Personal development

Are You Getting the Optimal ROI on Your Wellness Plan? Checklist For You (Part 1)

 

85% of companies with 1000+ employees have wellness programs, mostly driven by an effort to contain healthcare costs and costs associated with lost productivity, absenteeism, and disengagement. However, a noted shortcoming, even of the most successful wellness programs, is adoption and consistent, long-term participation.

The average ROI for these programs is 6:1

3.27 ROI for medical costs and 2.73 on reduced absenteeism.

Doesn’t even take into account productivity and engagement that can be a tertiary benefit of wellness, nor further impacts on workplace safety, talent acquisition and retention, morale and community, also known as value on investment (VOI).

This is increasing all the time with better data and additional breakthroughs in

Below are components of successful wellness programs. Check how many you have:

  • Strong awareness and education, which usually requires heavily utilized internal communication channels
  • Cultures, policies, and environments that are consistent with wellness behaviors
  • Baseline evaluations tracking system, and regular progress assessments
  • Amenities on site, not just for fitness, but also meditation and hygiene
  • Group accountability and support without social pressure to engage
  • Reward-based vs. punitive incentivization, possibly even gamification
  • They have a dedicated administrator
  • Offer a variety of fitness and nutrition management options
  • Bottom line benefits are a byproduct, not the intention; the wellbeing of its people is the intention
  • It addresses the true keys to behavior change (habits and beliefs) and addresses the real reasons why people fall out, which can be a multitude of things, like life events, shame, and lack of desired or expected results
  • Holistic and integrative wellness that addresses all facets of wellbeing (Get our report, How Mindfulness Training Quickly Transforms Organizations here.)
    • Social
    • Emotional
    • Physical
    • Financial
    • Mental

Common reasons why wellness plans fall short of projected and/or optimal ROI include:

Lack of Awareness

On average, only 60% of employees aware that their company has a wellness program.  It takes a concerted and dedicated campaign to ensure that all employees are aware. It means that employees have to be reminded ongoingly. Managers also need to be trained and, often, policies adjusted.

This also aligns with the point that wellness programs need a dedicated leader and team, depending on the size of the organization, which adds expenses yet improves ROI, like any good investment. Many companies have appointed someone to lead wellness programs who still have to deliver on their primary role duties that are not wellness-related, like a Benefits Manager.

The effort has to be rolled out in collaboration with legal, marketing, human resources, finance, training and development, and potentially (ideally) vendors, coaches, and consultants. A wellness program leader needs ample time to communicate thoughtfully, as well as to assess status and progress thoroughly.  This leader also needs to be trusted and influential to coordinate all of the cultural, logistical and policy-based adjustments that may have to be made, as you’ll read below.

Also, if your employees have to report progress to someone who is a stakeholder in their performance, they may not feel safe being candid when a personal issue is interfering with wellness goals (and work.)

Low Participation

On average, 24% of employees participate and the ones most likely to participate already have active, healthy lifestyles. As organizations often find, inspiring people to voluntarily make hard changes is quite the challenge. Humans have a built-in survival-based resistance to change. Also, there’s no one silver bullet way to get a large population of people to want to change because we all have different drivers.

Few wellness programs include personalized coaching equipped not just to educate participants on the pragmatic steps of becoming healthier, but also to help each individual prospective participant identify what will inspire them to make and sustain changes in their behavior and lifestyle. Take into account all of the different REAL reasons why people veer off of wellness journeys and the real things that have been proven to augment physical health efforts.

Many learning and fitness programs have incorporated community due to the observation and a 2007 Harvard study that found that obesity is “contagious.” There is a belief, which seems to be supported by science, that people tend to be a product of the people with whom they surround themselves.

However, there are a lot of complex social intricacies that happen when one person tries to effectuate change in his or her own life. It can cause emotional, sometimes subconscious, negative reactions among a person’s social circle, including the social circle at work. Even when an individual makes a completely independent decision to change there can be social repercussions. Even when encouragement and peer pressure are absent, there can be adverse emotions. Encouragement is often perceived as pressure or shaming, even when the intention is pure, and cause even worse social backlash.

While participants can be coached in how to navigate these relationship complexities, the non-participants often remain unaware of their own resistance to change that can be spurred by someone close to them changing.  If there was a minimal coaching option, these employees could have someone there to help them recognize their resistance and emotion and make a more conscious decision versus letting resistance and emotion make the decisions for them.

The differences in how people come to change are frequently unacknowledged. Some people need data to buy into change. Some people need a compelling emotional outcome. Some will reject any idea that they feel is being imposed upon them. Some people will do something just because it’s the right thing to do and some tend to say yes to everyone else but themselves.  Each of these tendencies needs a different approach to encouraging new habits, and yet still people will change on their own time and terms.

Many companies institute smart policies on security that trains employees to protect corporate data, which promote this sense of distrust. Then employees are asked to share personal health, including mental health data, with a corporate or 3rd party resource.  The need to measure ROI is then communicated as more paramount than wellness. Some programs are all or nothing, and whether a person decides to commit or resist making lifestyle changes that could positively impact. Programs, therefore, need some flex to accommodate what a person is comfortable sharing and changing with the support that can help the person continue to build upon small changes.

The risk assessments and biometric screenings that employers offer can be perceived as an attempt to use fear to scare employees into change, but there are still a lot of people who would not act with that knowledge. In fact, it can make real change seem so unobtainable it can inspire resignation, denial and additional stress. They don’t have to be the only starting point. Already healthy employees are the ones more likely to participate.  Make it easy to start at 0 without having to confront an ugly starting point.

Encouraging employees to start with mindfulness and mini-meditations for stress relief, educating them with information on the scientific basis for it, can help employees start with something that requires little time and change, but lead to greater self-awareness. It is like a gateway drug for change. (Epic Careering is a specialist in Mindfulness, Mediation and Emotional Intelligence Training. Get our full report, How Mindfulness Training Quickly Transforms Organizations, here.)

More companies will find participation increase when obstacles of time and sacrifice are removed when there are flexible participation journeys offered, and when the stigma and relationship complexities of changing within social circles are alleviated from both sides with coaching.

