Archives for MindValley

You are a unicorn

 

 

I was never in a place where I could not afford diapers for my babies. Can you imagine that? However, I can absolutely relate to some financial low points in my life and very scary times when I wasn’t sure how we were going to keep our utilities on. You probably have a financial low point coming to your mind right now.

When I heard Lisa Nichol’s story many years ago, I was clear that she had decided and was committed to never being in that place again, and she was willing to do whatever it took. I had not yet learned what that really looked like until I saw her speak in the flesh at the MindValley Reunion last month in San Diego.

She was already an inspiring figure to me, and I had already been re-teaching what I had learned from her to my business students at Drexel University. She taught me the “Dip” formula for telling your story in such a way that the media and your audience beg to know more, and then also how to use your body and the senses to bring people fully into your story. Let me tell you – I was enthralled, and so were the other 800 people there. She captivated and MOVED the whole room.

By the time she was done, there was not a person there who had an excuse left to play it small in their lives.

She shared her story, including what “whatever it took” looked like, and I wondered how many would be willing to do what she was willing to do – to sacrifice what she was willing to sacrifice.

There is a quote that kept me going during leaner years when I had to forego family trips, nights out with the girls, clothes and new shoes, that kept me from feeling sorry for myself, and here are a couple of variations on this:

If you will live like no one else, later you can live and give like no one else. – Dave Ramsey, Author of Financial Peace and financial savior to millions!

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” – Warren G. Tracy’s student

Sometimes a few is more like 8 or 9, if you have the resolve and can maintain your means of living.

Lisa committed herself to writing a check to herself out of each pay check into a savings account with the memo note “funding my dreams.” Each week, she committed to giving more than the last. She had no role models to teach her about savings, and she sacrificed the small things at first that I would imagine you or I would be perfectly willing to go without – getting her hair and nails done, eating out (even McDonalds,) etc. Then she moved herself and her son out of her place in with a friend. She sold her car. She sacrificed and lived the words she spoke, “Conviction and convenience don’t live on the same block.”

After 3.5 years, she went to check her balance, and all the tellers knew her by name and from her memo line. “Hey, it’s the ‘funding my dreams lady!” And soon they were all there to share the miracle of the news – that she had managed to save $64,000!

You might have seen Lisa Nichols in The Secret, on Oprah, Steve Harvey, The Today Show, and any number of other platforms, including, of course, MindValley, where I was re-introduced to her.

While I cannot capture Lisa’s enigmatic presence that had an undeniable impact on the room, I captured some other very powerful quotes and phrases that I hope you will spend some time contemplating and ask yourself what you are willing to do for your dreams.

“Scare yourself [with your goals.]” That’s how you know they’re big enough.

“Hang out with people who aren’t keeping score.”

“You don’t need the rest of the 10,000 miles laid out before you step.”

“Play full out while you’re learning through it. Love yourself through the breakthroughs.”

“Hook your caboose to someone else’s train” if you need to gain some momentum.

“Speak to inspire, not to impress”

“Be willing to walk alone to attract a crowd.”

“Don’t buy in to who you see; see who they are becoming.”
I.E. Don’t assume you can tell someone’s station in life!

“Intimacy – In-to-me-I-see.”

“Care-frontation.” The act of speaking up and standing up for someone’s growth.

“Love so loud you can’t hear the noise” – AKA “radical love”

Consider what happens when you create a big goal… “When I reach for it, good stuff happens. Will I reach it? I don’t know, but I know this feels good.”

I did not take any notes during the time when Lisa walked through the crowd, as I was completely mesmerized by her and the obvious impact she was having on people, but I know she had us all convinced that we are unicorns – miracles, really, and we are doing no one any favors by neglecting to acknowledge our uniqueness, nor the gift that we are – we only diminish who we are by pretending that we can just take our unicorn horns off and be “normal.”

I made a sketch in my notebook of wings and a halo with a thought as I checked in with how I was feeling at that moment…

“I feel like a vibrational angel.” This would not be the last time I had this feeling during this weekend, with the pinnacle being when Don Miguel Ruiz spoke on Sunday morning.

More on the MindValley Reunion speakers next week. Make sure you follow me and/or subscribe to be notified of future posts.

