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We Are All Messengers; What Kind of Messenger Are You?

Part 8 in the MindValley Reunion=Mind Blown series, which continues next week

While Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, challenged us to think and act in ways that are humanity+ versus humanity-, including choosing to start, run and/or work only for humanity+ corporations, our Sunday at the MindValley Reunion held in San Diego in August started out a lot more solemn.

My Lyft driver had asked me if I was on my way to church, like some of his other fares for the morning, and I had said, “no,” but the experience of watching Don Miguel Ruiz, world renowned author of The Four Agreements, speak resembled the church experiences that I enjoyed most.

The room was full of reverence, and I had a front row seat. He spoke slowly and deliberately, and if I allow my focus on his image to grow fuzzy, I could see a glow around him, as though he was connected to a higher source and was channeling it to us. Though I absorbed every word, I only captured about a third, as I wanted to remain present, entranced, and really take what he was saying deep into my consciousness.

All the following excerpts are quotes from Don Miguel Ruiz, with my reflections below:

“Gratitude becomes generosity.”

My own perception of what he meant was that if we give without being grateful, we can harbor resentment. We must give from a place of gratitude, knowing that we are provided for and supported by the divine. Once we fill ourselves with the gratitude of our own blessings, we tend to want to spill it out onto others. So, focus first on gratitude, and then generosity.

“The problem is our domestication and disillusion.”

I am going by my impression, because it has been some time now since the actual event and the context of his intention is forgotten. My interpretation of this based on the notes I took that followed this are that we focus on our material needs and perceive separation between us and others. This causes us to perceive life as a struggle for survival, an “us versus them” or “us or them” mentality. However, we are more than physical beings, and our separation from each other is merely an illusion that we create needlessly.

He proclaimed the Human Manifesto: Preserve our planet and morality

This theme emerged from several of the speakers throughout the weekend. If we do not allow the progression of our nature from what we have been and how we have lived to what scientists, spiritualists, and intuits agree is the movement toward higher consciousness, then we just may destroy ourselves. If you pay attention, you’ll see this emerging everywhere around you, too.

“Awareness allows you to see possibilities of what you can do with your life.”

Awareness of what? Your own true nature and the nature of everything. To start simply, use the awareness that there can be other ways to be, to live, to act. Question the status quo, especially if you see things around you that concern or irritate you. If that is not the way, what are the other ways? Perhaps your noticing is your soul calling you to a higher purpose. However, as Jeffery Allen warned, we have to be careful not to become elitists in our higher consciousness. And as Vishen advised, the way to help others see your side is to seek understanding first, and to debate worthy issues without alienating people. Alienating those who opine differently from you will only cause them to become stauncher and give them motivation to hold on to their ways of thinking.

“We want to have the eye of the artist. We follow that beauty…Every single human is an artist…creating a story in which we are the main character.”

This reminds me of quote from T. Harv Eker, “Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.” Your life is an empty vessel, even with your past. We are meaning-making machines. And in the consciousness we have been living we have created many stories, many of which don’t serve us, such as the epidemic belief that fuels most misery, “I am not enough.” Marisa Peer, the next speaker I will chronicle in this blog series, attributes this belief for epic suffering, even among the rich and famous and royal. It’s prevalent, and if you want to know if this belief is part of your story, ask yourself why you do certain things – buy the products you buy, pine for the job you never really try for, decline to make a connection with someone. But is it true? Not if you see yourself from the Divine’s perspective. Whatever your story has been, you can change it – Right NOW!

“I am not real. I am the force that makes [that story] happen.”

From a quantum physics perspective, we are energy; everything is energy at an atomic level. It cannot be created nor destroyed, only change forms. Remember this physics lesson?: “An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.” That outside force can be you. It can be a conscious decision and the actions resulting from that decision. What makes something matter is our perception of it. This can be applied to physical matter, or things we deem important. What are you making important, and is it really? Why? Does that empower your or disempower you? If the latter, this is something you can change.

“A dog doesn’t know it’s a dog. A cat doesn’t know it’s a cat. And they don’t care. Why should we?”

A lot of time and energy is invested in trying to live up to a standard either set by ourselves or society. When we perceive ourselves as failing to reach that standard, suffering ensues. Many believe it is in our nature to continually grow, and we have been taught that setting goals is a positive step in achieving them. I am not refuting this. However, there is a very powerful question that we need to ask if we are to commit our time, energy, or even money, in becoming that version of ourselves – why? Why do you care if you earn $100K+? Why do you want to own a beautiful home? What does being CEO really mean? What criteria are we using to define how we want ourselves to be? Whose criteria are we using? Who are you really? Does it matter if you live up to standards? Can you love yourself unconditionally? Can you allow others to love you unconditionally?

“We only have 100 years to enjoy our physical body, or to suffer our physical body.”