Inherent Inhibitors

Some companies have programs that can’t be followed because actual work policies or facilities inhibit it. Whether it be the work hours, lack of showering facilities, lack of secure bike racks, or a cultural expectation that employees will work or meet during lunch. For example, employees can’t participate in walking Wednesdays if on Wednesdays their boss requires a report due after lunch. Some policies, like accrued sick time, will have more of your workforce in the office when they should be home.  It can keep them sick longer and spread the sickness to more of the workforce.

Some companies offer snacks as perks (or for cost) to employees, but they don’t necessarily qualify as healthy snacks. It may sound like a simple swap from unhealthy snacks to healthy snacks, but when you dig into how much is actually altered, it’s a bit easier to understand why such a simple change can cause resentment. Managers need the training to understand how to help employees vocalize and process even small changes, to reinforce leadership’s commitment to wellness without making employees feel dismissed.

Musculoskeletal issues are a primary reason for absenteeism and a real reason why many people veer off of physical fitness plans. Ergonomic workstations, standing desks, and FSAs (flex spending accounts) that employees can opt to allocate for proactive health efforts, such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, supplements, massage, will serve to augment efforts and reinforce the message that workforce wellness is a priority for the company’s leaders.

Don’t expect employees will be able to form work-based habits and regiments without accommodations to do so. Often companies don’t evaluate the logistical, procedural, and actual lifestyle challenges that keep so many people from making changes, whether a company sponsors and supports that change or not.  Creating lasting changes is already challenging enough; if companies really want their employees to enjoy significant improvements to their health, all policies and facilities need to be evaluated with the intention of eliminating any and all potential logistical, policy, or facility shortcomings. If the ROI of your wellness program is falling short of expectations, look here first.  When you want to level up your ROI, look here first. There is a lot that technology can do to help, and most of the capabilities that can help your company already has.

Next week I will be sharing Part 2 of the rest of this segment. Stay tuned!

 

The Pirates – “Mind Over Matter” (Temptations covering Nolan Strong)

Released in Sept. of 1962 This is The Pirates (aka THE TEMPTATIONS!) covering the Nolan Strong & the Diablos classic Detroit hit, “Mind Over Matter (I’m Gonna Make You Mine). Eddie Kendricks on lead vocals…

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Job Security Now Through 2030

 

While some prospective clients come to me hoping I can help them land somewhere “stable,” another group come to me because they realize that their companies’ stability has become golden handcuffs, and has held them back from reaching their full potential.

Even if this was the time when you could graduate, land at a large company, work with them for 30 years and retire with a great nest egg saved up, it may not be in your or the world’s best interest.

Retention does not equal engagement, and now we know what disengagement costs companies (something around $400B+ in the US alone.) The pace at which companies need to innovate and evolve is exponentially faster than it was, and that is predicted to continue accelerating exponentially throughout the 21st century. Ray Kurzweil, developer of the Law of Accelerating Returns, proposed back in 1999 that in the 21st century we would in face experience 20,000 years of progress compared to centuries past.

Companies are already finding that by the time they roll out the technology in a large enterprise, it’s already outdated, or even obsolete.

Whew. Starting to feel anxious? It’s possibly because your brain would really love to protect you from all this change, but even it is operating on a default mode that in a much different day and age would have helped you survive, though today it can mean the opposite – in life and in career.

This Saturday, I spoke at The Jump Start Your Job Search event on how to create your own job security. There were really three major efforts that I outlined:

Branding: Being intentional about how you want to be regarded and building either a campaign, for active job seekers, or a broadcast plan, for those well on-boarded and looking ahead, around that.

High Performance: Leveraging neuroscience breakthroughs in human performance optimization to continually expand and develop by creating habits of mini-practices that enhance critical thinking, creativity, intuition, emotional intelligence, resilience, and even health.

Personal and Professional Development: Rather than relying on your company to invest in your development, own it by consistently assessing your desired growth trajectory, studying the market, acquiring new skills, enhancing your self-awareness, and consuming and creating in equal proportions.

My proven hypothesis – Doing all three of these on a consistent basis, dedicating at least 10% of your budgeted time and money to them, will shift your career management from being exertive and exhausting to management and magnetic, thus leading to sustainable job security.

Caveat: I cannot promise you that the role that you want and/or have right now will be stable in the future. That’s because 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 don’t even exist right now.

However, by doing as advised above, you will become a master of adapting and evolving, reinventing yourself, and staying viable and valuable into the future, however it may be.

 

Fleetwood Mac – Don’t Stop (Official Music Video)

You’re watching the official music video for Fleetwood Mac – “Don’t Stop” from the 1977 album “Rumours”. The new Fleetwood Mac collection ’50 Years – Don’t Stop’ is available now. Get your copy here https://lnk.to/FM50 and check out North American tour dates below to see if the band is coming to a town near you.

 

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Difference Between Excuses and Obstacles

 

My oldest daughter, Daisy (8), is very bright and pretty strong for a string bean, so when she gives me excuses as to why things aren’t done, it’s really hard to except them. Usually, I push back telling her that I’m confident that she can solve the problem and get the job done, whatever the job is.  When she is forced to come up with a solution and finish the job, because it’s not getting done for her, she does find ways to solve the problem. Often she’s so proud of how she solved the problem she forgot that she didn’t want to do the job in the first place.  I really wouldn’t be doing her any favors by doing everything for her. It’s not my job; my job is to help her become a self-sufficient adult.

When she starts to complain that she can’t do something, she gets in trouble, because “can’t” is not a word I allow in my house. It’s always “I don’t know how yet.” I don’t know when she’ll learn, but if it’s the only thing I teacher, she will learn to know the difference between an excuse, an empowered choice, and an obstacle.

Excuses don’t serve anyone.

As we’re going into the third week in January, many people find that their resolve starts diminishing while others notice some desired improvements and that changes are easier this week than they were last week. It’s make or break time for your new habits, and I want to share something that will make you more self-aware of when you might sabotage yourself so that you can overcome what makes 80% of people fail at keeping new years resolutions.

This year will be different for you!

How Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, breaks out the stages habit forming as such –

Unbearable >>  Uncomfortable >> Unstoppable

During all of those stages, however, life happens. Until a habit is an automatic, unconscious choice, we have to constantly make decisions to follow through. Our brain doesn’t like change and constantly tries to help us get out of it. We have to be aware of this if we are going to override it. Pay attention to your self-talk during these decisive moments. You may just notice a pattern that has stopped you multiple times throughout your life, which gives you the potential for tremendous breakthroughs in every area of your life. Keeping a journal is a great way to track, measure and improve how frequently this self-talk interferes with keeping long-term goals.

When you notice this, start to reverse the self-talk in support of the long-term goal.

For instance, one thing I’ve noticed I have said in those moments:

“You deserve a treat. Don’t deprive yourself.”

But I also deserve to be happy and healthy, and if I’m not currently happy or healthy and the short-term desire doesn’t offer me long-term health or happiness, it isn’t offering me the SUCCESS I deserve.

I am not saying that I should deprive myself all the time, but the more I notice this thought and decide that I will delay gratification and treat myself in a way that will still enable me to keep on track, the less frequently I will give in to this self-talk.

Keep the long-term desire as visible as you can. Write it down or print out visual queues and post them where you are sure to see them frequently. It will be easier to keep your brain motivated toward the long-term goal versus whatever you think you want in the moment. You are 1.2 – 1.4 times more likely to achieve your goals if you do this.

Some things we have to legitimately prioritize higher than our goals and take care of, such as health emergencies. It’s not an excuse it is an empowering choice. Still, I know from my own personal experience that in the midst of goals in life challenges to achieving those goals, I probably gave up too soon on too many. That is not an empowering feeling.

A question I now ask myself and my daughter if I feel that I have to choose between an urgent priority and a long-term goal is, “Did I try everything? Is there a way to do both?”

For instance, my daughters and I came down with a chest cold last week, the second week I should have been back on my walking schedule after winter break. Usually, I walk the kids to school at least 4 out of 5 days and on 3 of those days do an extended 5K walk back home. It’s winter, but it was REALLY winter last week – windy and cold. I made an empowered choice to drive in the morning and afternoon. That could have been an excuse to not exercise at all. I even looked it up on google “Can you exercise with a chest cold?” What I found was that exercise in moderation is really good at helping to break up chest congestion. So, I did a dance class Monday and some yoga with resistance and basketball Friday.  Those days in between I just needed extra sleep. I did what I could, though.

If I had learned that exercising with a chest cold is bad, I would have made an empowering choice to rest.

Today, I’m back on my walking schedule. It actually feels harder to restart a goal than to start it in the first place, as Gretchen Rubin points out in Better Than Before.  It’s probably because you are more discouraged this time knowing how life got you off track, but if you can fight through to start again and keep up progress, you are more likely to get back on track in the future and reach your long-term goals.

In fact, if you can accept from the get-go that you will be able to roll with whatever life throws you and get back on track when challenges occur you will be less likely to see them as discouraging. And, had I not exercised in spite of not walking, my self-confidence and self-talk would make it that much harder to get back on track, because the problem would have been me – not my chest cold or the weather.

If the available data turns up no potential solutions, you are at an impasse – an obstacle. Don’t let the word fool you, though. Obstacles are almost always not permanent and new data and new solutions still may be possible. This may be when you ask for help from an expert, but you have to pick an expert who understands the nature of your particular obstacle.

For instance, if your parental responsibilities keep interfering with your ability to keep commitments to yourself around your goals, you need someone who has successfully navigated parenthood AND reached the other side. Furthermore, if you are a single parent, getting advice from a parent with a partner will not sound credible to you.

If your resolutions are career-oriented and you have any of the following challenges or obstacles, I can help you exponentially increase your chances of achieving your 2019 goals – set up a consultation:

On the job (Schedule a consultation):

  • Teams that resist change
  • Drama and lack of collaboration
  • High turnover
  • Frequent sick time
  • Lack of creative solutions
  • High disengagement/low productivity
  • Not attracting high caliber talent

In job transition (Schedule a consultation):

  • Unclear goals
  • Lack of results for time invested
  • Lack of responses
  • Always the runner up
  • Hate job seeking
  • Difficulty getting motivated
  • Not knowing what to do each day

Best wishes for an extraordinary 2019!

I get knocked down (Chumbawamba – Tubthumping)

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Shake Off Shame of Unmet 2018 Goals Before You Set New Goals

 

If you have any amount of ambition, you set goals.  Setting goals can be formal and structured, even coached, or it can be just a daydream that becomes an intention. If you do the former, then you have a written record of your 2018 goals. If the latter, take a bit of time right now to write down what you had hoped to accomplish in 2018, even if it was progress toward something you hope to happen in 2019 and beyond.

It’s time to review them before you set new goals for 2019. How does this make you feel?

If you’re excited to take them out, then you probably feel like or know that you have been consistently disciplined and motivated in taking action toward your goals, so you are probably confident that you reached all or most or came pretty close.  Take a look at the goals you didn’t achieve and if you experience any physiological changes when switching from your achieved goals to your unachieved goals, read on. If not, just keep doing what you did, and consider teaching it to the 97% of people who don’t engage in formal goal setting.

If you feel hesitant, if there is any inkling that you are afraid to look, you are already experiencing shame about potentially unmet 2018 goals.

It’s okay.  Just notice how you feel and note your awareness. There’s no sense in feeling shameful about feeling shameful. Give yourself 90 seconds to really be with this emotion. Notice where in your body you feel it.  It might be your forehead if your unmet goals lead to worry about the consequences. You might feel it in your shoulders and neck, or your chest or your stomach, but don’t be surprised if pain shows up somewhere unexpected, like a knee or fingers.

Once you’ve taken this time to allow these emotions to be, feel proud that you honored these emotions. Feel your heart open and send thoughts of gratitude for this new awareness, which you will use to set goals that are achievable and in alignment with your highest good.

Take a deep breath in, imagining that the new breath is new resolve, and then breathe out focusing on the spot where the sensations were the most intense and imagine the emotion is being channeled out. Take two more deep breaths, imagining that the resolve is now filling the space where the emotions were.