 

In the meantime, be Epic, and share how these quotes impact you.

Peter Paul & Mary ~ The unicorn song

When I was growing up my best friend was a unicorn The others smiled at me and called me crazy But I was not upset by knowing I did not conform I always thought their seeing must be hazy. The unicorn and I would while away the hours Playing, dancing and romancing in the wild flowers And we’d sing…..

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

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!

MindValley Reunion = Mind Blown!!

Sunday morning my Uber driver asked if I was going to church, and I replied, “No.” That wound up not to be true at all.

It will be very challenging to portray exactly how immensely powerful this weekend was for me and 800 other people from 40 different countries. So, I’m going to break it into a series, starting with a summary of the sequence of speakers at the MindValley Reunion in San Diego.

First, let’s start with what is MindValley? That’s a good question, but a better question is WHO is MindValley.

Before this weekend I would have the told you that MindValley was a personal development publishing company led by a bold and forward-thinking pioneer, Vishen Lakhiani. Now, I realize that I am MindValley, and so are all my new friends, including some speakers that I have admired for a while now, as this company is much more about community and connecting than anything else.

Now, let me tell you how my Sunday experience turned out to be like church, but better.

It started out with a moving keynote from Don Miguel Ruiz, legendary author of one of my favorite spiritual teachings, The Four Agreements and his son, Don José Ruiz, co-author of The Fifth Agreement. This was the most moving keynote I have ever seen. 1600 eyeballs were streaming with tears in awe of the simple wisdom being bestowed upon us.

 

A couple hours later, world renowned hypnotist Marisa Peer, who I have shared with you , guided us through four modules of her Rapid Transformational Therapy, a program she co-developed with doctors to instantly rewire your neural pathways and reverse the toxic beliefs that keep you stuck in a life that doesn’t nearly reach its potential. It teaches you to be your own therapist.

Then after another brief encounter with Donna Eden’s (the world’s leading practitioner of energy medicine) husband, David Feinstein, who had been a traditional Psychologist until he met Donna, I ate lunch with Donna’s daughter (I didn’t realize this until after she and I exchanged compliments and she left) and as well as 3 medical doctors (an oncologist, a general surgeon/Functional MD/Cosmetic Surgeon and an infectious disease specialist). They had been eating with David, but he was just finishing, and when I learned that the medical doctors were sitting and conversing with David, I was really sorry I missed that exchange! Donna and David later demonstrated and led us through very simple and quick energy exercises that anyone can do to restore your body to balance and full energy. I needed that after Marisa dredged up some memories that left me a bit heavy.

 

The next speaker was not as spiritual, but he was moving, and has been a highly rated speaker, including for Tony Robbins, Eric Edmeades. He made us laugh, and gave me something to aspire to when it comes to standing for others’ transformations in my marketing and sales.

This was just ONE of TWO days of mind-blowing experiences.

By the end of this weekend I was (am) seriously considering an opportunity to move my family to Estonia for a month for an immersive educational and cultural experience for all of us.

I made friends with people from around the country and the world, including from Canada, Australia, Ecuador, Peru/Denver, Brazil, Lithuania, and I am sure some other countries.

Saturday started by having breakfast with a fellow coach, who gave me rights to share anything I want from his huge library of content, and he recommended 6 different resources to check out. He was my hero, because he found the cups for the coffee. I really needed it to absorb the concepts shared thereafter.

The speaker lineup Saturday started with someone who’s tips I have been sharing with my business students to help them craft compelling stories that will get them hired, AND, I got to tell her that. WOW!!! AND… She’s now my coach!! If you don’t know who Lisa Nichols is from her appearances on The Secret, Oprah, Steve Harvey, The Today Show, or any other myriad of appearances, you will! She knows how to move you into action, take away ALL your excuses, and make you realize how divinely precious your life is. I was furiously taking notes (through tears) so that I could capture her words, eager to share them with you. It won’t have the same impact, because, well, there is something incredibly different about being feet away from someone who can look you in the eye, touch your shoulder when she walks by, while you can also feel everyone around you reaching a new level of living, I have learned. Just, WOW!