This one hit home for me, as I have been confronting my self-image after gaining back all the weight I lost and then some and seeing my skin decline into continual painful breakouts. I just climbed a mountain on Saturday, and I am thankful that in spite of my lack of conditioning, I was able to do it. At times, the grade was so steep that I had to use my hands, and it had rained the day before, so with the rocks and leaves, it was very slippery. My body came through, and I was very proud of it. It also made it down the mountain – 8 miles in total. I want to make it a regular practice to see what my body can do and be grateful for that rather than spending time being critical of how it looks and comparing it to how it used to look or comparing it to how others look. This is very challenging. Don Miguel had suffered a heart attack, so this was coming from a place of life-experience wisdom, not just Toltec wisdom. Can I look into the mirror and instead of noticing a few white hairs, wrinkles, and painful cystic acne appreciate the joy of my smile, the eyes given to me by my father, the lips given to me by my mom? Can I appreciate that my own daughter has gotten the same lips, and my other daughter has gotten my nose? Can I see my scars and be thankful that…well, I don’t know…I’m still working on it. I got a book written by Wayne Dyer’s daughter, who suffered a painful skin condition that she healed herself by accepting and loving herself as is.

“You can create your own personal paradise or you can create your own personal traumas, your own personal hell, but it’s not real; it’s just your story. Your challenge is to face the main character of your story…Face the end of your story as you know it, and [create] a new beginning.”

Here is a blog I published in 2015 explaining some things I learned both from Landmark Education and Vishen Lakhiani on flipping the script of your sad story. I will be honest – it has not happened overnight, and I continue to identify sad stories I have been telling myself from a very young age. They have kept me in a victim mentality, from taking action on my own behalf, and from following through on what could have been huge opportunities. In essence, the stories of my past have been perpetuating into my present, and will continue to do so in my future UNLESS I am aware of them and can take back my power to create a new story. Technology has been developed, and continues to be developed, to help you access and override these stories, including John Assaraf’s and Brent Phillips’ brain entrainment programs, isochronic and binaural beats (Yes, Pearl Jam’s Binaural album was produced with these, but you have to experience them with headphones to benefit), and Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy (more about that next week.)

“I believe in angels. I believe in you – because you are angels. You are a messenger. But what kind of messenger are you? Are you a messenger of truth [or of story?]”

This is what resonated through from the day before. What kinds of messages am I perpetuating when I share my opinion? What are my intentions and are they pure? Are they good? Am I needlessly and even harmfully creating divisions between myself and others or between others? My most popular post shares an all too common practice of recruiters to blacklist candidates. Though my intention was to help prevent people from unconsciously burning bridges with recruiters, the article had an impact I did not expect. The majority of the comments were job seekers sharing their disappointment, and even disgust, with how [some] recruiters operate. By no means did I intend to justify any unjust or immoral recruiting practices, nor did I intend to instill a fear of recruiters, but my headline certainly did leverage potential fear. That is probably what garnered so much readership. In spite of how excited I am by the number of readers and the high engagement, I am choosing to be more conscious of my headlines. I am using the post to attempt to generate conversations that encourage people to be more empathetic, and to see people from all parties as people, flawed, but innately good.

Don Miguel’s son and co-author of The Fifth Agreement,” Don José, also relayed some powerful messages that complimented his father:

“The minute we let our art come out, something happens > judgment.”

“How do you want to hurt the human mind when the human mind is suffering the same mistake a hundred times over and over again?”

“Now it’s time for my will to be loyal to my body.”

“What brings us happiness is to be loyal to the sacred heart; it’s our intuition.”

“Mistakes teach us what we want to participate in in life, and what we don’t want to participate in.”

“If you created the virus, you can create the anti-virus.”

“Decide – it ends with me!”

“Magic is in every word that you speak. You can break a spirit or we can lift a spirit with the words that you speak.”

“You are here to make a masterpiece out of your life.”

When Don Miguel and Don José left the stage, nearly all of the 800 attendees were in tears and gave them a standing ovation. The host came out in tears, and it seemed to dishonor the experience to just move on to the next speaker. Instead, she told us to meditate or journal on what kind of messengers we are and want to be. I realize that I cannot recreate the reverence of the room on that blessed Sunday where I was about 12 feet from one of my literary heroes. But I hope that you can take about 5 minutes to meditate or journal on even just one of these excerpts, or start writing a new story for yourself. It is the best way I can think of to pass on the blessing of that experience to you, and gratitude leads to generosity.

 

Please share your insights in the comments below.

07 Insignificance

Binaural is the sixth studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, released on May 16, 2000 through Epic Records. Following a full-scale tour in support of its previous album, Yield (1998), Pearl Jam took a short break before reconvening toward the end of 1999 to begin work on a new album.

Pay Attention: 7-Day Challenge to Find Out Who is REALLY in Control of Your Career Decisions

Control by Faramarz Hashemi of Flickr

 

The simple answer is that you are in control of your career decisions, but it does not always feel like that.

You may be one of the people who feel stuck where you are, with little time to tend to a job search, and feel like you are victim to someone else’s whims, waiting and hoping to be identified as a good catch. You feel as though you are not in control because other people you do not know on the other side of a computer screen appear to have power over whether you get the call back or make the cut.

