Archives for June 2016

Is a Prevalent Thought Creating an American Epidemic?

The ultimate source of our happiness by BK of Flickr

The ultimate source of our happiness by BK of Flickr

 

In a MindValley podcast Marisa Peer, once touted as Britain’s best therapist, talked about the prevalence of the thought, “I am not enough.” She discussed its limiting impact on people worldwide. Ms. Peer called it the biggest disease affecting humanity and attributed it not just to unhappiness, but illness. The way she presented this recurring, primarily subconscious thought pattern, she made it sound as if it has reached epidemic proportions.

I wonder if there is a correlation between this prevalent paradigm and an epidemic that drives me to reach as many people as possible with solutions for their career. Though it seems like in previous years discontentment has inched down slightly, Gallup polls still maintain that nearly 70% of Americans are disengaged in their job. This disengagement costs US companies $350 billion per year, according to McLean and Company. I have seen some estimates at $550 billion. I do not know which number is right, but both substantiates an epidemic in my mind and begs the questions, “Why?” and “How do we fix it?”

Companies are not acknowledging this problem. Nor are they harnessing what we know about the brain and human performance optimization to hire appropriately and, once hired, help employees achieve utmost performance.

Workers are operating under an outdated paradigm that dictates work is not supposed to be enjoyable; it is merely what must be done.

People are in the wrong jobs; they either they never discovered their calling, were discouraged from pursuing it, or decided it was unobtainable because they are not enough.

If you consider yourself among the 70% of the disengaged, do you recognize that the underlying belief that you are not enough may have played a part? Then according to Ms. Peer, there are nine steps to mastermind your life and reverse the impact that this belief has had.

 

  1. Know you are enough.
  2. Praise yourself.
  3. Remove destructive criticism.
  4. Mindfully command yourself because your brain does exactly what you think.
  5. Be specific about the rewards you want because your brain moves you away from pain and toward pleasure.
  6. Be purposeful with the pictures and words in your head because they determine your thoughts.
  7. Do what you hate to do to get what you want.
  8. Do not take “no” for an answer.
  9. Take action every day.

 

If I had to boil down her advice to one practical step that has proven to be effective with her patients, herself and her daughter, it is to wake up every morning telling yourself that you are enough. Write it down and keep it visible so that you will see it multiple times throughout the day. Then reaffirm that you are enough at night before you go to bed.

 

As for the other possible causes of the disengagement epidemic, I will save them for future posts. In the meantime, I welcome your comments.

Are there other causes that you see that I have not mentioned? What solutions do you propose?

 

Dedicated to my dad because today is his birthday, and I recently learned he loves the Carpenters.
 

Did Your Job Break You?

Hands and Head by Timothy Actwell of Flickr

Hands and Head by Timothy Actwell of Flickr

When you are in an airplane far above the ground, you often consider that if anything were to go wrong you would most likely plummet to your death. It is very easy to see the risk. It is also easy to understand why some fear traveling by air and yet we know statistically we are far more likely to be hurt or die in a car accident. However, this is everyday life. We do not think about the risks as much, even though they are there all of the time.

Similarly, when we are faced with an offer for a less-than-ideal job while confronting mounting bills and not knowing where the money will come from, the decision seems obvious. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the risk of accepting a bad job. Therefore we do not mitigate the risk of having a job that breaks us.

What do we mean by this? There are two ways a job can break you and often times these ways coincide. One break is spiritual and the other is pragmatic.

If you have been working for a while, you might have had one of those days where you feel broken, where you have had a bad day. A bad day is not the same as having a job that breaks you down bit by bit psychologically and spiritually every day. It is much harder to notice when this happens because it usually happens gradually. Sadly, most people do not recognize how they have changed until they have reached a point of resignation.

Another way a job can break you is by breaking your path to prosperity. I understand that when faced with no income, accepting a lower income seems like a better choice, but please recognize that a setback in your income usually is not temporary; it impacts your trajectory for the rest of your life unless you know how to recover.

Spotting an employer who contributes to breaking you is not easy, even with sites like Glassdoor.com. It requires you to have the confidence to qualify them.

Furthermore, if you have not acquired the life skill of career transitioning, then you also lack the confidence to know that you can make something better happen. In turn, this makes you susceptible to being a victim of a bad employer.

If you do not think looking for a job sounds like fun or is something you would enjoy, I understand. It is like budgeting, not everyone enjoys it or finds it fun, but if you want to reach your financial goals it is worth doing. Additionally, there are many teachers and products to make the process less painful.

The same applies to your job search. Most people struggle to make something happen in their job search because they are unaware of the best ways to produce results. They make decisions based on fear and wind up in jobs that break them. However, everyone has the ability to learn and the capacity to apply better tools and techniques to produce greater momentum and better job offers. In fact, that is why we are here.

 

If you have found yourself broken by your job, or you balk at the process of job searching, check out our do-it-yourself tools or fill out a needs assessment form to have a free consultation and to explore one-on-one branding and coaching.

 

100 Things to Make You Smile When Life Doesn’t Look Like We Want It To

 

 

One Hundred by Mark Paz

One Hundred by Mark Paz

 

For my 100th LinkedIn post, I want to take a page from my daughter’s preschool and kindergarten classes. They use the hundredth day of school not only to celebrate a milestone I never even thought to celebrate, but to teach kids about the number 100. It is a pretty significant number, as numbers go.