 

Then it got very cognitive, in a global consciousness raising kind of way. Jeffrey Allen, former Department of Energy Engineer, now Energy Healer, shared how we evolve, denigrate into different states of living. That’s not what he called it, but his point was that we are all moving as a species and a planet toward a higher vibration, and there are two ways it can go, we can destroy the planet fighting trying to stay where we are, or go with the flow and surrender to the forces pulling us toward a higher state of mind.

The next speakers were introduced as the world’s sexiest grandparents, and, well, they must be. I can’t say too much about the topic, as it was racy, and the speakers asked that we keep the content among us, but I am hoping to apply the tips they shared and experience a whole new level of enjoyment in my life.

Lastly, Vishen himself spoke about how we can reset humanity based on 5 teachings from a scientist, a writer, a naturalist, a philosopher, and a mystic.

In the coming weeks’ blogs, I will be expanding on these teachings (except for the racy one,) so if you couldn’t be there with me, at least you can benefit from the amazing content shared.

In the meantime, I highly encourage you to check out MindValley and all of the amazing transformational programs they seem to launch on a daily basis, and keep your eye out for them, as they are quickly becoming a worldwide leading authority on transformational technology and experiences.

If there is anything in your life you would want to improve, they probably have a program for that. [Actually, they don’t have a program for careers. They do on purpose, but not careers – I’m hoping to change that!]

 

Have you ever been to an event that changed your life for the better?

Jamiroquai – Blow Your Mind

Jamiroquai’s official music video for ‘Blow Your Mind’. Click to listen to Jamiroquai on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/JamiroquaiSpot?IQid=JamiBYM As featured on High Times: Singles 1992 – 2006.

Will Achieving Your 2017 Goals Really Make You Happy?

Void by George Batistatos of Flickr

Have you ever noticed how once you put your attention on something you seem to see it everywhere?

For example, when you decide there is a certain car you want to buy, suddenly it appears all the time.

An odd thing happened this weekend, and I kept noticing a recurring theme in everything I read and everything I watched.

It started as I set a weekend goal to tidy up my house and further my annual goal of clearing out all the clutter in my house. For inspiration I started watching a documentary on Netflix called Minimalism. To get to the point, this documentary was not really about tidying up as much as it was about exploring our attachment drive to acquire stuff. The people interviewed all tend to have a perception based on their own experience that people acquire things to fill a void.

On Sunday morning I watched a Mindvalley video in which Marisa Peer tells the audience that in her experience, which has been working with some of Hollywood’s elite, people seek out fame and fortune because they do not feel like they are enough. They do not feel loved or lovable, and so they seek out love from the public. The video title was “How to Get Absolutely Anything You Want.” I was listening to it as I was coloring in my Mike Dooley Notes from the Universe Coloring Book alongside my daughters. I had to turn the video off, however, as she got into some really sad stories that I did not want my girls to hear. Nevertheless, the theme of filling a void seemed to continue to percolate in my mind.

Even the night before, I saw an older movie on HBO with Angelina Jolie, where she played a reporter driven to land a network job, thwarted by a prediction from a homeless man that she would die. I won’t spoil it for you, but this movie also aligned with the theme of a misguided pursuit of happiness, in which we think one thing is going to make us happy, but the truth is that it is empty. It does not fill our void, and we can either acknowledge that and fill the void with true meaning, or continue to seek out better and better stuff thinking that it will fill the void, but continuing to feel empty.

As I shared last week, I am in the middle of reading Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani. I am right at the part where he talks about how the major shift happened for him and his business grew 400% in eight months. It was after he realized that the goals that he had for his business were not making him happy.

There was even one more thing that I watched and continue to align with this theme. Strange, right?

(Side note: some people ask me how I come up with topics every single week. I have a backlog of ideas, as I see inspiration in so many different places, and you can tell from my weekend activities, that I am constantly seeking out new knowledge and wisdom, and so I tend to find it and feel compelled to pass it on to you. This case was extraordinary, that I could notice a theme so prevalent that I could not ignore it. It was as though I was made to write about it this week, even though I had something else lined up.)