Or, you may not even realize that you are in control, but you are in your own way. You may feel as though there are limits to your success imposed by invisible forces, long-established systems, or other people. Essentially, you stop yourself before you even try. YOU surrender your power, viewing attempts at changing your life as futile. This is harder to recognize, because the thoughts are automatic, based on deep beliefs formed long ago.

Amazingly, not everyone has experienced this. I have interviewed over two dozen people who have achieved EPIC career success for the Epic Career Tales podcast and have found that many of them grew up with few doubts about their success, and a lot of support to follow their dreams. If you are among this crew, it would be challenging to empathize with people who do not just make the changes they need to make in order to achieve happiness, wealth, a better schedule, etc.

This is where I feel most divisions occur. It isn’t easy to walk in someone else’s shoes. It is nearly impossible to say with any degree of accuracy what we would do if we found ourselves mentally bound by our own self-limiting beliefs.

Did you know that if you put chains on an elephant, limiting its mobility, even after the chains are removed that elephant will remain within the limits of the chain anyway? This is proven by circus trainers, who eventually replace metal stakes with wooden pegs. Coincidentally, once the elephant grows big enough and strong enough to rip the tether from the ground, it never even tries, so the metal chains and stakes are overkill.

Last week, LinkedIn founder and CEO Jeff Weiner posted this message, “It’s not so much that people can’t change; they’d prefer not to (change is hard) and we’re rarely in circumstances where it’s truly required.”

It generated quite a bit of quality engagement on the subject of change.

This was my reply:

“The brain actually sabotages most efforts to change, sending our body stress signals to warn of us of ‘danger.’ We have to override it. If you really want to change, create a discipline of recognizing these signals and overriding them. Mel Robbins and John Assaraf are good resources to learn more about the neuroscience around change, and Gretchen Rubin has shared some great insights on habits in Better Than Before.”

If you just said to yourself, “Who’s ‘we?’ Speak for yourself. Change is absolutely required! I need change NOW, thank you very much!”

Then I am giving you an assignment that takes less than five minutes, so that you can test to see why change hasn’t happened yet – is it some awesome force, be it human, systemic, or supernatural, beyond your own power, or is it a belief formed long ago that you have accepted as truth, when it is really a brule (bullshit rule, a la Vishen Lakhiani)?

Your assignment is to take 17 seconds every day for the next week to visualize yourself in the perfect job. I mean PERFECT. DO NOT impose any “reality” on this job. The visualization is just part of the assignment, though. The more critical component of this assignment is to be mindful of your thoughts. Even with just 17 seconds your brain, running on autopilot, will have plenty of time to kick in and start talking to you. Open up a journal and spend two minutes writing down the thoughts you recognized.

Then, spend another two minutes assessing if these thoughts are based on beliefs, and if these beliefs are true. If they are true, then they would essentially have to be true for everyone. If they are not, then they are not true.

These beliefs produce thoughts at every decision point that you may find sabotage you from creating meaningful change in your life, but you take their power away once you recognize them.

A few weeks ago I shared a post, Pro Hacks to Get In Front of Your Future Boss, and made a short list of some of the thoughts that can occur as you have to decide how proactive and assertive you are going to be, which are critical ingredients to landing what you want:

“I don’t want to bother anyone.”

“I don’t have time for that; I need a J-O-B!”

“They’re not going to like me.”

“What if I fail?”

“What if I embarrass myself?”

While you can take their power away by recognizing them, eliminating them is the trickier part. They have been running on automatic for a very long time. Look for an upcoming post on different methods to overriding self-limiting beliefs.

 

In the meantime, please share any revelations resulting from this very short, very do-able assignment.

 

My Best Year Yet: The Top 3 People, Authors and Coaches Who Made It So

Art4theglryofGod by Sharon of Flickr

 

2016 has truly been a spectacular year for my personal and my professional life. I definitely give praise to God, especially because the family members whose health had caused grave concerns in the past all seem to have made tremendous recoveries.

As I reflect on this year, I want to give praise to the mentors, coaches, teachers, and authors who have been the most influential to my best year in business yet.

Before I do that, though, I would like to pass on the utmost gratitude to all of my clients from previous years, this year, and certainly the ones who fall in both categories and allow me to make ongoing contributions to their career. It is only because you are there to allow my gifts to help you that I can fulfill my purpose. As a fan of words, I do not feel like I could ever adequately express just how grateful I am for you.

Now that has been said, I need to acknowledge the people who have enabled me to make increasingly greater contributions to my clients through their wisdom and teachings.

 

THE PEOPLE

Firstly, thank you Ford Myers. From my first few months in business through now being considered a fellow veteran of the industry, I want to thank you for the contribution you made to me, such as letting me borrow your Ultimate Career Guide through writing the foreword to my new book. You helped me build a strong foundation from which I could build my own solid business and reputation. And, thanks to the professional that you are, the industry as a whole in our region has been able to make a greater impact in the lives of corporate professionals. I very much appreciate the times that we were able to sit down and talk philosophy and pragmatism. I hope we will be able to do more of that in 2017.

