September 29, 2011

Embracing Positivity

I have been in a fantastic mood for about a week and a half to two weeks now. I know we all have a tendency to focus on the negative things that happen to us rather than the positive ones so I thought I'd do a little piece on this to counter-balance the natural flow a little bit.

The first thing you're probably wondering is "why?" I have no idea. There was no cause. Nothing happened. Nothing triggered it - Nothing I was aware of anyway. All of a sudden I woke up one morning and felt like, "yes!" All of the negative things I had been focusing on seemed like distant memories and in their place, I was filled with happy thoughts and looking forward to all the positive things. That's how I want to be all the time. Only focusing on the positive things that happen and completely disregarding negative things because they don't do me any good in the long run. It's put me in a great mood and my self-confidence (which was already way higher than is healthy) is now rocketing into the stratosphere.

It's not like I'm blissfully unaware of negative things that go on around me, I just don't care about them. I see bad things happening to or around me and I think, "Just forget it, man. It's only going to bring you down so why focus on it?" I've thought of a decent way of putting it: Letting go. You have to let go of all the negative things, embrace the positive things. Otherwise, what's the point? Who in their right mind would want to go through a life focusing on negative things the entire time? Not me. That would be depressing. Life is a never-ending string of infinite possibilities.

A lot of you might be thinking, "Yeah, sure. He'll never manage to keep up this attitude." You're absolutely right. At some point, something incredibly shitty will happen that will make me depressed for a while. But eventually I'm going to get over it and focus on the good again. How you see things is a choice. It doesn't have to be one way or any other way. It can change and you can change it to suit you. Our beliefs affect how we act, how we act obviously affects those around us. If you've got a chip on your shoulder, I don't think people are going to be lining up to eat it. But if you can exude a little positivity, maybe - just maybe - you can hook up with some other elements that make your life more positive. Kind of like trading benefits.

September 27, 2011

Analysis of a character and a few parallels to myself

In an attempt to pay homage to a series of books I love (and one character in particular), I thought it might be a nice idea to write about the character Imriel de la Courcel from the Kushiel book series by Jacqueline Carey.

First, a little bit of background information (this will undoubtedly contain some spoilers). Imriel is the son of Melisande Shahrizai, a beautiful woman and deadly traitor to the realm of Terre d'Ange. It is important to note that the fantasy world Carey created is essentially an alternate reality Earth with the map intact. The main difference is in some of the social tendencies in the varying countries, their names, and the addition of some magic to satisfy the fantasy aspect of the series. Make no mistake though, the series is not really about the magic but about the characters and how they eventually find peace with their god Elua's most blessed precept: Love as thou wilt. The premise of the series hit home with me in a big way since, below the logic and some cynicism, I am actually a huge romantic at heart. That, and clearly this sets the stage for some fantastic characters with real emotions. Fast-forwarding a little bit, the series delivers in a big way. I should note that, for anyone thinking about reading this, there is a lot of erotic content in the novels but it all has real purpose and the focus is more on the characters than any of the sex per say.

There were many characters in the series that I felt were particularly engaging but one stood out in my mind more than any other: Imriel de la Courcel. To begin with, Imriel has endured much trauma, having been kidnapped by slave traders at a young age and sold into the possession of an evil mad man and his mystical cult who worship Angra Mainyu, the lord of darkness (or evil in this case). To that effect, Imriel has seen unspeakable horrors, much of which were sexually based. Eventually he is rescued from Darsanga, the country in which this cult dwelt, by Phedre and Joscelin who are two heroes of Terre d'Ange. The second trilogy of books is told from Imriel's perspective and sees him deal with his emotional issues and position as a Prince of Terre d'Ange while finding his place in the world. This leads to him discovering and uniting with his true love by the end of the series.

Imriel is a character who feels deeply, which is something I can identify with. He has a self-awareness about him that plagues him at times like a guilty conscience when he believes he is not as good as he can be. He strives to be good and to do the right thing and feels intense guilt when he does not adhere to his own moral code. Imriel is slow to trust others after his experiences in Darsanga and is understandably self-absorbed, frequently plagued with nightmares of the events that befell him there.

