What I have not accomplished

I am hard on myself. I am extremely hard on myself. I think I am because I have been taught not to flaunt my accomplishments. I can see that no matter what I do, there is someone who has done more and accomplished more. I never enjoy my accomplishments. The past six months have been the busiest ever for me.

I had some personal issues to deal with that were mentally hard to handle (and I survived).

I completed a 13 week Dale Carnegie class (How to Win Friends and Influence People, Effective Speaking, and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living).

I participated in an 6 month profession to leadership program that is limited to 100 employees a year (out of 8000). The program required 5-20% of my time weekly. We had a group project and executive presentation at the end of the program

I ran a half-marathon and 15K and trained for the races for months, sacrificing many weekends of social events for early morning long runs.

I have been release lead at work the past 5 months – meaning I am responsible for the coordination and completion of most activities for my team.

In the middle of all the other tasks, I attended a week-long technology conference to enhance my technical skills.

I maintain regular job and home life and managed to sneak in a short California vacation.

For my leadership class I had to take an emotional intelligence training class. I have always heard about emotion intelligence but I always assumed it meant don’t show anger at work and cry. What it really means is a little more complex and helps explain what may hold me back in my personal life and career.  One of the concepts talked about was the concept of 4 sharks of irrational thinking. Each shark represents a trait that can challenge your effectiveness as a leader. I exhibit traits of all four sharks to a small degree but the biggest connection I have is with the self-rating shark. I have been very proud of myself the past year for my self-awareness. You don’t need to tell me my faults and bad behaviors because I am already aware of them. Well am I? As part of my training there was a feedback survey where I and my peers rated me on certain behaviors. Guess what? I rated myself lower than my peers rated me on every category. Something is wrong here. Maybe I am not as self-aware as I think I am.

Maybe I am too hard on myself.

This attitude needs to end. Any suggestions? I have thought about writing accomplishments down so when I am in a self doubting mode, I can pull myself back up.
Something like:
I ran a half-marathon at night when I am normally sleeping
I averted an argument with a difficult co-worker by remaining calm.

I only remember my faults, and it is keeping me from being the great person I know I can become.
You need to be critical but you also need to celebrate your accomplishments. And I am working on it.

A week in Paris

We were able to spend a week in Paris in August 2010. Paris still remains one of my favorite cities. I will always remember the experience we had there. We were greeted with such friendliness by Parisians that to this day people do not believe. Parisians can be very friendly and open if you give them a chance.
We stayed in the Marais neighborhood. It was a former Jewish quarter with lots of character. You can still see many traditional Jewish shops as well as antiques and trendy cafes. We were extremely happy to spend a week in that part of town. I only wish I took some photos of the neighborhood to share.
Here are some pictures from our visit.

 We thought the locks on the bridge were very interesting. Years later they find that the locks cause add weight and cause great damage to these bridges. Please do not do this to a bridge.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica


Down from the Sacre-Coeur lies an interesting part of Paris. Montmarte has a rich history of its own and only some of it involves the sex industry. One of my favorite museums was the Musee de Montmarte. It contained a detailed history of the cabaret scene in Paris along with a myriad of famous posters from artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

We also broke down and went to see the cheesy Moulin Rouge show. It was quite pricy and we were put in bad seats. I suggest doing some research for another show which might be slightly less touristy (if possible). They seemed to treat those who ordered dinner with their show much better than those who only ordered drinks; keep that in mind if you do decide to go.

Saint-Jacques Tower

Arc de Triomphe

Deportation Memorial (Memorial de la Deportation)

Part of France’s dark history was their cooperation in the Nazi holocaust.  200,000 French were handed over to the nazis during this time. We got to visit this powerful memorial in Paris.

Pompidou Center

The pompidou was quite the interesting museum. It is the largest modern art museum in Europe. There were various street performers entertaining outside. Inside we got to see various artworks from famous artists. Some standout exhibits were the fox chair, a bunch of dead looking people in chairs, and Yoko Ono’s artwork : a video of butts – yes butts.