A former client and friend, Jack, started off his year in a pretty epic way. He was one of the first fans to be invited as a fighter on Movie Fights, a show frequented by Kevin Smith (of Mall Rats fame) in which movie geeks engage in passionate debate about various movie topics. Friday’s episode was about the best movie of 2016. I have not seen La La Land yet, and I won’t spoil it for you, but arguments against La La Land in this episode included the superficiality of Hollywood and whether or not we should feel good about the characters, who are trying to decide if they choose love over ambition. (Go, Jack!)

If you are not a career coach like I am, you might not see the connection between this theme and your career. I will tell you now that I have no conclusions to share with you, but I do challenge you to project yourself into the future when you achieve your 2017 goals. Ask yourself, will it be enough? What is enough?

 

Are your 2017 goals designed to fill a void? What would really fill that void?

AND…Will filling that void really make you happy, or can you choose to be happy now? Can you accept that you are enough, you have enough, and you do enough?

How did contemplating these questions make you feel? Did you notice a physical reaction?

What goals can you create, pursue, and achieve that will bring wholeness to your life?

Please, share your thoughts, insights and reactions.

 

5 Must Do’s for a Successful Job Search Week

Job Searching by NJLA of Flickr

Job Searching by NJLA of Flickr

 

I have received a lot of feedback and many of you found the sample schedule to be very helpful. As a result, I decided to outline five major components of a successful job search activity that you can integrate into your schedule every day or, at least, every week. This will help build competencies toward your expertise in job searching.

Why would you want to be an expert in job searching? I know most people find it rather dreadful. However, when job searching is done right you can feel as much like a rock star in the flow, or in a groove, as you did when you were on top of your game in your job. The major benefit of gaining this critical life skill is reclaiming power over your destiny.

 

1. Research

The research you will be conducting every day or every week will be to identify new target companies, find out what major initiatives, challenges, and potential setbacks your target companies are experiencing. Discover how you can add direct value, and identify people who can either be internal sponsors for you or be your next potential boss. If you are really adept at research, you can even find out some personal things about these people that will enable you to build rapport and hit their hot buttons.

The resources that you will use to conduct this research include the obvious search engines like Google or Bing, as well as local business journals and newspapers, niche authority sites, business directories and databases such as leadferret.com and zoominfo.com, and your network.

If you are really bold and adventurous, you will try feet-on-the-street research. This means that you attend events or “stake out” the location of various popular breakfast, lunch or dinner spots in the vicinity with the intention of procuring intelligence from strangers.

2. Bold Action/Experimentation

The above can be considered bold action. I encourage you to experiment with this approach, if not for the adrenaline rush, for the fact that it can get you further faster than waiting for friends and acquaintances to take action on your behalf.

The activities that fall in this category very well might be outside your comfort zone, and thinking about them as experiments may help you detach from an investment in the outcome. I encourage you to celebrate everything that you try, whether it turns into an opportunity or not. Do keep track of your results so that you can repeat the experiments that produce great results such as pivotal introductions and interviews.

Everyone has a different comfort zone threshold. You know yourself best. If incremental progress works best for you, then take baby steps. A good example is trying out a new social media platform that you recognize some of your potential bosses are using and sending them a direct message. Some of you may thrive on taking a big leap and testing your limits. This could look like a creative gesture such as sending an unusual gift with a hidden meaning.

An example of a successful gift attempt that led to an interview and a job offer was a candidate who was demonstrating his attention to detail by creating and sending intricate origami eagles. I heard a story once about a candidate who sent a shoe with a note that he was hoping to get a “foot in the door.” I’m not sure how that went over, but the results of any of these attempts are going to vary from person to person. This is where it is critical to know your audience.

Being bold can also look like attending a keynote where an executive leader is speaking and asking the best question. The key, really, is to garner POSITIVE attention that you can use as an opening to create intrigue, build rapport, discover needs, and promote yourself as a solution.

3. Network Nurturing

I saw Ellen Weber of Robin Hood Ventures speak at a TedX event in Philadelphia and she forever changed the way I advise my clients to offer help to their networks. The eye-opening insight she shared was that when we ask someone generally, “How can I help you?” we put a burden on them to figure out how we can help them. She talked about a very personally challenging time in her life, and how her closest friends made that time easier simply by taking the initiative to find ways to help, as opposed to waiting for her to direct them, which felt uncomfortable. One friend would drop off meals, the other would help fold and put away laundry, and another even cleaned her bathroom while some friends whisked her away to get a pedicure.