Ed Samuel, thank you for introducing me to CCI Consulting. You have changed my perception of the quality possible in outplacement programs. You put a tremendous amount of time and energy into your service to others, and as a result, thousands have been able to make their own great contributions. When it is your time to finally slow down, I hope that you will be fully satisfied, joyfully floating on the ripples that reverberate back-and-forth through the pools of professionals who have been impacted by your effort, wisdom, and passion.

Lisa DeLuca, if there is anyone out there who questions the dedication of undergrad career services, I will point them to you to see the optimal example of the positive impact that is possible when career services establishes itself as a progressive partner firmly integrated into an effective preparatory undergrad curriculum. But that’s just who you have been for academia in general, LeBow, and its students. For me, having been self-employed for nine years prior to joining the adjunct faculty, I was encouraged by your patience, compassion, and guidance as I embarked on my own new career adventure. And, I have been impressed with your trust in my experience and how much you and LeBow value that. It has given my confidence and my credibility a boost that has enabled me to reach and help so many more people in 2016.

 

THE BOOKS

These are some books that created a shift in the momentum of my business this year.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Not only did I read more this year because of the practices that I adopted from this book, but I also grew at an exponential pace. This book and the Facebook community are directly attributable to my growth. I urge you to join a community and read this book, but especially without hesitation because the author is currently fighting cancer. I fully expect that he will recover and come back stronger than ever, but don’t miss your chance to get to know him.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Though I listened to the free audiobook available on YouTube, I recommend that you get the printed copy. I struggled to take notes at the pace that I could listen, and that is about the pace that he delivers the goods. Because of this book not only do I focus more of my time on the things that I enjoy and do best, but I also have been able to help my clients do more in less time. Both are critical when you are working and you begin to transition as well as when you are not working and need income.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I learned and teach a lot from this book and because of it I can be more accountable as a coach. In turn, I help my clients achieve better results. I can better understand their tendencies around forming good habits, and help them create an environment that is more conducive to long-lasting positive change that will help them achieve professional as well as personal goals now and in the future.

 

THE COURSES

Since reading The Millionaire Mindset in 2012, I have allocated 10% of my revenue toward education and training, and because of The Miracle Morning, have been more regimented than ever about investing 10% of my time to these pursuits. With more revenue than any other year that I’ve been in the business, I have made a record investment in my own professional development. Here are the courses and coaches that made 2016 my best year yet.

Winning the Game of Money, John Assaraf

It was actually years ago that I invested in this program, and I did go fully through it, and it did make an impact, but I had two babies at home. Unless you’ve been there, it is challenging to describe how the needs of two little humans can fracture your focus. I will never regret my decision to work from home with my kids, but if I could change anything about that time in my life it would have been to be more at peace with that life decision and not feel as pressured to keep a certain pace with my business. Feeling ready to refocus with my oldest attending a full day of school, I repeated this course in the spring this year, which was exactly when the shift occurred.

I enjoyed a very steady pipeline of great clients, was invited to participate in or speak at great events, and was offered unprecedented opportunities to partner with organizations I respected. In the past 10 years of being in business, especially when my children were babies, revenue was so unpredictable it was very challenging to make plans, like committing to family vacations. This is the first year we were able to do that, and my husband and I even went on a romantic getaway of our own. While self employment offers freedom to manage your own schedule and choose who you work with, it is not really freedom unless you have the resources, time, and money to do what you wish. I got my first taste of that freedom this year, and I thank John Assaraf and this program for that. If you are on my mailing list, then you have been informed of this program before. If you are not on my mailing list, please join to stay informed of influential resources like this as I discover them.

Consciousness Engineering, Vishen Lakhiani

I have been a member of MindValley for many years now, and have had it to thank for new spiritual awakenings and awareness. In 2016 the founder, Vishen Lakhiani, a curator of consciousness courses, started his own series. He interviews thought leaders covering a variety of different realms of life, learning, and spirituality. Each interview is like a system upgrade download, intended to level up your systems for living that enable you to progress and grow at an exponential pace. This means that the 10% of my time that I have been dedicating to my own professional development has actually produced exponential results.

However, what I see is being the most beneficial components of this course to my clientele have been the inspiration that he and his coaching cohorts are to me, helping me to find a vision of my own future in which I am making a contribution to millions, and some of the stories are just every day people who either experienced extraordinary events, or who experienced ordinary events and created something extraordinary from the experience. The more I expose myself to these real-life stories, the greater the gravitational pull of my hope is, which makes me more excited to get out of bed in the morning, and pushes me to complete a milestone before I rest my head for the night. Anytime I have a commute of 45 minutes or more, I listen to this program. I do not think I can count on both of my hands and toes how many times I have cited this course to my clients, especially when they start to doubt if their dreams are possible. I have come to see belief as a critical ingredient to epic success, but it does not always come easily. Consistent reinforcement is necessary sometimes to generate the kind of belief that turns what is possible into what is probable. That is the major contribution that this course has had on me and my clients in 2016.