One scene in the fourth book really sticks out in my mind. Imriel had made friends with Eamonn, a huge kid about his age who is also a prince in his land. However, Eamonn is vastly different from Imriel. He lives a relatively carefree life and has a very optimistic outlook. One day, when Imriel and Eamonn were staying at Imriel's summer residence of Montreve, the two find themselves in a local tavern chatting up some of the village girls. Eamonn manages to successfully get one such girl, Jeanette, to sleep with him after some more or less witty banter and several cups of wine while Imriel presumably remained in the main area of the tavern drinking. They returned later with grins on their faces. Before Imriel left he asked Jeanette, "Why him? I mean...I just wonder, that's all." She responds by stating, "Because he is happy." She then goes on to tell him that she has thought about hooking up with him, hoping that she would be the one who could pierce his brooding shell, but realizes that she is simple and could never hope to do so. This is particularly revealing as it shows that Imriel notices there is a distinct difference between himself and Eamonn. He might not have been aware of exactly what the difference was but discovers that it is the fact that he is not happy, whereas Eamonn is.

The thing I love the most about Imriel is that he struggles. It might be the way he broods over every little detail, but everything seems to be an uphill battle for him. But he fights and he will not stop fighting until he can make something better of himself.

It's a breath of fresh air to run into a character that is so real and so heartbreakingly human. For those of you wondering, he eventually does end up being happy, although he goes through a lot of unpleasantness to get there.

Having written this on a whim and without a plan, I know that I'm not doing the series or the character justice by the way that I've described things. Regardless, it means something to me because it makes me think and makes me compare myself to see how real I am - on the outside and on the inside. This is an introspective blog. Who else would write an introspective blog than someone who's a little self-absorbed, someone who broods a lot? I'm not afraid to admit that I do. This is probably obvious by this point, but I draw a lot of similarities between myself and Imriel. Clearly I've not been to Darsanga and have not and will not have even the slightest amount of misfortune in my life that he has, but this character feels on a scale that parallels my own. We might not feel all the same things, but we do feel them quite deeply. I think that's why I enjoyed reading about his adventures so much.

September 25, 2011

Second Write-Up for Professional Development

Qualitative research is a domain that is often ignored in popular academia. Most academics or research firms are more concerned with the collection and analysis of quantitative data and adherence to discrete methods. However, Dr. Van den Hoonard pointed out in her seminar on qualitative research that to pursue only quantitative solutions at the expense of qualitative ones may prove to be a grievous error.

Qualitative research has a deeply laid history. It began with the notion of positivism hundreds of years ago. Proponents of this ideal believed that reality was waiting to be discovered. Their studies were based on theories and hypotheses, cause and effect, and the exploration of social norms and laws. Above all else, positivists desired objectivity; this aspiration is also shared by those who practice qualitative research today.

There was a particular thought Dr. Van den Hoonard raised that resonated with me. She had quoted a passage, saying that if we believe a situation is real, it is real in its consequences. Thus, our own beliefs tended to affect the outcomes of various situations. The example she gave illuminated this fact: If a server believes that women are not as good tippers as men are, then that server will subconsciously give women worse service because that belief has festered in their mind.

This notion of our beliefs affecting outcomes is one that I would do well to heed in my life. I tend to have a very logical outlook on a lot of things. I will admit that my logic can be biased and, at times, that bias causes certain beliefs that manifest in my subconscious. Thinking along this thought pattern, I must be more willing to accept that people are good and have good motives or I may draw conclusions about them that are not fair by flawed tacit knowledge. If I was managing a company and I had some inaccurate belief in my subconscious, I would constantly seek to find problems with certain people working under me which would not be fair to them or myself since the person in question would be treated unfairly and also because I might miss out on opportunities to gain productivity out of that employee. It seems important that we take nothing for granted and try not to assume anything about people until we know it for sure.

Another portion of Dr. Van den Hoonard’s lecture focused on the students doing some qualitative research of our own – or at least the beginning steps of it. I went to the UNB Bookstore and observed people walking around the store and those who entered and left as well. I observed some things I may not have noticed before. I saw that many people walking into the store did so quickly and with purpose. Those walking out did so at a more leisurely pace and tried to appear as if they were busy with activities such as fidgeting with the bags containing their purchases or checking their cell phones. Very few walked in and out of the store at a leisurely pace and seemed to not busy themselves afterwards. I think that is one of the important facets of qualitative research: To be able to find things that you normally would not see unless you were looking for them. It is a skill we practice far too little in our daily lives and is something I believe can make me far more insightful as a person and a prospective manager.

