Would you say this picture does a good job of representing how you currently judge yourself or maybe some aspect of yourself? For me it used to be a good way to represent how I felt about certain consequences arising from my own idiosyncratic manifestation of autism (explained below). Image Credit: Pixabay
Do you seem to have a few “bugs” in the design of your brain or body? Do you currently judge yourself to be defective in some way? Weird? Misshapen? Inappropriate? Do you judge some personal trait of yours — perhaps some characteristic, attribute, quality, habit, etc. — to be “too X”, where X is any one or more of the following: fat, skinny, big, small, ugly, attractive, bald, hairy, nice, mean, timid, rude, awkward, elegant, crude, refined, discolored, colorless, dry, moist, wrinkled, without texture, dark, light, boring, or interesting?
If that list doesn’t contain your own special X or maybe X’s, please don’t worry about it because it really doesn’t matter what it is that you judge to be wrong with yourself. Believe it or not, whatever your own “bugs” are, you can easily convert any or all of them into wonderful and thoroughly functional features. Whatever you currently judge to be wrong with you, you really can fix it, right now and for free.
The technique is simple, easy, and astonishingly effective. It is actually a brand new application of exactly the same creative process you use whenever, for example, you pry open a can of paint with a screw driver, or scrape your fingernails clean with the key to your front door. The general principle underlying this type of re-purposing can be summarized as follows:
Functionality/utility depend on context. A given person, place, thing, concept, quality, attribute, trait, characteristic, etc. is more or less functional/useful according to where and how it functions/is used.
This is true in general, but the goal here is to apply this general principle to the specific task of fixing some one or more of your own personal traits (i.e. characteristics, attributes, habits, qualities, etc.) that you yourself judge to be broken in some way (i.e. defective, wrong, ugly, etc.) As you read what follows, you may wish to keep in mind an example of such a personal trait so that you can fix it as you read, but for the sake of illustrating this process, I will use my own uncanny ability to induce some truly worrisome levels of frustration in at least some people.
This particular aspect of my own idiosyncratic manifestation of autism has tended to make my life quite the train wreck over the years, by which I mean, for example, that it once actually drove somebody to toss a knife at me, stabbing me in a knuckle; another person brandished a knife in my general direction; yet another felt compelled to obtain a restraining order against me; and countless others have expressed their frustration toward me via such diverse behaviors as teeth sucking, eye rolling, growling, cursing, screaming, walking away in a huff, refusing to speak to me for several days, or ever again (apparently). That last group includes mostly girlfriends and ex-bosses (not to mention the companies that employ them), but it also includes at least a few friends and family members as well. Although I have never been convicted of any crimes (nor committed any), and have remained friendly with both of my ex-wives, at least two ex-girlfriends, and perhaps 3 or 4 ex-bosses, all of that simply means that things might have been a whole lot worse, which is not to say that they were easy.
Now, in the past I would have taken care to qualify all of this, perhaps by writing “ability” instead of ability, where the quotation marks would signal that I’m using the word as a euphemism for personality defect or character flaw; or perhaps by explaining that “I’m not proud of this so-called ‘ability'” — thus implying that I was ashamed of it — or “never asked for it”, “never wanted it”, “never deliberately set out to frustrate anybody”, etc., but thanks to the process I’m about to share with you, I have almost completely changed my mind about all of that. Although I’m still not really proud of it, per se, I’m definitely not ashamed of it anymore either. In fact, I even feel quite privileged to have it — a real stroke of good luck rather than bad. Indeed, I see it now truly as an ability, and not some flaw or defect of my personality. For me, this thing that I can do — this ability I have to induce in at least some people truly worrisome levels of frustration — is (in my opinion) a genuine feature of my autistic neurology, and not a “bug”.
Here is how I re-purposed this “bug” in my autistic neurology so that it is now a useful feature of it.
I Became A Diversity Acceptance Consultant
Diversity Acceptance Consulting (DAC) is a brand new profession that I am actively trying to invent. For now I am doing this alone, but you are absolutely welcome to join me. The development of DAC as a profession is an open source project, by which I mean that it belongs to everyone, and anyone can help improve it, provided he or she doesn’t try to commandeer it and turn it into something proprietary.
DAC is nothing less than a simple, easy, and astonishingly effective means to instantly transform any of your “bugs” into a wonderfully useful feature — an easy way to fix anything you judge to be wrong with yourself, right now and for free. It does this by re-purposing your “bug” into a bonafide professional credential — your own, personal licence to get right to work in that particular area of DAC specialization. You can try it out right now with the specific example you chose above, but in order to illustrate how this re-purposing process works, I’ll use the aforementioned ability of mine to induce some truly worrisome levels of frustration in at least some people.
Let’s suppose that after interacting with someone, I notice that he or she is showing signs of frustration. Hopefully he didn’t just toss a knife at me or file a retraining order, but maybe he just sucked his teeth or rolled his eyes or maybe he said something to me like “CHEESES FUCK! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!” Whereas before I might have felt embarrassed, or even retorted with my own outburst (which never goes well), now that I’m a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, I can say something like this:
“I apologize if I’ve frustrated you. That is certainly not my intention. I’m actually a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant specializing in raising awareness, understanding, and acceptance of autism, and this because I’m actually autistic myself. If one knows anything useful about autism, one knows that it is fundamentally a communication disorder, and as a symptom of my own, idiosyncratic manifestation of autism, I am regrettably prone to inducing uncomfortable levels of frustration in at least some people, and although I can never be 100% certain, I find it quite likely that this is what is happening with you right now.”
Although I have yet to try out that particular script myself, I predict that it will be quite effective in diffusing the situation in question and opening up the possibility of a much less frustrating encounter. If that is indeed what happens, I can then follow up with something like the following:
“Thank you for working through that with me. May I ask you to rate my performance here as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant? Do you feel as though you now are more aware, understanding, and accepting of autism?”
If the person confirms that I have indeed been successful in my work, I can then say something like:
“Excellent! I’m glad to know that you now feel more aware, understanding, and accepting of autism. Now, please understand that I am a professional — this is how I make my living — and if you believe you are satisfied with my work here today, I invite you to consider paying me for it. You are not obligated to do so, of course, but if you wish to do so, I accept cash, checks, Master Card and Visa….”
Now, ideally the person would actually pay me, but really I suspect the greatest rewards that will accrue from this kind of work will be the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, not simply from a job well done, but in particular from the fact that I’ve helped raise awareness, understanding, and acceptance of autism.
This picture represents how I see my ability to frustrate people now that I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant. Image Credit: Pixabay
So that’s how I have been able to re-purpose one of my most serious “bugs”, but really the exact same process can be adapted to virtually anything from acne to zoophobia. Whatever it is that you currently judge to be wrong with you — whatever “bugs” you think you currently have in your own brain/body design — you now have an easy way to re-purpose them…
…Right now and for free!
Have fun and please let me know what you think in a comment, or by sending me an email via my Contact page.
That’s right, for free. But if you really enjoy and benefit from this post — or anything else you discover on my blog –you may wish to express your appreciation by hiring me retroactively to create it. How to do this is explained on my How to hire me retroactively page, which, by the way, you may copy and adapt to use on your own blog to make it easy for you to get started in your own career as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant! [Please remember, though, this is an open source thing, so you can copy and use it as is, but you have to allow others to do the same.]
Image Credit: Pixabay (Robot Self-Repair)