Think of consultative sales, where you are not pushing a product, but asking really great questions and listening earnestly to what the client’s actual needs are so that the solution that you propose sells itself. In a podcast interview between Larry Benet, CEO of the Speakers and Authors Networking Group (SANG), and Vishen Lakhiani of MindValley, I learned some really great questions that are simple to ask and easily uncover some of these needs, such as, “What is the project you are working on right now that excites you the most?” followed up by “What would help you complete it sooner or better?” Another question, which can be quite personal, is “What keeps you up at night?” or “What wakes you up in the morning?” Vishen actually starts all of his interviews with this question, and, of course, he already has a good rapport with guests and relates to them on a personal level prior to the interview.

Once you know what you can do to help, the next thing to do is to follow through. If you cannot identify a need, the next best thing you can do is to share some relevant news, resources, or tools that you think may be of assistance. If you have ever wondered when and how to follow up, now you know.

 

4. Self Nurturing/Wellness

I considered putting this before network nurturing, as we have all heard the analogy of putting the oxygen mask on yourself before you assist others. What good are we unconscious? Well, similarly, as we have written before, science has proven that you are at your best when you are taking care of yourself. Do not skip the workout, but get at least a couple minutes in to increase your oxygen levels. You will actually work faster and more productively. What you produce will be better with fewer errors, meaning you won’t have to re-do that work. Have a cover letter to write? Go for a brisk 10-minute walk or do some jumping jacks. Eat a diet rich in the healthy fats your brain needs to be at its best. Cut out the carbs that cause brain fog and sluggishness. Once you start to treat yourself better, you will perceive yourself as more valuable and be better able to promote yourself as such.

 

5. FUN!

There is a lot more to these start-ups with their ping pong tables and video games than just hoping to attract elusive millennials. Fun is known for increasing creativity, building more cohesive teams, making employees more receptive to bad news or constructive criticism, and, if you believe in the law of attraction, it is apparently responsible for bringing good things into our lives.

You can leverage fun activities for your job search such as organizing a happy hour or bowling night with your friends so that you can catch them up on how they can help you. Moreover, you can also just have a good old-fashioned good time and still reap the benefits in your job search. As we wrote last week, happy people tend to achieve higher levels of success than people who simply work hard. Really! Harvard says so.

 

If you are in a full-time job search mode, I recommend doing each of these daily. If you are working full-time while searching, I recommend that you designate a day of the week for each of these activities.

As an experiment, try these activities for four weeks. Then share with us how intentionally integrating these critical components into your transition helps you build momentum and opens new doors of opportunity.

 

Biohack Your Job Search: A 2-Week Challenge to Test the Link Between Wellness and Performance

It's Never Too Late to Create Healthy Habits by Army Medicine of Flickr

It’s Never Too Late to Create Healthy Habits by Army Medicine of Flickr

I’m coming clean – I have been a slacker this summer when it comes to my health. After spending a year committed to forming positive habits around fitness and nutrition, I let one setback cascade into another. Now I’m seeing the scale creep up and the smaller clothes that I was so proud to buy and flaunt look worse and worse. I have not been compelled to commit to returning to what I know worked – portion control, discipline in gluten-free dieting, and continually challenging myself physically.

As Gretchen Rubin repeats in Better Than Before, it is easier to start than to restart. She also talks about habit clusters. Good habits seem to come in clusters, so in other words, once you tackle acquiring a healthful habit, you will tend to feel good (an important component to habit formation) and tackle other habits, like getting better organized or flossing and brushing your teeth twice daily. You may even notice, just as a byproduct, that you watch less television or read more. On the other hand, when we break a good habit, other good habits seem to also break. My initiative to get rid of clutter has also slowed down.

Have you observed this in your own life?

If you can say any of the following are true for you, I urge you to make a commitment to developing one new good habit.