Other concepts were discussed as well including sensitizing concepts and the composition of groups at firms or elsewhere. Civil inattention is one sensitizing concept that can be evidenced by anything such as people ignoring people who are having an argument or patrons in a cafe appearing to go about their routine even if another patron is doing something strange and interesting. There is a tendency to act like we ignore things because that process is more socially acceptable than involving ourselves in something that does not directly affect us. Another sensitizing concept is the fact that widows feel that they must keep up appearances to not seem overly depressed upon the death of their spouse for fear of driving others away. We also learned from qualitative research that ethnic groups identify themselves as separate entities both because they believe they are different and because those outside of their group perceive them as being different. Qualitative research seems like the study of what is normally unseen.

Social reality is constructed by social actors. That was the main message of the seminar for me. Things might not always be as they appear or we might not always see the true reality of a situation because the one that we have composed in our minds and beliefs is blocking our view of it. Qualitative research gives you an insight into this other world. I like to think of it as a breath of fresh air. I enjoy thinking outside of the box and employed inductive methods from time to time. As Dr. Van den Hoonard described, you get to take detours with qualitative methods that you cannot take with the rigidity of quantitative methods. These detours hold different truths that we may normally ignore. Ignoring these truths may prove quite grievous indeed as it holds the power to skew out view of the world into something we construct for ourselves – some type of fallacy – that may omit important details that we can use to enrich our lives and hone our skills as people in positions of authority. Many business topics are about the numbers. I think that if I am able to employ a qualitative look at things every now and then, I will be more successful in my MBA program and as a manager later in life.

September 24, 2011

So Complicated

As many of us know, I am a very complicated person. I want to take a moment to discuss the merits and detriments in regards to this innate quality of mine.

Being a complicated person means that I am a deep thinker. I consider myself to be very analytical and follow logic in a more or less iron-clad fashion. I am certainly capable of breaking the rules of this logic I have imposed upon myself since I am human but find that I do follow the trend more or less linearly. Although I am logical, I have the ability to think outside the box as well. There will always be certain constraints for any given situation but I like to think that I have the ability to bend those constraints to a purpose that is more pliable to my needs. If you sat me down and told me the rules of a game I would automatically look for any loopholes that might make winning easier. The same applies for getting what I want out of situations. I tend to gravitate towards other people who I find complicated. I think I need my mind to be occupied and that suits it well. People who are too simple (and maybe too well put together) are easy to figure out and therefore boring.

There are times when I wish I was less complicated. Things would be so much easier if I could flip a switch in my head labelled "simple." I wouldn't have to mentally go through all the combinations and permutations for a given event, I wouldn't have to have thoughts and feelings so complex that I cannot properly articulate them in the written sense.

People say you can't change who you are. I agree with that statement for any given time. I've mentioned in previous posts that I find the concept of identity to be fluid. In the same analogy, we can find our own personalities down the river at any given point. I think it's not that snapshot that really matters but the flow of that river. We should focus on how we got to where we are and not what we are. Maybe have a look at the why instead of the is.

In that vein, it seems kind of redundant to even talk about the merits and detriments of my being complicated. To address the why, I will say I am this way because it is necessary for me to be who I am. That, or I find it necessary and so I am.

September 17, 2011

Draft of First Write-Up for Professional Development

On the surface, the role of counselling in our lives seems arbitrary – much less in business. However, when one delves into the study of how counselling can improve our lives and perception, the topic has merit.

I must admit to being sceptical when considering the effectiveness of proper counselling. Despite this, I do see the logic in using it and the results it has on others. I’ve never been to a formal counsellor before. I’ve always assumed that I would be able to handle any mental hurdle that comes my way due to my ability in problem solving and because of my abundant self-confidence. During the seminar that Dr. Rice Fuller gave on Work-Life Balance, I was surprised by one piece of information that I learned.

