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Hi Michelle

I belong to a mini group of women (there are five of us) here in my city who are high energy, funny and crazy. Well they have to be that if belong however I digress.

I'm in anytime. Just let me know how you want to start it. Hey we can do Skype

Hi Michele,
What a smart post, rich with great observations and questions. I see this kind of behavior often. Many people (clients too) I know wear this "I am more stressed than you or anyone else" thing - like a badge of honor. And the accompanying affect usually seems to be a sense of resignation. This is just the way it is.....of course in some cases it's very advanced, nearly addictive.
Eckhart Tolle calls it "our background unhappiness." It's that sense that something is always wrong or not working or not right yet.
I'm also realizing just how deep competition is in this culture. I wonder if its related to some of what we now know from neuroscience - that the brain is constantly trolling the environment for signs of threat or pleasure...maybe in some way, this satisfies both?
Great post,
PS love the term competing on misery

Thanks Mireille and Louise--Mireille, we definitely need to do a Skype call on this and the social artistry stuff. I will email you.

And Louise, thanks for your great comments. Tolle's observation is so accurate and I think that maybe there is something to the neuroscience of this, although at this point it feels very maladaptive. The competitive culture doesn't help, either. It's so deeply ingrained, though, that I'm not sure we always observe what we're doing. I know I often don't realize until after an interaction that I actually feel guilty for trying to have less anxiety and overwork in my life. That's pretty bizarre!

Dear Michele,

Hi. My name is David from Minnesota. I am an English Teacher by trade, but for the past four years have been a delivery driver for a large pizza chain. Like you, I decided for my "New Year", I would start making my own dreams come true. I used to work late hours and holiday without question, but I've realized that the "System" is created by people. In my case, they don't value family time, because we are open seven days a week, everyday of the year. Holiday pay, which used to be time-and-a-half has been taken away. It's all about money. I am all about people. I am starting up a business I believe in that reflects my values and priorities.

There is an old saying:

"Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat."

I'm creating my own life. I have suffered from the anxiety and tension of a job that is just not healthy. It creates too much tension and anxiety in my life and I am getting off the ride.

Thanks for the great article.

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