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Leaning into the Game of Life

April 25 Sandra Wong

Life is hard… for everyone. With the recent suicide of my friend and the learnings of what happened with world famous tantric life coach Psalm Isadora and her back story and suicide has me questioning the meaning of life in a big way. If they can’t phase all this pain who are we and how are we better. Then came Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and her recent talks about self confidence and need for support as an empowered woman in society and now single mother.

I want to talk about some of the softer sides of business and the people inside them, because this is what matters most. People’s hearts, people’s lives, people’s issues, people’s mental health. Let’s lean into the game of life through it’s people. And that is essentially what company and culture is afterall. It’s people.

Much IT news is trending about Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and the journey she has went on since she first wrote the book ‘Lean In’ along with some industry stats about Silicon Valley and how bullshit that life it is. People are hurting and it’s because there is more to life than work and it’s being sold to us that if we don’t follow this model then we are failures. If our marriages don’t work then we are failures. If we can’t figure out relationships then we are failures. What and how much else can we fail at simply to satisfy what society wants and thinks is best for us.

Let’s reassess these messages fed to us daily in the media telling us how we have to be, how we have to look in order to be good enough or accepted or worthy of love. Where does this narrative come from and how long to play this game until you are simply just so sick of it.

“Now that Sheryl Sandberg is a single mom, she has announced, in a post on Facebook, that it’s understandable that single moms do not Lean In.

Here is some truth for you. Silicon Valley is full of shit. The feminist narrative of Silicon Valley, what’s up? Sheryl Sandberg spent years convincing women that they should idolize her and try to emulate her by “leaning in.” She has since backtracked on her Lean In diatribe. And she acknowledges that working full time in Silicon Valley while you have kids is only marginally possible.

Which is why most big companies in the area pay for women to freeze their eggs. Which is of course less of a perk and more of an insult to women since we really have no idea if freezing eggs works, and women are giving up their most fertile years.

And you already know that Silicon Valley is all white and Asian. But did you know that people in Silicon Valley don’t care? A recent survey shows that 80% of workers in Silicon Valley think their company is diverse. Yet in reality only 4% of workers are black or Latino.

The findings are not earth shattering because Silicon Valley has never been known for transparency or honesty. Entrepreneurs can’t talk about what is really going on with them or their company because it shows vulnerabilities to investors or to board members and then the value of the company goes down.

So people don’t show their true selves. Or the true reality of anything, really.”

Bonus Read: As Facebook’s chief operating officer, she is one of the most powerful women in the world. How did she cope with the sudden death of her husband?  “I was not shocked by the anger, not shocked by the sadness. But the self-confidence blow completely surprised me”  — This is what happens when we are instantly stripped of our security…false security or not and it takes years to overcome even if confidence was never an issues before. Feeling like a failure is a thing society places on all of us and why? Because we aren’t the dominant structure of what a ‘perfect family’ is suppose to be?

When Sandberg made mistakes in the early weeks back at work, her colleagues would brush them off with, “How could you keep things straight with all you’re going through?” It was exactly what she had said herself in the past to anyone struggling with personal problems. Now she saw that, far from making her feel better, it only damaged her self-confidence further. She found out what actually helped when she panicked to Zuckerberg about something she’d got wrong, and he responded, “Really? I thought you made a good point in that meeting and helped us make a better decision.” Empathy, she writes, “was nice but encouragement was better”.

Sometimes it’s hard to separate life from work because that’s the corporate and capitalistic structure of the world we live in. What are can do is have tools that can help us on a personal level. So what are some of these that I have implementing to make my own life better?

First, I’m choosing to fight BS with social transparency and personal honesty. This has never been more important to me in my life, and regardless of where this takes me by standing in my utmost authenticity with every ounce of integrity I have, I am choosing to do this.

Secondly, as cliche as this is, write a daily list of what you are grateful for. Im going to do it right now as I haven’t actually done it, so I’m going to start.

Today I am grateful for:

  • My daughter didn’t break her teeth today when she fell on her face cause she mummified herself in her jacket then tripped over a bump on the sidewalk
  • Hot cups of green tea
  • Speaker phones
  • Business opportunities based on my skillsets and what I like to do
  • Biore Strips (good skin is so important to feeling good)
  • Being able to travel
  • Gym across the street
  • Surviving such a long winter
  • Seeing flowers bloom outside
  • Yummy drinking water right from the tap
  • An amazing new cotton duvet
  • My super lux bathmat below my feet when I brush my teeth
  • 1 Unit Left at the Marquee

I guess life is pretty good on second thought. Being grateful is definitely something I need to remember EVERYDAY, regardless of what my mindset it.


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