  • Getting out of bed is hard (I recommend The Miracle Morning)
  • Procrastination keeps you from doing what you know you can do to change your circumstances
  • Energy dips prevent you from completing what you set out to do on a daily basis
  • You do not want to go out and do as much, because you do not feel good about yourself
  • A lack of focus prevents you from being fully present and contributing at your highest level
  • There is a sense of chaos that makes you feel scattered and unproductive

Since the 1980s when Deepak Chopra started to raise awareness and/or eyebrows about the connection between mind and body (and vice versa), a paradigm shift in how the brain has been studied and how we can apply it to better our lives started. Much like technology, the pace of discovery has only continued to accelerate. You may be up late watching PBS one night to find a slew of doctors such as Daniel Amen promoting systems, products, and programs that help you use nutrition and supplements to heal dis-ease, curtail aging, and improve mental clarity and focus.

That sounds great, right? But…

Is being able to remember where I put my keys really (realistically) worth making a 3-4 figure investment?

When I read Gretchen’s book, she, a self-proclaimed habit enthusiast, said something that made me very intrigued about willpower. Many of us see willpower as the key to forming good habits, but what Gretchen purported was that the key to forming good habits is actually to do as much as possible to eliminate the need for willpower, because willpower will inevitably fail you.

I consider myself to be someone with a good amount of willpower when I commit. However, I am a questioner and I need to understand the logic and science behind how something works before I can completely buy in.

Rubin discussed how some people need to form good habits over time, but sometimes it is like a lightening strike. She shared how reading a science-based book on how carbs impact the body influenced her to instantly drop carbs from her diet. (She also admits she is not what you would consider to be a “foodie” and has an unadventurous palate to start.) I had the same experience in 2005 when I read The South Beach Diet and lost 25 pounds the year of my wedding, and when I read JJ Virgin’s The Virgin Diet and lost 30 pounds in 2012. This was also how I finally discovered that the culprit of my inflammation and IBSD was gluten, and that I was also sensitive to soy and dairy. As relieved as I was after years of visits to specialists who could not give me answers to the causes and just prescribed medications for the symptoms to finally know why I felt bad so often, sustaining a gluten-free and dairy/soy reduced diet is extremely challenging and does not feel practical. Still, I know it works.

Friday, in an effort to catalyze my desire to commit to a new program (what I have found to be successful for me in the past), I listened to a podcast interview with Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, and Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, a global personal development publisher.  Dr. Hyman promotes healthy fat as a way to eliminate cravings and therefore, reduce how much you have to rely on your will power to live a healthy lifestyle.  Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof Coffee, certainly promotes this as they key to how he turned his health around at 300 lbs and upgraded his life. (As well as his coffee, obviously.)

Here is what I know from experience and from countless testimonials from my clients:

Performing at your highest level in your job search is constantly interrupted by self-limiting beliefs, confidence-breaking rejections, dread and depression.

So, while I cannot speak from experience about the 10-Day Detox Diet, nor Bulletproof Coffee, I am publicly stating my own intention to reverse my backslide. Also, I am challenging you, especially if you answered yes to any of the questions above, to take on a new healthful habit. Be it getting and staying tidy, waking up earlier and in a more positive, productive mindframe, meditating, taking your vitamins every day, exercising, or eliminating or adding things to your diet.

 

I predict that the sense of accomplishment and endorphins you create as a result of this newly acquired habit will cascade into not just a higher level of performance, but greater results and good fortune in your job search and in your life. If I’m wrong, tell me so by commenting, and if I’m right, share your experience and results to inspire others to upgrade their job search results, and therefore their career status and income.

 

Is a Prevalent Thought Creating an American Epidemic?

The ultimate source of our happiness by BK of Flickr

The ultimate source of our happiness by BK of Flickr

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Create a Vision that Pulls You Out of Bed

SteveJobsVision

 

It is not always an inevitable job search stage to find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, or even the afternoon, but it is very common– too common. I know exactly how this feels. When I was out of work going on 10 months, with four offers pending financial go-ahead for two months, I wondered what the point was. It was no longer about finding my next great opportunity to grow my career; it was about survival and saving face.

World-renowned New Thought minister Michael Beckwith propagates the idea that, “Pain pushes until the vision pulls.”

Unfortunately, many job seekers’ reality is that the pain of job search disappointment and frustration does not push them out of bed. In fact, it pushes them back down.

So if the pain is not effectively pushing you toward a solution to your job search situation, what do you do?

Create a new, inspiring, and energizing vision about what your ultimate career adventure could look like.