I posed a question to Dr. Fuller asking his opinion on whether or not we should be more concerned with identifying problems and subsequently trying to solve them ourselves with little formality or if we should follow through on the status quo, which is to identify problems and then use established frameworks in an effort to derail them. He responded by stating that, in his profession, he has seen far more effectiveness using the existing methods than a more roundabout method. Having seen the results of counselling in people I know and others more anonymously, I am inclined to agree with him based on that empirical evidence. In reality, I was trying to steer the topic to some sort of new perception because we had discussed many similar topics until that point in the lecture. I wanted to throw in something completely alien to the concept and challenge the established notions. I was interested in the accountability of his stance and seeing if there were places that it could be broken down. Eventually he did yield on a point and agreed that many people will be able to identify their own problems and correct them themselves. However, he provided me with a counter-example that would play the role as an exception to this rule. He asked how we were supposed to handle outside factors that are not in our circle of control but had affected us nonetheless. As soon as he posed the question it was like a light bulb went off in my brain. I’m used to thinking inwardly and introspectively so it wasn’t natural for me to assume that outside factors could have a major influence on one’s state of mind. The example I had used is that, if I was getting stressed out studying, that I would eventually learn to take breaks and do something fun, thus increasing my own productivity in the long-run. However, if something had happened that was outside of my control such as someone dying or the actions of another person, it may not be that such a black and white response is applicable. I think that situation is the time when a counsellor comes into play. Simply put: they’re there to help with the problems in your life that you cannot solve yourself.

The topic hits home with me in a big way. In 2007, one of my closest friends from childhood died in a boating accident. The experience left me raw and more than likely depressed for a long time. I didn’t seek out counselling but I did talk to a lot of people about how I was feeling and why and eventually managed to make some peace with the event. Granted, it’s no cure, sometimes I do feel distinct sadness when remembering the event but I find I am now able to remember the good things about him instead of letting all the bad cloud my mind. If someone argued that I should have went to see a counsellor, they probably would’ve been right. But I was stubborn and knew I could deal with it in my own way. This was the exact type of situation that a counsellor would be most effective in and, had I gone to see one, I might have “gotten over it” much more quickly.

This can all relate to business and my MBA program as well. Knowing how to handle personal issues both from my own experience and from my knowledge of the counselling options available gives me an unique skill as a manager. If someone under my supervision is plagued by personal troubles I will be able to more effectively aid them in restoring their mental health and thus restoring their productivity.

Being in good mental health is something that can aid in my own productivity as well. If I am able to manage my time effectively by doing such things as taking time to think about an important decision, taking the proper amount and types of breaks and vacations, or even just knowing that I can say “no” to something that I find unreasonable in the workplace then I will be more valuable to my employers. It’s important to know that you are an asset to your company, that you are valuable, and that you are respected as a person. All of these skills correlate in that sense. They are additive and have the capacity to improve and remain over long periods of time.

Although I already had a fine working knowledge of counselling and the role it can provide in one’s Work-Life Balance, I am glad that I attended the seminar as it did cast a few topics in somewhat of a brighter light to me. The seminar made me realize that I often neglect the role of counselling in events that we have no control over. A re-hashing of essential skills needed to be successful in time management and life reminded me how valuable I am as a person and of the worth I would have to prospective employers. The skills will make me a better manager someday and hopefully a better person as well.

September 15, 2011

You are all a part of my evolution!

I feel obligated to inform you all that you are all a part of my evolution. Every person I meet, everyone involved in my life in some way – you all serve to make me better than I am or could have been otherwise. The same goes from your perspective as well. Knowing me has made you a better person.

A shout out to four incredible people (in alphabetical order by last name):

David Allen

You’re an amazing person. You want the best things in life and you won’t settle for your close friends having anything less than the best either. Your commitment to excellence and the passion with which you pursue your endeavours will forever inspire me. I’m truly lucky to have a friend like you.

Tyler Brown

You’re an all-around incredible person. You’ve got so many attributes that stand out in my mind. You’re funny, easy-going, and a pleasure to be around. You’re one of those people that I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life no matter what happens or where we end up. I value that more than you know.

Danielle d’Entremont

Candidate for the most bubbly person I know, haha. You’re so fun to be around and have that unique capacity to make even the rainiest day seem a little less bleak. But more than that, you’re so human too, and it’s a very refreshing thing to see. I don’t have to worry about ulterior motives with you because, well, you’re just you and that’s just fine!

Aaron Volk

You’re definitely the most complicated person I know and in many ways a mirror of my own soul. I love that you’ve helped bring out some sides of me that were buried deep down. I’ve got to say that we probably have the most complicated relationship (complicated in a good way) but we know how much our friendship means to one another and that means we’ll have each others backs when push comes to shove. I’m very happy to have met you.

