Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mine?! Mine?! Mine?!

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that a trip to the beach was mandatory.  I grabbed my equally beautiful girlfriend and made the 5 minute drive to the beach.  Can you believe it?  Just five minutes ago, I was at home surfing the web.  Now I'm at the edge of the continent, watching people surf the ocean.  I hope this is a luxury that Los Angelenos don't take for granted.  People travel thousands of miles to visit the beaches of Southern California.  We only need to put on some sun block and hop in the car.

I managed to find a parking space at the beach that still had 3.5 hours left on the meter.  I guess I'm still living up to the nickname "Parking Genie".

We found a nice spot on the beach as it wasn't very crowded at all.  There were a few families with young children and some leather-skinned ladies laying out to work on their tan.  FYI, if your skin starts to look like one of your dark brown leather boots, you're past the point of being attractive and you've totally missed the point of "tanning".

Leggo my Cheetos!
I sat down on the sand and just enjoyed the roar of the ocean and the warmth of the sun.  A seagull caught my attention as he began cawing triumphantly.  He had found a big bag of Cheetos that some kids had left with their belongings as they all went to play in the ocean.  He cawed only a few times and immediately jabbed at the bag of Cheetos with his beak, puncturing the bag with one well placed strike.  He wasted no time in eating the Cheetos as he swallowed them whole, occasionally looking up to see if anyone was watching him or encroaching on his territory.

Soon enough, a few more seagulls came around to the bag of Cheetos and this is when it got interesting.  I was watching the art of survival in it's rawest, purest form.  Some of the other seagulls cawed and puffed their wings to try and intimidate the original seagull, but he held his ground, cawing and puffing back.  Watching this exchange reminded me of the seagulls in "Finding Nemo", popping their heads into frame yelling "Mine?! Mine?! Mine?!"

I noticed that the original seagull was the only one pulling Cheetos out of the bag.  The other seagulls would wait for him to pull out a Cheeto and then try to steal it from his mouth.  Nobody tried to poke another hole in the bag or get their own Cheetos.  Why?  The world may never know, but this did remind me of how some people operate in the real world.  There are many people who wait for someone to do all the hard work and then try to steal or take credit for something that isn't theirs.

I'm often the seagull that figures out how to get the Cheetos out of the bag, and I've experienced many different instances where people are trying to take my Cheetos or the entire bag itself.  People have taken my ideas, pushed me out of my own projects or taken credit for work they didn't do.  Fortunately, nothing terribly bad has resulted from these instances; just a bruised ego and many lessons learned.  There are many people out there that just prey on others because it's easier to let someone else do all the hard work and then reap the benefits after having contributed nothing.  You have to be careful to not let yourself be manipulated by these people.

If you are the one that is always poking the box and doing all the trail blazing, don't change your ways.  Keep doing what you're doing, but protect yourself and be aware of who you surround yourself with.  It's not the end of the world if your idea is stolen or someone takes credit for your hard work.  Eventually, they won't be able to reproduce the results on their own and the world will realize that you are the only one with the skills to do the job.

Stay strong and don't stray from the essence of who you are!  Surround yourself with good people and inevitably, the right person will take notice of your talents and launch you to success.

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