We have written many blogs about how spring symbolizes reinvention, and I share a throwback from our newsletter further below. We have offered a variety of tips, tricks, tactics, and techniques. While creating a vision may not seem like practical job search advice, and you may be wondering what kind of pay off the investment of time in this exercise offers you in relation to being in action. I PROMISE you that this exercise does not take a lot of time, and it will make all of your efforts more successful and effective.

 

Envision your future:

Simply create a vision of your career future that makes you want to dance. Use all of your senses to imagine moments where you are offered your dream job, working for your dream boss, being paid your dream salary, while at your dream location. Allow yourself to fully indulge in feeling that you just want to squeal with excitement; you just can’t contain your joy any longer. That opportunity you have been picturing, perhaps dismissing as something you’ll never have– imagine it is YOURS. What will you do first? Once you are done dancing, that is. Who will you tell? What will you buy or pay? What will feel the best to take care of first? Imagine yourself checking off the things on your list that you have removed from your “to-dos” because they were too costly or extravagant. Use all of your senses and imagination to picture doing those to-dos, making you want to squeal and dance all over again.

 

The power of imagination:

In Emotional Memory Management: Positive Control Over Your Memory, Joseph M. Carver, Ph.D., chronicles an experiment with basketball players to demonstrate that your mind cannot discern a real memory from an imagined one. This is what makes mental rehearsal a very popular and highly effective exercise for professional athletes to hone their performance when they are not physically training. It is also the reason this exercise has scientific merit in you job search to-do list.

 

A practical application of your vision:

Where does this activity fall on your list? First and frequently, do this exercise as often as needed, but certainly wake up and visualize your ultimate future first thing in the morning. When you hear those doubtful voices that will instruct you to be more realistic, say: “Thanks for sharing– now shut up. I’m visualizing, here.”

There is no, “What if this doesn’t happen?” There is only, “This is real and it’s what I’ve been waiting for my whole life!”

Some of us have bought into very dangerous beliefs that celebrating prematurely for something that could never happen is somehow harmful to us. As I mentioned in my throwback blog and in “Are You Martyring Your Dreams?” we have adopted a self-defeating paradigm. We believe that it is more painful to hope for something that never comes than to just live your life excepting that what you want will never be yours. This is what Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, calls a BRULE– a bullsh*t rule. How many of these rules are you living by? How many are stopping you from actually living the life you want?

I suppose this isn’t very different from the motivational and renewal blogs we have written during previous spring seasons. If you have not actually tried to envision the emotions that would come with realizing the utmost success in your profession, then allow yourself five minutes, even 17 seconds to experience that joy. If you notice a difference in how you feel, increase your investment of time. Then notice how many more of your efforts produce results that fall into alignment with that vision.

Rejoice! That is what we Christians do this time of year. Why does that seem so hard? It seems hard because it does not feel like what are supposed to be doing when our life does not resemble what we want. However, rejoicing in what can be and reveling in gratitude for your blessings is exactly what every sacred text, happiness expert, and success coach agree is the most effective way to turn around a slump.

We might consider it much more serious than a slump if we are experiencing physical and emotional pain, which continues to get worse as we consider our own powerlessness. This visualization exercise is something that is within your power to do, and while you may need practice at silencing the skeptical, perhaps even cynical, thoughts that our brain thinks are protecting us, you will experience a powerful, positive shift. The most beautiful thing about this shift is not just what occurs in your life as a result, but it is the formulation of a new belief that in our own minds is a tremendous power. We can learn to harness and apply this power to create a life by design, simply by creating a vision that excites us each waking day.

A sidebar: If your vision of your most ideal future has little semblance to what you are actually pursuing as work, it might be time to check out “5 signs that a Change is Necessary.”

To celebrate this theme of rebirth, here is a retrospective post in honor of my daughter’s sixth birthday, originally posted in April 2010:

I hope you will all excuse my delay in sending out the spring edition of the newsletter, but for me the subtitle of this issue is quite literal.  My daughter, Daisy Eledora Huller, was born on Thursday, March 25th after four days of labor.  I had hoped to get this newsletter out prior to her arrival, but now that I am on the flip side of such a surreal and miraculous experience, I am so glad I waited.  My intention for this issue’s foreword was to relate my experience of preparing for childbirth to the preparation and anticipation of career transitioning.  I had been taking classes, getting a ton of advice (mostly unsolicited), consulting with experts, setting goals, tracking my progress, monitoring results, assessing risk factors, reading up on everything from traditional wives’ tales to new trends, and following as many best practices as made sense for my life and my belief system.