Now don’t feel bad if I omitted you. I didn’t want to sit here all night writing this. There’s obviously a ton more people who have made huge impacts in my life. I just wanted to give these four a special shout out for always being there and being committed to me. Whether it’s been visits or calls in times of distress or just plain old drinking and bad decisions, they all carry weight and you guys might not often be told how much worth you have to me.

September 13, 2011

Change in Tastes?

I've been noticing a few things lately. I've been reflecting (what else is new?) and I was thinking about how I'm reading stuff now that I never had an interest in before. I also thought about how my interests are so different than when I was eighteen or nineteen and even more different than when I was even younger. All in all I've got to say that it seems like it's all been a really fucked up process. I mean, how the hell does that shit change so much? Am I changed so much from that time? Well, let's analyze some things and check it out.

So as far as reading goes I started out reading a very specific book series that is actually a pretty easy read. You guessed it: It's the Anne Bishop books. But holy shit, they're amazing in their own way. I remember when it was described to me: "Yeah, the main character is Daemon and he's the son of Saetan, and then Lucivar is his brother and they're killing people left, right, and centre." I have to admit, it seemed pretty fucked up to me at the time but I think that's what drew me to the series in the first place. So sure enough, I started reading it and it was actually really fun to read and I found I loved the world that she managed to create and the three main characters that live in it. They're all so pure and they definitely don't fuck around. So fast forward a bit and now I've got a crapload of the books - all but one, actually.

Then I tried another series and it was just too brutal for me to get started. I didn't have the patience to read something more complicated. So I tried a different one and found it to be more manageable despite the slow start (more on this one later). I ended up reading the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks and found it very compelling in ways. Overall, it was a nice story and there was a main character death in the middle of the series that really gave the whole story credibility. Just goes to show, it's not real unless someone dies. So I read that series too.

So I was thinking, "Great. Finished that. Now what the fuck do I read?" And that's when I found a sweet deal on a book at Christmas. It was Kushiel's Mercy by Jacqueline Carey. I already had one Carey book and I found it slow in the hundred pages I had already read. Naturally I had my reservations. However, the price was too good so I got the fucking thing as a Christmas gift to myself. And holy shit, what a good decision. It was the last book in the series but everything had already been established and it hit the ground running. Needless to say, I got hooked. After that one I read the first one in the series again. Fucking right. Now I love that series to death. There are so many things I love about it that I could never do it justice by explaining in this brief blog post. The fourth book in that series, though...Wow, what a fucking awesome book in my opinion.

Then I read a bunch of other shit. That was pretty good too. You know, trying to diversify and all that.

Currently, I'm back at a new Brent Weeks book and I've got to say that it's kind of pissing me off. Like, seriously. He goes and he explains shit. There's an island. There's a port. The land itself never means anything to the characters. It's like they're walking through a white room for the whole fucking book so far. Only when something is actually relevant to the story does it serve a purpose in description as land, or scenery, or whatever. But everything else? It doesn't fucking matter. It's like there's no point to it all. We could be in a desert, we could be in a rain forest, it's like with him IT'S THE SAME FUCKING THING. Really? Really, Brent? I understand fully that no one wants mundane details about buildings and stuff. I get that, I really do. But you can describe shit without going all Tolkien on our asses. You don't have to shove the description down our throat like a long marital aid. Just give the things some relevance. On the bright side, though, he's created a pretty original world with some really cool concepts and the characters don't seem that bland, so I do applaud him in that regard.

So that's the crux of the matter. Clearly my reading tastes have evolved. I can go back and read an author I've read before and find something that just pisses me off to no end. Now, all this shit was a lead-in to my other point, which is more general. If my reading tastes have changed, then who's to say that my taste in other shit hasn't changed too?

I think there's a lot of evidence for this: I'm now doing business and I started out in science, I'm actually reading quite a bit more than I used to and get real enjoyment out of it, I still write and probably just as badly (note I'm not even trying in this post), but I seem more commited to actually following through on the stuff I start writing.

