This article just came across my transom, courtesy of Lissa Boles.

It’s Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”, talking about what I call Micro-Rules and finding your *perfect* (whatever):

A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Career Advice…He Didn’t Expect This Response, But It’s Brilliant. 

Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs is an awesome guy. He can build or fix anything, he’s very entertaining, and has a great sense of humor. Mike also tells it like it is and gives great advice to others. A fan wrote him and asked him for some career advice:

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

– Parker Hall

And here’s the reply…

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”

“Not my type.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“I just know.”

“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.”

“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”

“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”

She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck,


PS. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

PPS. Think I should forward this to Claire?

That’s one more reason to like Mike Rowe. He’s too cool! If you enjoyed Mike’s advice, share it with others.

Source: The Real Mike Rowe

(found again at  April 7, 2016)

The most important line is in the last paragraph: “…most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

All I can add right now is “The grass is always greener where you water it!” – Listen for your own Micro-Rules that keep what you truly want far away from you. Make changes in how you talk to yourself, and to the Universe. Your world will change right along with you.

Blessings, all…



Is it okay to toot your own “Today’s my birthday” horn? All over the (inter-webs) place? (That’s the 19th- I’ve been working on this a while…)

Well, I suppose the answer to that is: Why the hell in Heaven’s Name (see item #1) not? Are all you friends-I-haven’t-met-yet supposed to “just know”? It’s not commonly a topic of on-line conversation, is it? It’s not like I’m gonna just insert a reminder in your calendar or anything… !



I’d like a visit from the “magic dishes fairy” so I never have to wash ’em again. they’re always clean when I want them to be! (“Phrase your Request in the positive voice” –ht to Bridget P!)
I *really want* in on this incredible “Effortless Productivity” webinar (via Carol Tice): (Listen to the interview, soon, folks. Even the invitation will yield AHah’s!) – but ^that^ ain’t currently gonna happen without some outside support*…
[I really, really want all of Ed’s ideas and hacks to “appear by osmosis” in my brain (in) and my gut, so I can multi-task those 6 hours “on something else”.]
I want for my TinyLittleThing to grow tall and strong…
and for the couple of GreatBigOMFGThings that try to crowd everything else out of my awareness, to relax and just keep flowing in “the right direction for me” without all that ruckus in my head!
Oh, and…
~ more Whirled Peas and less “Me, My, Mine & Fuck You and Yours”, 
~ less “outsourcing Customer Service to the customer”,
~ more composting and less Roundup(TM),
~ NO MORE FRACKING – like: STOP doing it TODAY! Forever!
~ more people Asking “And Then what ?” more often, and being Heeded, before the decisions are made…
Now? Hit publish! – It Is Done
*Contributions gratefully accepted at my (no spaces) kmjohannessen @ yahoo . com.
Hugs and Blessings forever…

I intend to make these Collected Wisdom posts a “thing” here. It remains to be seen whether they’ll be “regularly scheduled” or simply “as the Spirit moves me” but they will be frequent. (Hold me to that, please, dear Regular Readers!)


Ash Ambirge waxed eloquent (as usual) about “How to be a Human” this week.

… and incredibly apropos of That^^^ is this one from Jeff Hayden, a business blogger(!) at


DonnaOnTheBeach has been keeping track of her adventures in “Riding Wild Donkeys” … a metaphor for carving out a large-ish chunk of time and attention (like hours, or even days Oh My!) to work exclusively on Your Big Project.   Start here:  #2 is at  And here’s #3:


Into the stream of “mindful language” comes this from “the goddess known as Jacqueline Gates” : ~ Pay more attention to where your money *comes from* and stress less about where it’s going! (I followed her home from a comment she left, but I have no idea where…     This happens often in my world 🙂 )


And a closing thought, provided by my friend Merril:

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

(Thursday was Moby Dick‘s 161st anniversary)

From the Burnaby (BC) Teachers’ Association blog, via Caitlyn James at ImaginingBetter, originally published  in the local’s newsletter, The Whistle:

On Waitressing… and Teaching

The following article, by ex-waitress J. Boulanger, appeared first in the June 1993 issue of The Whistle .

We don’t seem to be getting through to you.  Teachers in this province are concerned for our students.  We need smaller class sizes and extra help when kids with special needs are integrated among the other 30 students in our class.

Hey, but you probably haven’t been a student in our classrooms for a while now.  Allow me to make a more relevant picture for you.

There’s a new restaurant in the neighborhood, and you decide to try it out for dinner.  The waitress is slow in getting to you, but she seems pleasant enough, and explains that due to lack of funds, the manager has given each server a larger amount of tables to service than is optimal.  You order your dinner and observe other customers while you are waiting.

The gentleman next to you seems a little confused.  When the waitress arrives, he tells her in halting English that he cannot read the menu.  She patiently reads it out to him, explaining each entry, makes some recommendations and then takes his order.  The woman across from you calls the waitress over and explains that she is a diabetic and her companion has anaphylactic reactions to foods containing nuts.  She asks for advice on what to order.  The waitress needs to check with the cook about this, and lets the woman know that it may take a little while, as the cook has no kitchen help, due to lack of funds, and is very busy.  You notice that at another table, a mentally handicapped customer is having some difficulties and has dropped all of his utensils several times.  Each time, the waitress patiently arrives with some new cutlery to replace the soiled ones.