Now that you have allowed this energy to be in motion (“e-motion”) you will be able to review last year’s goals with a clearer mind and less judgment, which will enable you to better assess why you really didn’t achieve them. This is what’s really important in setting new goals that you are more likely to achieve.

If you don’t allow your energy to move, you might be inclined to be defensive and look at circumstances that prevented you from achieving your goals, which is fine, but ultimately leaves you disempowered to circumstances.

If you allow the shame to move through you, you can more clearly see where you could have been at cause for the outcomes, good or bad. It will be easier to take accountability without feeling self-blame. You become a better problem solver because you are now dealing with a reality you control, so you set up systems that enable you to achieve your goals, even with unfavorable circumstances. Take into consideration these and other potential circumstances, and make the plan now on how you will deal with them in 2019.

You may have already heard that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down. Additionally, Harvard Business School found that the 3% of MBA graduates who wrote down their goals earned 10X more than the 97% that didn’t over a 10-year period.

There are a ton of great goal guides and calendars or you can break down your goals into various project parts and milestones and put them into a project management app that will send you notifications like Asana.  You may also use the SMART method that I taught business students at Drexel University. You can also engage a coach like me to give you extra customized guidance and provide you with monthly external accountability some people need to maintain their progress.

Elle King – Shame (Official Video)

‘Shake the Spirit’ available now: http://smarturl.it/ShakeTheSpirit?IQid=yt iTunes: http://smarturl.it/xShame/itunes?IQid=yt Apple: http://smarturl.it/xShame/applemusic?IQid=yt Spotify: http://smarturl.it/xShame/spotify?IQid=yt Amazon:http://smarturl.it/xShame/az?IQid=yt Tidal: http://smarturl.it/xShame/tidal?IQid=yt Google Play:http://smarturl.it/xShame/googleplay?IQid=yt Follow Elle King: https://www.facebook.com/ElleKingMusic https://twitter.com/ElleKingMusic http://instagram.com/elleking http://elleking.com/ Directed by: Dano Cerny

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

 

We Are In Big Trouble If Leaders Don’t Start Doing This

Reflections

How do we shift from a world where rampant mental illness pushes people to the limits of their humanity to a world where we take good care of one another?

Could it be as simple as breathing??

Letting go?

Healing?

Processing?

Allowing?

Surrendering?

Choosing happiness?

Self-reflection may be simple, but it’s not easy.

I cherish my time for self-reflection. Without it, I tend to stay in a stressful loop. In a moment I might start to go down a rabbit hole, thinking about an interaction that I had or have to have. Without time to process these thoughts fully, they just stay in a loop.

There is something I am supposed to get from these repeating thoughts, which is why my brain keeps showing me it. I need to reveal it’s meaning, process my emotions about it, and then put it behind me as completed. If not, my energy gets sapped. I find it hard to focus and all tasks take longer. I may even procrastinate or escape into TV or social media. Still that thought loops.

It’s like when you are running late for something and you keep going back to your house for different things you forgot and it just gets later and later. Ever do that? Be in such a rush that you forget important things and it causes you to be even later?

I notice that if tasks and obligations, including my cherished kids and clients, keep me from giving these thoughts my full attention for a while, I start to resent them. I get short tempered. I set up boundaries to protect myself. I have more freedom to do so because I am self-employed. Still, when I accept work, I make a commitment and that commitment has to be fulfilled. I don’t always see a busy time coming and I get stuck

However, companies need to adopt a self-care culture to allow their people to grow and develop not just skill wise, but in their consciousness. Our planet actually depends on it!

Otherwise, we get unconscious producers in power, focused only on producing hard results without consideration of consequences. This explains situational greed, a neuroscience concept I introduced in a previous blog in which the brain starts to rewire itself to pursue more power and/and possessions, sometimes even becoming addicted to the dopamine release of acquiring more power and/or possessions. Without being able to regularly take time, which becomes even harder as you take on more responsibility and authority, this can go unchecked and lead to a host of toxic conditions and detrimental consequences.

Without that time, I could not have written this!

A balance, however elusive, appears to be the more accurate place from which to make critical decisions that impact many.

Not work-life balance, but production and reflection balance. An employer can’t assume its employees are doing this at home.

This is a generalization, but often those at the top of the income chain employ the assistance of others to take care of admin/housekeeping, even child rearing. But do they use the time that is freed from those tasks for reflection? Or, do they use that time to produce or feed ego?

Most other people, including top producers, are going home and attacking a busy kid activity and homework schedule plus a home care task list. Then they zone out consuming media because they are mentally and emotionally exhausted – another generalization, I realize.

Still, I think it’s fair to say the general workforce is not in the habit of making time for self-reflection, and if they are, they doing it incompletely and getting stuck in the loop I described above.

The loops below are a much better model for conscious growth, whether you are a leader or a producer:

Achieving Conscious Leadership

 

  1. Consumption – Make plans based on new insights, illuminations, teachings
  2. Reflection – Consider how people and planet will be impacted directly and indirectly
  3. Production – Set goals and intentions and execute
  4. Reflection – Examine direct and indirect impacts, as well as own performance relative to higher self

The key is self-intimacy (into-me-I-see). Not just asking how was it, evaluating in terms of results, profits, etc., but asking how was I. Sometimes the answers aren’t good, and the ego doesn’t like them.

But the higher self, the one who wants to continually evolve into a better and better person, a better leader and a more positive influence on the people around them, needs them.

Coincidentally, I came across this warning signs list this morning. I thought someone might need this more than music, so I’m sharing it.

https://www.higherperspectives.com/warning-signs-nervous-breakdown-2610845741.html

The Perfect Pass, and I Dropped the Ball

I was given the perfect opening, and I dropped the ball.

It’s really odd. I had my HR Summit presentation for the Greater Valley Forge Human Resources Association finished a couple months before I had to deliver it. I had plenty of time to learn it. I switched things around several times, including at the last minute because I learned something I had to pass on.

Then, I get into the groove, I was asked a question for which the answer aligned perfectly with the new juicy nugget I wanted to pass on, and not only did I totally whiff on delivering it then, I forgot to deliver it at all!