Journaling Mastery, Derek Rydall

Because of The Miracle Morning, journaling, aka scribing, has been a part of my routine. I have always been a fan of journaling. Many of the books that I read have journaling components, and, though it takes that much longer to complete these books, they tend to have the greatest impact on my self-awareness and, therefore, the actions that I take toward my vision. I do not know if this 30-day course is still available for individual purchase, but I can tell you that it inspired me to create my own 30-day journaling guide, which is available as of this Wednesday: Laser-sharp Career Focus: Discover your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days.

It wasn’t just the format that was inspired by Derek, however. As the world’s leading expert on the Law of Emergence, based on his teachings I changed my paradigm and the model that I used to help my clients discover their purpose and passion from one that is less about receiving input and more about guiding them further inward to help them acknowledge what is already within them and wanting to emerge. It changed the whole process from one of pushing to allowing oneself to be pulled, which requires a lot less motivation, a force that most of us cannot sustain long enough to overcome challenges and create our dreams.

 

Next week I will share with you what is on deck for 2017. I have a full library of books, courses and events that will help me continue my personal and professional growth sprint and enable me to assist you even better in yours.

 

Have a happy, healthy, prosperous new year!

 

You’re Not Really Fooling Anyone with Positive Thinking

Brain-to-brain (B2B) communication system overview, PLOS ONE http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0105225.g001

Brain-to-brain (B2B) communication system overview by PLOS ONE http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0105225.g001

Every single person has encountered an obstacle while pursuing a goal, be it changing jobs, starting a company, selling a home, retiring, and on and on. What do you do when that obstacle is staring you down?  Do you freeze in fear, then come down on yourself for procrastinating? Do you resign that the obstacle will mow you down and let it? Do you run toward it with greater momentum to overcome the obstacle? Do you zigzag around the obstacle? Do you ask your friends to help you and march arm in arm toward that obstacle? Hopefully, you will do one of the latter because in the first two examples, you are the obstacle. Your perception of the obstacle’s size and power compared to your own could be the actual thing that prevents you from succeeding. Of course, you want to address these obstacles pragmatically, but if you don’t address them holistically, the pattern will recur and you will find yourself facing similar obstacles over and over again.

I have developed programs, such as our Dream Job Breakthrough System, tools such as the Epic Careering Took Kit, and of course the one-on-one coaching I have provided since starting 10 years ago. While these are PRACTICAL guides in how to execute a successful and optimal transition, I have a personal and professional obligation to address the EMOTIONAL components of a job search. Emotional components are what make the difference between my clients following the steps with integrity to successfully and swiftly land and prolonged job searches, weakened momentum, and lower quality job offers (compared to what they could develop).

Most people perceive positive thinking to mean that in spite of your doubts, fears, resentments, etc., you put on a happy face and fake it. This almost always fails. Being positive is not the same as thinking positive, and it takes conscious effort to alter subconscious patterns that have most likely been with you for most of your life, often go unnoticed until you know how to identify the symptoms (usually unhappiness and dissatisfaction), and have ingrained neural pathways.

Interviewers use six senses to evaluate and qualify candidates. Even if you are trying your best to disguise your innermost doubts and fears, the interviewer is using intuition to tune into them. Even if you have a killer résumé and an answer for everything, you could still emit negative thoughts and energy. Recruiters rely heavily on gut feelings and they will ask questions to validate them, so exactly what you may want to hide could be exactly what they will ask you about. Questions are not just designed to identify competence, but also to expose positive and negative behavioral and mental patterns. The agenda of the interview is to identify each candidate’s unique value and unique risk. As the candidate, you want the interview more focused on your value, but your fears around the potential risks you pose can sway the interview more heavily toward mitigating risks, which diminishes your ability to build a competitive case against other contenders.

If you interview during a period of self-doubt, you will instill little faith in your abilities. Likewise, if you walk into an interview perceiving the interviewer as an adversary, he or she will sense your antagonism and act accordingly. Consider yourself screened out. The same is true in negotiating. If you expect the person to turn down your counteroffer rather than attempt to find a win-win solution, you will be turned down and both of you will lose.

None of us can change over night, but our brains have plasticity, so we can exercise our brains into condition to do amazing things.  This explains a lot of the stories of people who have accomplished what many thought impossible. It requires practice and determination, just like training for a physical feat. You must have patience and forgiveness for yourself if you fall short and reward yourself for your efforts and progress.

Disclaimer: I am not qualified to give psychological advice and I am also prone to negative thinking and I face difficulties in reversing that thinking. However, over the past eight years, I have avidly studied human performance optimization, quantum physics, and neuroscience. I have invested well over 10,000 hours in this study, and have become much more adept at minimizing the friction that negative, self-limiting thoughts cause. I see and experience, so I believe in acknowledging, confronting, releasing, and replacing these thoughts with ones that produce the good results you hope your actions will have.