As a person I think I've grown as well. Is growing the right word? I don't know. I'm different, I know that. I find I'm not as naive as I once was and, as a result, I'm not nearly as trusting either. I don't think my any means people are out to fuck me over but I am a lot more wary of the motives of people and what I show them about myself. That might explain a lot to a few of you out there who might have just gotten a big clue to something they've been wondering about.

I guess I don't know if it's growth and it doesn't matter anyway. It's a change. God knows I'm going to keep changing. It's going to be quite interesting to see where I end up next and in what context. Is my path going to continue linearly or will it meander? I'm not sure but I plan to have some fucking fun on the way.

September 11, 2011


A lot of people who know me would claim that I am a man who has no faith. They are partially right. I don't believe in a God persay, I don't subscribe to the notion that supernatural forces completely govern our life like some sort of fate. But I am a man of faith. I simply have faith in more solid concepts.

I've got faith in myself. I think it's the most important kind to have. No matter what happens to me I've got that boundless self-confidence and will always have some enthusiasm for trying to be better than I am.

People make a lot of mistakes. I often wonder things like, "Do they realize how stupid they're being?" Maybe they just can't see it from behind their faces. I don't know; I'm no fortune teller. But if I had to guess I'd say that people screw up because they don't believe in themselves. There's a lingering uncertainty there deep within, plaguing their decision-making process. It impedes their ability to see the obvious. It impedes their ability to see right and wrong.

I guess that all goes into perception too (as many things on this blog do). You might read this and think I'm being overly critical since no person has the ability to take everything from other perceptions and apply that to their own decisions. Maybe I am being critical. I do, however, think that I'm being reasonable. Especially if I know the person in question. If someone is making a decision that can potentially affect me down the road I want that decision to be made in the best confidence.

I think we need to stop looking to outside elements as a crutch and a source of strength. We need to look within. So many people can't see what's right in front of them. There's a lot of power there. People have the power to do good and change the world. Not the whole world, but someone's world. And sometimes changing one person's world means you saved that world. In that respect, I know I'm going to save the world someday. I believe.

September 4, 2011

A Beautiful Dreamscape

Dreams are one of the more perplexing illusions that we, as humans, must innevitably deal with. Dreams are extremely variable and have been the subject of much scrutiny in our culture. Ancient shamans and modern scholars alike have spent countless hours trying to decipher the messages of dreams.

By popular convention, dreams are theorized to have little or no meaning in our current era. The prevailing opinion is that they are the product of neurons firing off in the brain during sleep. This process stimulates the mind, which makes sense of the events by creating an unique "dream space" in which the images appear to take on a pronounced meaning. While this argument seems scientifically valid, we must be open to the possibility that the conventional theorem may not be entirely correct.

It may be that the answer does not lie in the mechanism of the dream but in our own experiences in ascribing meaning to it. By this statement, I argue that something does not need to initially "contain" meaning in order to be meaningful. In fact, in many occurances, I find that the opposite prevails. In my own life I have had entirely random events occur, with myself at their center, and have only deciphered or placed meaning on them after the fact. Dreams, like so many other things in life, don't necessarily have to be about the content but rather about what those events or things mean to us as individuals. In short, it's not what you dream but what you make of your dreams.

In the broad spectrum of things, it is indeed unnecessary to try to find meaning in dreams. As individuals we will tend to place meaning of them anyway. Despite this, the study of the meaning of dreams is not irrelevant as it may provide a window into our own thought processes. Sometimes that window might be the only way to see things outside of your house; to see things outside of your own mind space.

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

A certain famous quote has been sticking out in my mind as of late: "You can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need." I find the quote to be a maxim of sorts.

It might seem passing odd for someone like me, who usually gets what he wants, to think of such things. Though things usually work in my favor, there are a fair share of things that don't work out quite as well for me. I do hold that no matter what happens, I am given everything I require. Sometimes I'm simply given no more or no less than what is necessary.

A novel I read left a profound impression on me. The characters are more or less pious and find that sometimes The gods answer prayers sideways. I'm not zealous when it comes to religion but I do believe in unseen forces and in spirituality to varying extents. Though it shames me slightly to admit it, I take the notion as a sort of personal creed.

Maybe it's just my need for comfort when things go wrong or a human failing to need to believe in something other than myself, but I do find that those two quotes hold sway in my life. There is a certain grounding effect they have that I sometimes require. And who knows? Maybe my belief in them represents the You get what you need part.