I shared it in last week’s blog, actually. But I was presented with the perfect practical application of that, which would have served as an eye-opening, a-ha moment for many, I just know it, and I didn’t deliver.

I told everyone to look up and follow Cy Wakeman. I’m sure I got that much out, and I mentioned her insights on open-door policies and a new communication training that if executives and employees alike were both trained in and applied it, careering would be epic on so many more levels. I just failed to demonstrate it when someone confronted me with a perfect scenario.

So, this blog is a make up for my omission that you get to benefit from, as well.

The scenario presented (I’m going to keep this general so as to protect the person who shared,) was that a person was hired to work with leaders in promoting the company, but is not finding leaders participatory.

She was given the following advice, some from me and some from other attendees:

  • Go after the most willing convert
  • Get an influencer on board
  • Ease them in gradually
  • Do it all at once; rip off the Band-Aid

Any of this advice might be right, but the opportunity was not to give advice. Actually, it was to ask self-reflective questions to restore this person’s empowerment.

Things I should have asked her:

  • What do you know for certain?
  • What can do you to move forward?
  • If you were great in this situation, what would that look like? [Great, go do that.]

Instead, I commiserated. I actually said, “That sucks! I’m sorry you’re in such a tough position.”

I’m sure the validation made her feel a little bit better, but what would have felt even better was being able to see clearly what she could do and then being empowered and encouraged to do that.

There’s so much I have yet to learn from Cy, including her views on change management, which so far I discern are contrarian to what I see being implemented in corporate practices. Times are a-changing, though. We all NEED to be able to adapt faster.

This technique of switching from ego-self to higher self in an instant is just one of many potential mini-practices that stand to make a HUGE impact on the everyday work experience.

I know if I had more than a week to practice it, it would have felt like the natural response.

In spite of my regret not sharing it live at the event when the perfect moment presented itself, I’ll assume it worked out for everyone’s favor that I share it this way, and I’ll continue to practice it myself.

It’s what I know I can do, and it feels better to do what I can than to worry about not having done it already.

I also forgot to make sure everyone got my free gift, so click here for a report on Experiential Recruiting.

Bob Dylan The Times They Are A Changin’ 1964

TV Movie, The Times They are a Changing’ (1964) Directed by: Daryl Duke Starring: Bob Dylan

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play.

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales.

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019, and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

When Someone Slanders You At Work

Gossip=workplace violence

Gossip-Violence

I was bullied and picked on as a kid, and there were things I wish I had understood then that might have led me to spend fewer days broken and miserable by it, though I also see that was part of my journey now.

#1 – “Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.” (This quote has been attributed to so many different people, or I’d give you the source.) UNLESS, your reputation supports your livelihood OR you want to grow and develop into a better person. It’s a great time for self-reflection, but don’t obsess. Here’s where it would be helpful to know – are the negative things based on opinion/bias, or were they related to something you did/said?

#2 – “Hurt people hurt people.” (same for this quote) Sometimes the people who need the most compassion are the ones who show the least. This person may have felt hurt, either by you or another, and subconsciously think that they will feel better if they inflict hurt upon someone else, as if that makes the world a more fair place. In this case, though I know how hard and scary it might be, confront them with compassion.

By nature, we tend to want to make ourselves look good/right, and sometimes that means making other people look bad/wrong. If it might have been you who hurt them, sincerely ask them what you did, how they feel, listen, take accountability, apologize, and promise that you’ll never do it again. Let them be right; take the hit of being wrong. You’ll feel/look better in the end and you will have grown, learned and developed from it – all of which helps you be a better human, friend, collaborator, etc.

If you don’t think it was you, ask them, “Did you ever feel like the world was unfair?” Get them talking and listen. This type of conversation can be completely transformative for both/all parties.

#3 – “Misery loves company.” (Who knows where this originated. Some theorize the ancient Greeks.) Just watch the below video. While bullies fit into the above category, the power struggle has a bit of a different dynamic, because they will be more relentless to make you feel bad. I don’t know if you’re a boy/man or girl/woman, but girl bullying is more psychological than physical. Being excluded and being the subject of gossip is often the M.O. Just don’t get caught up in doing it back. The best revenge is being happy in spite of their efforts – make sure they see you having fun. Have more than one group of friends. Though I’m still friends with my core group of friends, I also still (20+ years later) keep in touch with other groups of friends, too.

#4 – “A troll is a troll is a troll.” (Me) People see these trolls for what they are – bored and miserable. They fit into #2, too. Guy Kawasaki recommends, if the comment/complaint is even worth a response for the sake of maintaining integrity in your point/message, give him/her your best, witty, intelligent response and drop the mic. You can also follow Sarah Silverman’s example:

Sarah Silverman’s response to a Twitter troll is a master class in compassion | CBC Radio

I’ve learned many ways of coping with this, and here are two good ones:

Think of 3 reasons that this person might have done this. It will help you develop a sense of compassion and understanding, which is the bridge from misery to peace. It can help you decide if you need to take further action or not.

Another is to just forgive – recognize that we’re all dealing with our own stuff, and how we see other people is a reflection of how we see ourselves. The better we are at letting go of these hurts, the less they weigh us down, the higher we can soar. I just shared a mini-hypnotherapy season on this: Hypnotherapy by Karen Huller

Of course, if someone is ruining your reputation and that reputation is something you need for your livelihood, you need to decide if restoring your reputation would require a rebuttal or a reconciliation.

After hitting a slump in placements as a recruiter, my boss had me working under a mentor who was killing it in placements. After 2-3 months my mentor confirmed to my boss that I was doing everything that I was supposed to be doing, which raised questions about the feedback he was receiving from a couple of account managers with whom I was paired regarding a lack of quality candidates. My boss invited me to, right then and there, ask the two account managers into a meeting with me, him, another VP to whom I reported, and my mentor. I was delighted to clear the air.

This was done in a formal, professional, non-confrontational manner. It was an opportunity for me to ask for feedback that would actually help me perform better and be a better contributor. That’s how I approached it. The outcome was completely in my favor.