For instance, being self-employed brings with it many moments of uncertainty. I know I am in the profession that I was made for, however, finding the balance between investing in projects and products, and generating revenue and cash flow has been tricky, especially over these past four years as I build a mobile app and other low-price point job search tools and products. Once I made up my mind that I wanted to generate a regular, predictable income, and took inspired action, I not only generated multiple opportunities, but I also had several come out of the blue, and ultimately accepted a position that aligned me with a highly reputable, quality-focused outplacement provider (CCI Consulting) that enables me to do exactly what I love to do with as much flexibility as I want.

Meditation, prayer, writing, yoga, fitness, hiking/biking, and eating well have done wonders for my self-awareness and self-esteem. In addition, below are some resources that you can investigate on Amazon.com and there are even some free audio versions of the books on YouTube. Many of these can be found on CD or DVD:

7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey

The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod

Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill

The 8th Habit, by Stephen Covey

The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

How Full Is Your Bucket?, by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.

The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge

Radical Careering, by Sally Hogshead

Secrets of the Hidden Job Market, by Janet White

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace D. Wattles

Having It All, by John Assaraf

The Laws of Spirit, by Dan Millman

If you are like me, a questioner, according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, you need to understand the science behind why investing time on your thoughts impacts your reality before you take any action. Here are some great books on that:

How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain: The New Science of Transformation, by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

The Biology of Belief, by Dr.Bruce Lipton

The Field, by Lynn McTaggart

The Intention Experiment (Read The Field first), by Lynn McTaggart

Being positive vs. thinking positive does not mean that you will suddenly become a perfect person; we are all still human. It means that you will have greater awareness when your thoughts are not serving you, and you will have tools to change their impact so that you will see better results more of the time.

 

This sounds like therapy, but I liken it to coaching because it is not as much about validation as it is about accountability. It is nice to understand how we became the way we are, but it is much more critical to our happiness to be empowered to change ourselves and our world.

 

Kick butt in your job search – hike with me!

Baby Daisy and I hiking circa fall 2010

Baby Daisy and I hiking circa fall 2010

Can kicking butt in a workout help kick start your job search? We often find ourselves at a creative peak while we are giving our bodies a moderate workout. Recently, a client of mine was following popular advice: incorporating stress-relieving physical activities into a job seeking regimen. I realized I would have much rather had the conversation with her while we were hiking. She ultimately inspired me to combine two of my passions, hiking and career coaching. (I’ll expand on this in just a moment.)

 

The positive link between exercise and mental clarity is well established. Exercise can stimulate the brain by providing more oxygen and releasing hormones that nourish the cells. Furthermore, exercise can increase brain plasticity by encouraging the growth of new cell connections. Exercise alone is a great way to focus your mind and to reduce stress. Even so, the benefits of exercise can be taken to the next level by combining a work out with brain entrainment. John Assaraf is the CEO of PraxisNow, a brain research company, and he has extensively written about brain entrainment and meditation. In his article “Train Your Brain with Meditation,” Assaraf notes meditation allows you to take control of your brain waves, so you are able to focus on your goals. Think of the combination of physical exercise and brain entrainment as a form of kinesiology.

 

Kinesiology is the study of motion and how muscles coordinate to move the body. More broadly speaking, Kinesiology is a form of natural therapy that seeks to treat the mind, body, and soul. As the body is treated individual goals and self-improvement can aid the brain in forming new habits by creating new nerve connections. T. Harv Eker sums it succinctly in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, “Where attention goes, energy flows and results show.” (By the way, T. Harv Eker’s Millionaire Mindset Intensive, a financial breakthrough event, may be in a city near you! Go. Here – my gift to you – free admission. Visit www.MMIgift.com and enter the Ambassador 2.0 code MMI39526.)

I want to literally take my career coaching in a new direction by combining it with hiking sessions. I’d like to extend an invitation for local job seekers to join me on the trail this Tuesday in Valley Forge, PA at 9:30 AM. This will not only be a hike, but a job search coaching session. I will discuss the value of my coaching and the advice I have to offer. I will cover writing résumés, getting interviews, acing interviews and negotiating coaching. If you have burning job search questions you want answered, if you want to achieve better job search results and momentum, and if you love to hike and want a GREAT way to leverage a physical activity for your job search, please join me on 9/30 at 9:30. RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/job-seekers-hike-tickets-13284300701

Only 15 spots (to ensure I can answer everyone’s questions.)

The initial event will be free, but I expect to move administration of the group to Meetup and will be charging a nominal $5 per person to cover the administration fees for subsequent Hiking/Job Search Coaching events. Depending on the size of the group, the event may be weekly, biweekly or monthly.

This hike will be moderately challenging. Check with your doctor to make sure you are physically able to participate in this activity.

You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Epic Careering from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising as a result of participation in this event.

 

Did the shift hit the fan?

Metro-north_mudslide_MTAPhotos

I was surprised at some of the backlash from my last blog. For the most part, actually, the feedback was positive. Engagement, via comments and social media invitations, was quite high. However, because some of the negative feedback came from folks I know, I felt it more. It was almost as if people read the article and thought I was giving the finger and making lewd gestures. People seemed shocked and surprised.