Suddenly, a woman in the far corner, who has been drinking quite heavily, begins shouting loudly, making threatening gestures to surrounding customers.  The waitress quickly walks over to assist the waiter in that section to calm the customer.  On the way, she must explain to a disgruntled customer, waiting for service in her own section, that due to lack of funds a bouncer has not been hired, so it is necessary for the staff to assist each other whenever violent situations arise.

Your meal finally arrives.  It is of satisfactory quality, and to your amazement, the waitress has managed to get your meal to you still steaming hot.  You are perturbed that you had to wait such a long time, but can empathize with your waitress’ situation.  Throughout her hectic shift, she has maintained a calm, patient, caring and understanding exterior.  You tip her well, but know that you will never return to this eating establishment again.

Now let’s bring this back to the classroom.  You represent an “average” student.  The diabetic and the anaphylactic customers represent “special needs” students, perhaps severely learning disabled or physically disabled.  The mentally handicapped customer represents an “educable mentally handicapped student”.  The belligerent, potentially violent customer represents a “severe behavior disorder” student who is a potentially violent customer.  The man with halting English represents one of many “English as a Second Language” students (ESL).

The servers in this restaurant are teachers, and the cook’s helpers, bouncers, bussers and hosts/hostesses are the support personnel for those teachers (counselors, tutors, Learning Assistance teachers, ESL teachers, etc.).  You are lucky.  You can choose not to return to this restaurant.  Think about the kids.  They have no choice.  Think about the teachers.  Please try to understand.  We are not complaining without just cause.  We just want a better learning/teaching environment for our students, and yes, for ourselves.

The teachers who are not settling their contracts feel strongly that money needs to be directed towards their concerns, and that the money should not come out of their own salaries.  Think about it.  If you work really hard to make your customers happy, and more customers arrive, should your manager expect you to contribute your tips/wages to hire more staff?

If we aren’t happy with the “service” in our schools, how can we expect that cutting wages and reducing staff will make anything any better?

“Floggings will continue until morale improves” – You know that’s supposed to be a joke, not the way we really expect the world to work, right?

This isn’t a really new insight – but it’s a new image to tie it to, and a new explanation and answer-to-WHY??? .

via Flickr

{an even better image would be from the Buster Keaton film, “The General”, but you’ll have to find that one yourself  ;)}

…the mash-up of this post from Ariana Benefit, and this one, and part of my Soul Map reading by Lissa Boles (especially about identifying my “wound”), and a piece of convo from an old post at Caitlyn’s… (read the comments, too!). Come to think of it, Shanna talks about this stuff a lot, too (pick a post, any post… they’re all in my ‘tool kit’ and hard to separate out, now):

I WAS / AM that kid who’d be labelled ADHD, and ADD, and Gifted, and Socially-Retarded (maybe even Aspergers!), and Shy, and “too creative for my own good”, but unwilling to apply myself, and dreadfully “not living up to my potential”! (This majorly pissed off my kid sister, and helped drive a wedge between us that still causes problems…) if I was 12 now instead of fifty-something…

In grade school, I was also, in no particular order:  tall; heavy (“Chubby” according to the oh-so-sensitive marketers at Sears); smart; lived far away from everybody else; didn’t own a bike, but my folks had a Cadillac and a 20-year-old Buick (both weird cars, for the time and place); had parents easily 20 years older than the other kids’; and enjoyed talking to the teachers more than to most of the kids.


I’m not sure there’s a “Point” to this post – mostly it’s about recognizing the connections and relevances and relatednesses and influences that I have to work with,  and – and – and – yes, feeding my “Post Something, Dammit!” Monster… ~ also curing today’s “write it down and it’ll stop distracting you” …

Happy Friday ~ it’s snowing – gotta go – Yay!

Last week, Bridget Pilloud challenged everyone who played in her “Pick Your Color of the Year” sandbox to make a donation ‘somewhere’, along with asking her for a reading of their color.

My ‘somewhere’ is – a compilation of U.S. public school teachers’ classroom project-funding requests. You can browse projects and give any amount to the one that inspires you. (According to them, and my friends who are teachers, “[American] teachers are spending $1 billion from their own pockets each year on [classroom] supplies.”)

My current choice is Dictionary Blues – ‘cuz, yaknow, I’m all about ‘the books’, not-so-much ‘the gadgets’ or ‘the tech-toys’!

Won’t you join me, on this project or another one of your choice…


You can still use Bridget’s Color readings, too!

Pick your color and see what she has to say about a similar one. It won’t be personalized – that was only for the 1st 50 folks – but she’s posting her interpretations on her blog.

Here’s the first set (Reds, Pinks, Oranges):

I’ve got that feeling ~ 2012 is gonna ROCK!


Oh yeah – here’s my “Color”:


Here’s Bridget’s take on the Blues, Greens and Purples that readers chose for their Color –

And Yellow, Metallic, or a Mash-up –

And last but not least, the RoundUp –