He let me take the lead. I asked them to provide specific examples – job orders assigned to me for which they received not enough or no qualified candidates. One of those account managers took accountability for not properly qualifying job requirements and not getting quality feedback on candidates submitted. The other could only provide general feedback – no specifics.

My boss concluded that it was a perception issue, not a performance issue. Looking back I realize that my results, or lack thereof, was also a function of my disengagement in the activities. I was taking the steps necessary, but my mindset was not in it. That took years of self-reflection and additional coaching to identify.

Everything worked out as it was meant to, though. A few months after this I started this business. That was 12 years ago. I’m glad I moved on, but also very glad to have left with my reputation in tact, as my co-workers and former boss continue to refer clients and opportunities to me.

If you feel you are being unfairly assessed, initiate a similar type of meeting in the spirit of self-betterment. You may learn something about how to be more successful there, or you may learn that you just aren’t in the right culture to thrive. Do something with what you learn, either way.

My boss was working with a coach who I am sure influenced his approach to resolving this, and he made this coach available to anyone on the team as well. I know I benefited from that coach. She helped me reach a place where I can say with confidence I gave it all I had, identify some blind spots, and plan my exit after realizing that my best in that role in that company was far from what I could give in this capacity (career coach/professional branding consultant.)  I do for others what she did for me. I recommend getting one.

Adele – 21 – Rumor Has It – Album version

Adele 21 Rumor Has It She, she ain’t real, She ain’t gonna be able to love you like I will, She is a stranger, You and I have history, Or don’t you remember? Sure, she’s got it all, But, baby, is that really what you want?

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

What Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness Training ISN’T

By Bruce Mars

Woman_mirror

Why is emotional intelligence suddenly so touted as a major leadership skill?

Because we know a lot more about what makes people tick, what motivates them, and what inspires top performance than we ever did before. HINT: It’s not the old dominant intimidation model that helped the moguls of the past become monopolists (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie.)

Industry was built by men during a time when being a man meant being tough, not showing weakness (by ways of emotions,) making decisions and demanding compliance, or else. The line between respect and fear was very thin.

Research done in 2005 proves that greedy entrepreneurs have less customer and employee satisfaction.

The more a leader gives freely, the more they will inspire trust and reciprocated financial and emotional rewards. The more they create a climate of lack, the more survival instincts will lead to cut-throat competitiveness that kills collaboration.

I mean, science does tell us this, but common sense might also tell you that starving people of rest, sleep, joy, living wages, and sometimes actual food will inhibit their performance. But that doesn’t mean that it’s common sense to make sure that your employees get ample rest, sleep, food, vacation time, fun, and money. That sounds like common sense, right?

What about starving people from being heard, having a voice, growing in contribution, having and expressing emotions, and being human?

We are learning more about what it means to be human and what it means to be an optimized human. So much has been discovered about the brain and its relationship with the mind, body, and spirit.

Did you know there actually is a part of your brain related to spirit? The insula and anterior cingulate, which also help you process social dilemmas. These are “newer” parts of our brain, evolutionarily. However, they are also parts of the brain we didn’t know much about, especially the implications of its clinical function, when many of today’s leaders were in college. And, these areas don’t fully develop until well into your third decade of life, unless this is accelerated (and development can be with practices that take mere minutes daily.) In fact, while they are the slowest developing parts of our brain, they are critical to helping us with perception, morality, and virtues.

So, it would stand to reason that this type of training certainly benefits everyone, especially younger professionals, and perhaps even students.

However, a major focus is on leaders for obvious top-down reasons, like the fact that a leader is more effective when he or she leads by example, and leaders are expected to set the tone for the culture. But also, science now recognizes that as someone grows in ambition, they may express what is being called situational greed. Greed can contribute to amassing wealth, but can also cause people to act unfairly and selfishly, which will inspire altruistic punishment instead of cooperation and collaboration. It can also lead to full-blown crisis, such as the great recession. It needs to be kept in check, and for that, awareness is necessary. So, emotional intelligence and mindfulness training will also prevent leaders from a well-documented inclination that can lead to decisions that inspire low satisfaction, disengagement, and even sabotage.

On the upside…

What would be possible for your company if all of your employees could be trusted to act in the highest good of the company, its people, and its employees?

What would happen if, instead of having leaders who were able to leverage the strengths of his or her team, you have a team that can leverage each others’ strengths?

If this seems like a pie in the sky outcome, you may need to readjust your expectations of what is possible, and even what’s probable when you focus on enhancing individual self-awareness and empathy.

Think about all of the measures you take now to handle conflicts, ensure compliance, and mitigate human-based risks. You’ve been playing defense. I invite you to see what’s possible when you employ EI/MT (Emotional Intelligence/Mindfulness) training and start playing offense.

Small ripples create big, transformative waves.

What is EI/MT NOT?

It’s not just explaining etiquette. It’s not teaching ethics. It’s not a new way to make some people feel inferior or superior. It’s not going to make your employees “soft.” It’s not suppressing or denying emotions or emotional responses. It’s not a way to avoid conflict.

In fact, it’s going to help your employees become more self-sufficient at facilitating non-judgmental communications and consensus building. They will crave collaboration, think more creatively, and have healthier relationships with their emotions.

I have seen mindfulness be misapplied and misused to discourage people from disputing management decisions that seem to not be in the highest good. I have also seen people employ mindfulness and meditation to escape their emotions. These misuses backfire in big ways. The first is really bordering on mental abuse, and the second will lead to physical symptoms and illness. What we resist persists. Emotions need to be embraced and allowed. What the training does is release emotional bottlenecks and give them a more appropriate and healthful way to flow. It also increases awareness of the emotions so that decision making is done in an enhanced state of mind.

I have also seen those who have the training make others who are struggling emotionally feel like they need fixing. If you have been playing defense, the introduction of these trainings risks imposing these feelings. There is a way to introduce these trainings to your workforce that will help them embrace the changes and get excited about all that is possible for them rather than making them feel like they are joining a woo woo club of spiritual elitists.

Finally, these practices may produce a flow state, but that doesn’t mean that your workforce will suddenly become “soft” and unable or unwilling to deal with pressure. In fact, mindfulness has been proven to increase resilience.