I decided, inspired by the hundredth day of school (that we are now actually celebrating having come to an end), that I wanted to use my hundredth post to expand an exercise that my daughters and I have started to do to turn our attitude into gratitude. It is a way to quickly recover when our complaining turns into a negative tailspin. I’ll have them or they’ll have me make a list of things for which we are grateful. In regard to effectiveness, this makes us feel better 100% of the time.

I started this list with ten things that I feel could apply to anyone anywhere in the world at any given moment. However, I ask you to contribute comments with the things that you can always turn to make you feel grateful and happy, even when the world around you does not seem so happy. The exercise of doing so, I guarantee, will lift your spirits. You can also be certain that as others read your contributions, you will be raising the level of happiness in others.

Recommendation: the worse you feel the more items you add. Keep adding items until you feel better.

1. You can improve your health right now just by moving.

2. It does not rain every day everywhere.

3. The biggest, scariest creatures lived a long, long time ago.

4. Satellites make it easy to see anywhere in the world.

5. It is rare that the sky is not interesting to gaze upon.

6. Seeds represent infinite possibility.

7. When life was invented, I was invented to be a self-sustaining cycle of endings and new beginnings.

8. Each of us had a mom and a dad, whether we know them or not, they brought us into this world and made possible whatever we wanted to be possible.

9. We are one of the few animals that can laugh.

10. There is music… Sweet music.

 

The Career Revival Concert Is Born. Will You Be My Monday Morning Quarterback, Please?

Waldermere Revival by Parke Ladd of Flickr

Waldermere Revival by Parke Ladd of Flickr

 

It is ironic that when I was a young girl I learned the rules of football so that I could bond with my dad, only to find as an adult he is the person with whom I like watching football the least. He is not just a Monday morning quarterback, he is a “in the game quarterback,” much like a backseat driver, and he does that from the front seat. He is infamous for his last minute, “Turn left here now. Aw, you should’ve turned left there.”

“Dad, there was a car coming straight ahead, a car behind me, and I had no turn signal on.”

“You could’ve made it.”

As much as I dislike hearing his critiques of the plays, because watching the game does not make you an expert even though he had his days of glory, spectators’ opinions matter. If there were no spectators, there be no sport. Or rather, there would be no business around the sports that would sustain its survival.

How did people know Quidditch, Ultimate Frisbee, or team building corporate retreats would take off? They recognized a growing interest, gathered and implemented feedback about the event or sport involved.

The Career Revival Concert was born many years ago, actually.

Much like I knew my broadcasting background would eventually boost my entrepreneurial efforts, I began producing marketing videos and podcasts, and I also knew that some day my music penchant and my life’s calling would collide. Then I read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and he talked about a revival. Suddenly, I had a very clear vision of what this would look like.

However, now that I’ve finally brought this idea into the world, there is a lot of information that I need to gather, in order to figure out what the next steps of this event are. If you have found yourself bored by seminars, or disappointed that your enthusiasm to follow through after seminars waned, and you didn’t implement what you set out to achieve, then please take a few minutes to watch at least one of the songs and review the “What I know/what I still need to know” lists below and tell me what you think.

Take into consideration that hearing popular songs infused with inspirational and educational messages and lessons might spark and re-spark a motivation to get back on track toward your goals.

Here are the things I know about the event based on surveys we handed out, my own observations and feedback from my closest inner circle who were in attendance:

  • Most people want more.
  • Some people want less talking, but again they were there for open mic night and music, not talking.
  • People with diminished hearing could not hear me at all, so I would need a very good sound guy or girl to adjust the levels of the music so that there is a low sound bed underneath me while I’m talking. This means I would not want to talk over amazing guitar solos (or sax solos, or piano solos, or harmonica solos, etc.).
  • The pants I wore were not flattering.
  • The performance would have been better if we had done even a little practice.
  • The material would have been better if the integration between the lessons and music were planned and practiced.
  • There were things that I could have said and asked the audience to better engage them in the experiment.

 

Things I still need to figure out:

  • I still need to test whether there is a better way to integrate the talking with the music, or maybe I need to sing what it is I want to say.
  • If people know there is going to be talking within the song, would they still want less talking?
  • Would I charge for this and how much? (I was told by one of my business coaches that people pay for music, and I do, and I have to weigh what is more in alignment with my mission. If I use this event to generate revenue, I would have more capital to reinvest in improving our products and technology.)
  • It if were free, would I be wiling to find musicians, sound people, event staff, and venues who would volunteer their time and resources? Would I find sponsors or would I start a non-profit and apply for grants?
  • Should I partner with a big name in speaking or music? (That one seems obvious, right? But whom?)

 

Please watch the videos and answer the questions posed below, either in the comments or you can e-mail me directly at Karen@epiccareering.com (or LinkedIn message me).  You can be honest; I can take it!

What do you think of the mini Career Revival Concert?

____ Yes, I want more.
____ It was okay. Not my cup of tea.
____ I prefer the traditional seminar.
____ Yes, I would pay for more.
____ I like the music part best and don’t want talking over it.
____ If this was part of a bigger event, maybe.
____ I wouldn’t go, but I’d recommend it.

 

You’re the best!