 

Was this that much of a deviation from my usual style of writing? I know for certain audiences and outlets the advice I give is less personal and more practical. Was this too revealing? While I was NOT the person being lewd and giving the finger, I had admitted to acting “ugly.” I feel more authentic being able to admit that, but perhaps it does damage some previously held opinions of me. The thought of this was alarming, because the backlash came from a population of people who were generally very confident in my abilities and even advocated my services to other people. These people I considered among my target audience – highly successful IT executives in prestigious companies. I was really worried that I might have alienated part of my audience with the bold content. I still am – it gives me a knot in my stomach.

 

After a few hours of contemplation, I concluded, perhaps falsely, but comfortingly, that people who have it together, have a successful career, act maturely and are under control at all times – they may not get it. They may surround themselves with people who are like-minded. They may consciously avoid people who seem to be a “hot mess.” They may cut off communication with someone who offends them in some way. They may have seen me as someone who has it all together and who acts professionally at all times. As much as I want to, I just won’t live up to that ideal.

 

I’ve certainly come a LONG way, but I can’t kid you – with two testing toddlers at home, having it together takes everything I have, and sometimes more! If you walk by my house at certain times, especially when I’m trying to get the girls out the door, you will hear someone who sounds desperate for control (and I have some lungs, too!) I’ve been grieving 6 losses in the last 3 years and have had 3 loved ones hit by cancer for their 2nd time. When these feelings are on the surface, I don’t have a lot of access to my emotional fortitude. I can break down from time to time.

 

It felt good to stand in that road rage story, take accountability and show people that you can create a great day and a great life with a choice in perspective. I felt like that whole incident had such purpose. It was divinely inspired for me to share with other people so that they could be inspired.

 

Maybe some people don’t want to be inspired? Or maybe what inspires them are stories of greatness that contain only positive details and highlights. Maybe they are successful because they have mindfully avoided people’s head trash. As a coach, however, I dive right in it. I like to sort through it and examine it. I am ever-present to the fact that being successful isn’t as easy as following the right steps. I mean, it could be, but how many professional athletes would we have if it was just a matter of mechanics? It isn’t! Any Philly sports fan recognizes that, while their team has tremendous talent and ability, they get into slumps. They choke. This isn’t because they forget the mechanics of their sport. It’s because performance is more mental in nature than mechanical.

 

One person had asked what my last post had to do with job seeking. Good comment, and perhaps it isn’t obvious to someone who has it together and has been gainfully employed for 10+ years what dealing with adversity and reframing a negative incident has to do with job seeking. I had hoped my reference to the Ron Nash blog would make the answer to this obvious, but his anecdotes were directly about a job interview and mine was purely about a bad interaction with another driver. Even so, an IT executive in a large company isn’t exactly on the front lines of hiring. From being a recruiter, I know the challenge of hiring has less to do with finding qualified candidates and more to do with finding qualified candidates that have the right attitude who would represent us well to our clients and make us look good, to put it bluntly.  The people who make things happen and achieve greatness usually do so as a result of their people skills. Once candidates get to the hiring manager, they have usually passed the professional and personal screens, having been qualified on hard and soft skills. This is a small percentage of the population – too small!

 

Meanwhile there’s a huge population of people with talent, skills, and education who, for one reason or another, learned habits and ways of thinking and being that are unproductive to their success.

 

This is who I mean to inspire. This is who needs tools in their life to help them apply with greater impact the power of the talents, wisdom, intelligence, and enthusiasm within them. These people need to know that facing adversity and being flawed is not a reason to accept defeat. My services are mostly aimed at helping with the mechanics of job seeking, but I am immersed in and partnering with thought leaders who focus on the mental aspects of success, such as John Assaraf, Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, Jen Groover, Brian Brogan,  Ron Nash and Derek Rydall.

 

From a popular post I had up from May 8, which received heavy engagement, I know people are still very upset about the unemployment situation in spite of improving numbers, which they don’t trust, for the most part. Long-term unemployment, disengagement from job searches, discouraged workers – this is still epidemic.

 

Herein lies my mission. I don’t want to alienate these successful IT executives, because I like them, and because they’re in positions to hire my clients and be my clients. They certainly can be helped by my services and I feel great about the impact that I can make on their career, but they don’t need to be saved by my services like the growing population of underutilized talent.

 

So, while I am in alignment in my mission sharing such personal content, I am conflicted and fearful about losing the confidence and rapport that I spent many years building. Do I have to make this sacrifice to move further in my mission to shift the current paradigm of job seeking and hiring? Is this the byproduct of choosing authenticity?  Or, am I truly just sabotaging myself and my success by being inappropriate and seemingly irrelevant, diverting from practical career guidance?

 

These discoveries are unsettling, however perhaps it is perfectly natural. Some say that you know you’re doing something right when you start to get publicly criticized. I’d like to ask the people who consider themselves paradigm shifters how they deal with such friction between old worlds and new ones, if that is indeed what is happening here. Can anyone share?

 

 

Top 5 Secret Weapons in Mission-driven Careering

How this mining thing stays in the side of the mountain is beyond me.

How this mining thing stays in the side of the mountain is beyond me.