I know a lot has been floating around about trainings of this type, which are not new, but have now at least been proven by small and large organizations to have a positive impact. If your interest is piqued, reach out to schedule a consultation and learn how EI and Mindfulness training can enhance your work experience and outcomes and those of your team.

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – What I Am

Music video by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians performing What I Am. (C) 1988 Geffen Records

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and recently instructed for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cabrini College, where her students won the national competition and were named America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Think There Is Nothing You Can Do About North Korea? Think Again!

Part 3 in the MindValley Reunion=Mind Blown series, which continues next week

Have you ever been to a live learning event? It could be a conference, or a seminar, or a Ted talk. Have you ever been awe-inspired by what you learned? Did you have an epiphany that changed your life, or did you realize something about who you are that altered your idea of yourself and the world?

If you have, then you know it’s an experience worth doing again, and yet life and obligations can push it down our priority list, as powerful as we know it has the potential to be.

If you have not, you may be initially out of your comfort zone, especially when efforts are made to have you fully integrate and become acquainted with your fellow attendees, but if you are willing and able to open your heart and mind to new possibilities, you WILL take with you insights that are bound to change the trajectory of your life, if you are also then able to apply them, and given you have found the right event.

Last week I shared with you that the MindValley Reunion in San Diego August 19th and 20th was one of those such events.

Over the next several weeks, I intend to relay to you some of the most influential moments and teachings for me. Even though all in all it was just 16+ hours of experience, my challenge will be trying to capture the power of the moments, and I’m still only on things revealed by the host, Mia Lux Koning, in the initial opening of the event.

Lux means light, and I can attest to how she illuminated some very interesting observations that started off my experience in such a thought provoking way, setting the tone for a bombardment of illuminations. One I covered last week, how some people perceive personal transformation to be selfish. [http://epiccareering.com/personal-development-selfish/]

This week, I want to focus on her observation that personal development has not yet been adopted widely by people on the East coast (of the US). She has traveled all over the world with MindValley, and lives on the East coast, as do I. I have noticed that many of the personal development coaches that I have learned from live on the West coast.

That always left me wondering, as I do sometimes when it comes to my clients’ decisions to relocate to an industry hub, as well as my own questions in my youth when I considered pursuing a career in music if I should go to New York or Los Angeles or make a name for my home metropolis, Philly, like Boyz II Men or The Roots. If what you want to change the world or make a name for yourself, do aim to be a big fish in a little pond, and then upgrade, or dive into a pond full of sharks as a little fish? And, does where you live even matter in this connected world where people collaborate remotely with ease?

If what I want is for more people to realize the integral role that personal development has in achieving goals in any realm of life, do I go to where people are already in alignment with that concept and capture that audience, or do I meet the rest of the people where they are at, earn their trust, build rapport and leverage that to influence them to experiment with various techniques and tools?

So many other questions were spurred by this one observation. I attempted to speak with Mia about them, but you can imagine how busy she was; we only had a total of 3 minutes or so to speak, total.

Some of these questions were spurred by things I had learned previously from MindValley teachers, such as Christie Marie Sheldon, and authors, such as Lynne McTaggart [The Field, The Intention Experiment.] Follow this like a theorem, if you can remember learning those. If all of the following are true, then… (read the bullets below and then see my assertion.)

  • Jeffrey Allen, a Saturday speaker at the MindValley Reunion, pointed out that the Earth, as scientifically measured, is vibrating at an exponentially higher rate than in the past, and that vibration continues to increase exponentially. In the 1970s, the earth’s vibration was 7.83 Hz. In 2014, it was ~ 24 Hz. Today it is 40 Hz. This increase is true of the human species as well. Our vibration is increasing at the same ratio. (More on Jeffrey Allen’s presentation in later weeks.)
  • Christie Marie Sheldon revealed that there are various parts of the earth where the vibration is very low, and others vibrating much higher. War torn areas, for instance, are vibrating very low. The scale that she uses is from 0-1000 and is based on researchers using kinesiology and muscle testing.
    • Muscle testing was demonstrated definitively by Donna Eden on Sunday at the event. Even the medical doctors that were in attendance could not refute the veracity of muscle testing. (More on Donna’s demonstration in later weeks.)
  • In her book The Field, Lynne McTaggart chronicled historical clinical and government tests that support the science behind quantum physics, the law of attraction, the mind-body connection, and our inherent intuitive and psychic abilities, and then in her book The Intention Experiment (The Field is a prerequisite for reading The Intention Experiment,) she went on to use science to demonstrate how we can tap into the Universal forces within all of us to influence reality.
  • In 1993, 4,000 practitioners of Transcendental Meditation focused their practices on reducing crime in Washington D.C. between June 7th and July 30th. Their goal was to reduce homicide, assault and theft by 20%. They achieved a 23.3% drop, and the results seemed to correspond with the number of participants, and there was a lasting effect on lower violent crime.
  • Back to Lynne McTaggart, who shared that remote psychokinesis, or the ability to use the power of the mind to affect physical reality from afar, had proven to be such a credible practice with substantial results that the US government had a program to use such capabilities to gain intelligence from afar, as well as to impact enemies’ environments, bodies, and weapons. This is the same program the book and movie Men Who Stare At Goats starring George Clooney is based on.

If all of this science is true, then…

We are capable of influencing peace and positive progress, AND by collaborating in real time from remote places, focusing on the same results, we may be able to

  • Disarm North Korea
  • Accelerate rebuilding and recovery of Texas and Louisiana
  • Reverse global warming, so that these regions and everyone else impacted can stay in their homes
  • End the war in Afghanistan
  • Ease tensions in Syria, South Sudan, and the Ukraine
  • Alleviate hunger in Nigeria
  • Deliver rain to Somalia
  • Of course, reduce violent crime in your own neighborhood or city

And on and on…

I think you are seeing now how the 10K hours+ I have invested in personal development is anything but selfish, if that was even a perception you had, but more so, I hope you realize the significance and potential impacts of these findings.

