Chip Is Alive!, Issue 16

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Welcome to Issue 16 of Chip Is Alive!, where we examine thought-provoking life strategies and issues which may or may not be of interest to you. Chip Is Alive! is inspired by Chip Vivant, the app who thinks he's alive and wants to be your friend and help you in ways that other productivity apps can't. You can meet Chip at

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In this issue, we'll discuss:

  • the important finding mental clarity before you make decisions
  • Tell them you care.

Enjoy. Feedback always welcome. If you enjoy this newsletter, please consider Liking the EmpathyNow Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Every little bit helps.

Lost, Sad, Confused

I recently spoke to a friend of mine who is in a situation I was in before. She's in a job with an unsupportive superior who is mentally abusive and demoralizing her. Almost all of my employment experiences have been overwhelmingly positive, but I have had one bad apple in my 20+ years in the working world, so I could definitely relate to her. I eventually ended up quitting my job but it was a tough decision to make because the money and benefits were good.

When I was in that bad situation, one of the things I realized in the depths of my despair was that my mental clarity was gone and that my decision-making ability was severely impaired. I had a long commute each way, worked in a toxic, stressful environment, and then came home and worked nights and weekends on a personal side project which my former business partner and I hoped to sell to extricate me from my employment position. The lack of sleep and toxic environment shot my ability to reason clearly to pieces.

When one's decision-making ability is impaired, it's not always easy to realize it. Fortunately, I did, and with the moral support of my business partner, I interviewed at another company, realized that despite the abuse I was getting at the company I was at, was highly employable and sought-after, and therefore decided to quit my job. Eventually, things ended up working out for me and I'm in a happy place now.

Speaking with my friend, I could tell that her morale and decision-making ability were similarly impaired. Her situation is more precarious because she's a government employee and not a software engineer like me, who can easily find work. Nevertheless, I told her that her highest priority must be to gain her mental clarity back at all costs so she had the ability to make good decisions.

Like me, she was still hoping that her boss would eventually see how abusive and unreasonable he was being. I had held out the same hope, especially since I want to believe in the good of people. The a-ha moment for me came ironically during a company-sponsored cruise the boss paid for. I had chartered a taxicab for the day and the Spanish-speaking cab driver took my family to the southernmost tip of Cozumel and I was pouring my heart out to him and he was very sympathetic and understanding. As he brought me back to the boat, he said: "Remember, if your boss doesn't like you, there's nothing you can do to change that." His words rung in my ears and I realized in the months that followed that he was correct. Walking away from that toxic environment was one of the best things I did, despite my fears, and my deeply-missed, much-cherished mental clarity finally came back.

Juggling Update

No juggling, since I was on the road these past two weeks. I have doubled down on Spanish, though. I'll keep you posted.

Chip's Tips: Tell Them You Care

Take a moment and send a message of love, friendship or encouragement to someone you care about and who might be experiencing some difficulty at the moment. I just did moments ago.

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