“You may be right. I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.”

~ Billy Joel

 

The fall is coming, and that means that my freedom will soon be limited. Soon my husband’s busy work season and his swim season will start simultaneously, leaving me once again to feel like a single work-at-home mom of two spunky toddlers. While most parents enjoy the freedom that they gain when their kids return to school, I will be readjusting, adapting and experimenting with new regimens that enable me to fulfill my personal and professional missions while enjoying some sanity with my new time restrictions.

My missions?

#1 – Watch my kids grow up.  Be there while they are little. Witness all of their “firsts.” Be the one that raises them.

#2 – Revolutionize job seeking into Epic Careering.  Empower one million people to discover, pursue and promote their passions and achieve their ideal quality of life.

#3 – Reduce the time and distance between talent and the companies that need it. Optimize productivity for organizations in the process, so that they can expand and create even more jobs – 1 million of them, as a goal.

#4 – I guess I also want a clean, orderly house and office, but I’ll settle for sanitary at a minimum.

 

This is pretty crazy, right? It’s certainly unreasonable to think that I could have it all.  Well, you can call me unreasonable. I’ve been called many things – tenacious, an idealist, a dreamer. You’re all right! I do believe that I can have it all. It requires a lot of expansion (which is code for inner conflict.) But know that if I’m asking you to take a leap of faith in your dreams and fill crevices of time with activities and resources that move you toward that, I am damn sure going to be doing it myself.

What may surprise you are my secret weapons for achieving all of this.

  1. Meetup.com
  2. Brain training
  3. Overdrive media console
  4. Social media
  5. My team

I have referred before to brain training, and I can tell you that meditation and hypnotherapy are also part of my regular routine. I will share more about these in a future blog.

This week, to take full advantage of the time that I have, I filled up my evenings with activities, events, and opportunities for learning and networking. Want to know what that looks like?

Here’s a peak:

 

Monday –

My client call in the evening was postponed, so I spent time reaching out to other thought leaders on social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Simultaneously, I listened to an e-book on Overdrive Media Console that I downloaded from my local library – The Most Successful Small Business in the World, by Michael Gerber (author of the e-Myth.) I am learning how to multiply my business by 10,000 to achieve mission #2.  I also listened to this while driving to and from events and preparing meals.

 

Tuesday –

I had a mommy meetup at 6, and met two other work-at-home moms. I thought everyone in the meetup worked a 9-5, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that we could trade sentiments and tips about working from home and addressing some usual toddler behavior. My girls and I made a couple new friends. Then at 8 I attended a webinar on “Accelerated Goal Achievement” by John Assaraf (brain training) while getting my kids to bed. Even while my neighbor stopped by for some goodnight hugs from my girls, I learned how to confront the fears that stand to hold me back in missions #2 and #3. Then I worked on a cover letter for a friend and client who believes that this one particular company is the place that he can achieve Epic Careering.  Send him your most positive thoughts for a prompt, enthusiastic reply.

 

Wednesday –

I attended a webinar while playing with my niece and nephew and daughters in the pool, “Profiting from the Positive,” sponsored by Peoplefluent. I learned about this from a LinkedIn HR group. It was probably more appropriate for those in a larger corporate environment, but I got some great insight on how I can use positive psychology to provide my intern with the most beneficial feedback to conclude her summer internship and how I can elicit optimized performance from my clients as well. I finished that cover letter, updated a résumé, and flew home to get dressed for a meetup. Though I was late, I wouldn’t miss Gloria Bell speak at AWeber on “Building Business One Story at a Time.” I may have found the speaker I was seeking for my social media sub-group (hopefully, if Gloria is interested – fingers crossed) and I became aware of a greater opportunity in my social media outreach to connect with my audience in a more profound and powerful way.  Too, boot, I caught up with one contact I knew from another networking group, DIG. I learned so much more about what he does for small businesses. I may just have some leads for him. I also met another gentleman who shares my passion for non-toxic home products. If we hadn’t stayed late to chat, I might have only learned about his association with a bakery I used to live near and frequent (pre-gluten-free days.)

 

Tonight, though I would love it if I could meet with my client and attend the DIG monthly meeting, I can only meet with my new client, but I am so grateful to be able to do so.

I left a lot of my daytime activities out because, well, you don’t have all day to read this. My intern did spend a day with me at home to see how it get’s done, as well as what sometimes doesn’t get done, like laundry and dishes. I thought it would give her some insight as to how time can be optimized and how some challenges (not all – I mean they are kids who have accidents and make messes) to time management can be overcome.

You don’t have to be a lunatic like me. Your missions may be much more reasonable. Still, my secret weapons can do just as much for you, so take a little time to define your missions (if you haven’t already) and explore how my secret weapons can help you.

Teaching people the tidbits, nuggets and diamonds of wisdom that I gather through these resources and activities is what drives the services and products that we offer.  I am always looking for ways to be valuable to you, and I hope you know that you can let me know if there is something that we can do additionally.

 

What are your secret weapons?

 

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

~ Henry Ford