Now questions that remain are:

  • How and where do I start to lead such an effort, or is an effort already ongoing that simply needs more awareness, and I can contribute in that way?
  • Do I focus on gathering people from areas already aware of practicing disciplines that have proven effective (which include prayer,) or…
  • Do I bide my time, increase my influence as it relates to careers and purpose and then leverage a greater platform to influence such an initiative?
  • Can this even wait? Vishen Lakhiani presented on The Human Reset and shared an alarming insight from Tom Chi that if we fail to raise the consciousness of the people on the planet, and technology continues to evolve at a faster pace, then technology is sure to be used for lower-consciousness intentions – war, and we may not be able to save our planet!

You may be in a place where you have immediate issues in your own life that require your focus and attention before you can expand concern to others in the world, and I hope that you turn to personal development, which can look like spiritual development, or psychological development, or physical development, or mindfulness development. Science has proven its effectiveness.

I suggest you start with MindValley – they have teachers and courses that cover almost all realms of your life, and if you have an issue causing you immediate pain and requiring all your focus, they most likely have a teacher, coach and/or course to help you, except for careers – you can still come to me for that.

 

Please leave a comment if you can see the potential for a large-scale effort of this kind, or if you have doubts and questions to share. If you want to be included in future invitations to do so, PM me with your e-mail address.

Eric Clapton – Change The World

Come On Sing Along!

Is Personal Development Selfish?

Part 2 in the MindValley Reunion=Mind Blown series, which continues next week

In the first couple hours of the MindValley reunion, thought provoking questions were invoking a deep sense of curiosity.

The host, Mia Koning, a beautiful Kiwi soul, shared a couple of observations:

#1 – On the East Coast of the US, where we both currently reside, though in different cities, personal transformation, also known as self-help, has not yet been adopted on a wide scale, or at least as widely as it has been adopted on the West Coast (more on that next week), and…

#2 – That there is a perception that personal development is a selfish indulgence.

What?! At first I thought, who would think this, then I looked deeper at the time that I spend on personal development, which also in my field happens to be professional development, being that I am a coach. Because it is something I have benefited a lot from, and it enhances how I serve my clients, it is a common sense investment of time and money for me. However, it is also something I thoroughly enjoy, and there are times when making it a priority means making something else less of a priority.

One time instead of playing a game with my kids, I took them to a playground to play with other kids so that I could listen to a live-streamed event. I have rushed them off to bed so that I could attend a live webinar at 9 PM.

Is that selfish, and is there a line that, if crossed, personal development is something that is more costly than beneficial?

Then, also, having not been to, let alone immersed in, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, or Australia, I cannot compare how many people are adopting personal development as a regular practice. I wondered if any data available could substantiate where in the world personal development was most promoted and acceptable, and if it would be better to live there, or to live in a place where there was less adoption and be a change agent.

In a later post I will cover more interesting revelations shared by Jeffrey Allen, such as how we’re being pulled as a race toward awakening and awareness and how the vibration of the earth and of humans is exponentially higher as measured scientifically, and is continuing to increase. Conflicts as we experience them now are due to this shift and the contrast between those who adopt versus those who resist.

An engineer once told me that innovators have a target on their backs. Someone is always waiting to let you make groundbreaking discoveries and then leverage it and surpass you for glory. Is glory the right goal, and should people be discouraged from innovating because someone else might get the credit? Should it matter to me if I am a pioneer or if I am simply a more visible, vocal spokesperson spreading the discoveries of those before me?

I realize my curiosities are starting to seem scattered from the main topics here, but this demonstrates how one event with several impactful speakers can get you from thinking singularly about your own world and your own problems to thinking globally. Furthermore, it was shared and has been proven to me, that people connect deeply with others when they co-experience an awe-inspiring stimulus together. I was not the only person opening myself up to greater possibility and potential.

So, was my trip to San Diego for the MindValley Reunion selfish? Were my investments in time and money in the courses I have taken over the years selfish endeavors, which include but are not limited to:

  • Online programs through MindValley and by John Assaraf, Rikka Zimmerman, Derek Rydall, Brent Phillips, Eben Pagan, and Christian Michelson.
  • Live transformational programs, such as doing a year of Landmark Education curriculum (The Forum, The Advanced Forum, The Self-Expression Leadership Program, Power to Create, and Access to Power,) an Abraham Hicks live event, Bill Walsh’s Rainmaker course, and T. Harv Eker’s Millionaire Mindset Intensive.
  • Reading books by Gretchen Rubin, Sonia Choquette, Don Miguel Ruiz, Hal Elrod, Jen Sincero, Jen Groover, Susan Gregg, Esther Hicks, Louise Hay, Rhonda Byrne (of course!), Lynne McTaggart, Bruce Lipton, Robert Kiyosaki, Napoleon Hill, Joe Vitale, Gary Vaynerchuck, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Dan Milman, James Redfield, Marcus Buckingham, and more.

I know the answer is fundamentally NO.

I started on this journey to find joy – to be more in joy than in suffering. I admittedly suffered a lot. I had a great sense of self-pity for my unhappy childhood, and I had a great sense of justification for my attitude. Personal development has helped me spend more time in joy and less time in suffering. On the surface, this may seem like a selfish endeavor, but I knew I wasn’t just doing it for me. I was doing it to make sure that my suffering didn’t have a cost for others in my life.

Plus, so many of my decisions in life were driven by a false sense of needing to belong and be accepted. When I decided that if I wanted to be a game-changer, I had to be authentic, the hard work of being authentic began, and continues. Through personal development I have expanded my sense of purpose beyond my immediate circle of influence and now see myself as someone contributing to grander initiatives, resolving problems that impact more than just myself – but I had to start with the problems that plagued me before I could expand further.

Even if someone just wanted to be his or her best self, is that selfish? Even if it ends there, is that selfish?

Don’t you think that when you become someone who is more in joy and less in suffering, you become someone creating ripples that spread joy?

 

Please comment and share your opinion: is personal development a selfish endeavor?

Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror (Official Video)

In keeping with the lyrical message of “Man in the Mirror,” which was strongly identified with Michael Jackson and reflective of his own philosophies, the short film features powerful images of events and leaders whose work embodies the song’s message to”make that change.”