest in something, no matter what it is, you obviously get attached to it. You spend your time dealing with something that matters to you, something that is important to you. You let others know that this something relates to you in some way and you won't be afraid to admit it. The things that we emotionally invest ourselves in carry value to us, and even though other people might not understand why some things are more valuable to us than other things, that doesn't affect us.

Pertaining to those on the Autism Spectrum, emotional investment in things can get in the way of more serious issues sometimes, and this is something that I have experienced before in my life. I have done this quite often. I have put emotional investment in things that really did matter to me, but to everyone else it really didn't matter at all. Many people have had trouble understanding why I put value in certain things and why I spend my time doing certain things. Autistic people attach themselves to things that they can not only relate to but also find genuine comfort in. The emotional investment shown by autistic people carries a different definition compared to those who aren't autistic.

Autistic people have a tendency to get too literal in their thinking, with an example being of someone telling them a joke that didn't initially sound like a joke to them. Autistic people have a slightly harder time separating what's serious from what's not so serious. We often dwell on things that are minimal in the eyes of the rest of the world, and other people give us puzzled looks because of this. A certain thing may be a big deal to you, but it isn't a big deal to a guy you accidentally bump into at the grocery store.

We can emotionally invest ourselves in the most small-scale and obscure things in part because we see what we could create out of these obscure things. We can see what else those things could be used for rather than what they are currently being used for. We opt to see alternative uses for these obscure things rather than focus on what they are only good for at the moment. We use our imagination, and that's not a crime.

Our emotions do get in the way of how we judge certain things, however. While we can emotionally invest in things, there will be times when we will have to let go of certain things that realistically don't factor in to our daily lives anymore. We attach ourselves to things that we think will be around for us to use for a long time, but when it becomes obvious that we can't use those things anymore there must be a cut-off point. Some autistic people have a really hard time parting ways with certain things, and I can relate to this feeling. I have a stuffed bear that I have held on to since I was an infant. It's often referred to as my "Hospital Bear" because I got that bear after I had an incident where one of my thumbs almost got completely cut off. I was rushed to the hospital and my thumb was saved, thankfully.

We all have our own collections. I happen to collect plenty of things. I like to collect ships that you would see sail through the sea, such as ships in bottles. These ships influence my imagination, especially when I want to think of a story involving sea traveling. I am also a fan of foxes as I have mentioned this in an earlier blog post. Foxes are special animals to me and they fascinate me. I collect notebooks all the time because I want to write stories in these notebooks. I want to be the kind of guy who writes scripts and novels using notebooks. I have collected board games in the past because I love to play games, and the same goes for video games.

Whenever an emotional investment becomes too great for any of us autistic people, I do believe that we should take a step back and realize what's going on with this emotional investment. I hope that we can be able to discern between how important and unimportant certain things really are. I hope that we can decide what's worth keeping and what's worth discarding. I believe that we need to stay as organized as possible in order to progress because if we are not careful with our emotional investments, we risk having these things negatively effecting our lives.

I have had problems in the past pertaining to organization. There were some departments in my life where I really wasn't organized, or best-case scenario, I wasn't quite organized enough. After some time these departments came back to hit me like a bus and looking back at these moments, I regret not addressing these departments in my life sooner rather than later. That's what you don't want to have in your life. Regret. You don't want to regret the decisions that you make. You don't want to let any bad decisions ruin your entire day. You don't want to let failure get to you because if you succumb to it, I guarantee you it will be harder to get back up from failure. You are sometimes your own worst enemy when it comes to emotional investment. Just be careful.