However, those were just the things I could “control.” What was beyond my control frequently surfaced concern and even anxiety.  There was so much to be excited about and yet so many known and unknown variables that were bound to impact the outcome of this experience, which is certainly THE most important experience of my life.  As part of my preparation, I created a birth plan for natural childbirth (drug-free).  I faced many skeptics, even those who love me dearly, but chose to surround myself with support and made a conscious effort to keep any thought opposing my plan at the surface, quickly replacing it with visualizations of the birth experience that I wanted.  It was not always easy!

There was no way for me to know if what I feared would transpire or if everything would go in my favor. The best I could hope for, in spite of the experience itself, was that I would deliver a healthy baby.  I believe some wanted me to be prepared for disappointment.  I really don’t see much value in this, though. I was confident that should the uncontrollable variables occur, and there were definitely a few, I would keep faith that the outcome would be a healthy baby and the experience would be natural.

I had many reasons for wanting my experience to be this way, and none of them included that I could congratulate myself for enduring the pain, though I am very proud of myself for staying true to my plan in spite of a few factors that could have easily dissuaded me.  I have a new appreciation of every mother regardless of how they brought their babies into the world.  I also have a greater appreciation and respect for OUTCOMES– those unpredictable, often unexpectedly wonderful in ways we could not know, results that change our lives.  Everything that has transpired over the last 10 months has taught me that staying present and empowered in life requires intention, but it also requires surrender.

 

Happy spring! Here’s to your new beginnings!

 

Flip The Script On Your Sad Story

Captured from a coincidental Facebook post today on https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown

Captured from a coincidental Facebook post at https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown

Are you someone that doesn’t feel very confident telling your own career story? Have you practiced it and rewrote it in the car, in the shower, before you go to bed, assessing each detail to get your story just right? Does it consume too much of your time and energy and diminish your ability to be present in your life?

When you really think about it, does it feel like you’re defending yourself? When you tell that story, is there any subject in the story who would be inclined to defend themselves if they heard you tell that story? Does your voice go up? Do you get a little more animated?

On the other hand…

Have you ever been uncomfortable hearing somebody go into “dirty” details about a previous job? Did you ever find yourself doubting if the person even believed their own story or if they’re making it up to make himself sound better?

As observers of these stories, we are subconsciously human lie detectors, automatically assessing the authenticity of someone’s story. It can take an effort to listen solely with compassion and empathy. However, when we are the storytellers, we are essentially blind to how our stories are perceived. Since it is our brain’s natural inclination to defend its own “natural” responses, most people don’t see a better way to tell the story, but there is a better way!

 

What we want can sabotage us

As a student of Landmark Education, I learned that our primal motivation in communication is to make ourselves look good and, in doing so sometimes, make others look bad. The only way to stop this cycle so that you can be your authentic self and instill true trust and confidence is to acknowledge our nature, be accountable, and overcome you story. Another added bonus of being authentic and instilling confidence is job momentum in the form of increased employment leads and interviews that convert into job offers. Most recruiters are very skeptical; a candidate who is genuine has a large competitive advantage to one who appears to be hiding something, and most recruiters assume everyone is hiding something. The question that most concerns them is, is what you are hiding relevant to your job performance and your ability to be successful?

You might’ve heard that there are two sides to every story, but what happens when your story doesn’t match up with someone else’s? It becomes a he-said/she-said no-win situation. If you are telling a story about a previous work situation that presents any kind of risk, it will be something the recruiter is going to verify. If there are any discrepancies, you are out of the running.

Stories that we tell ourselves really do shape our reality. We owe it to ourselves to be clear about our role in the outcomes we create. We owe it to ourselves to create stories in our lives in which we are the heroes, and in which we embody the qualities that we admire most.

Vishen Lakhani, Founder of MindValley, identified six basic human needs in in his Mind Hack talk at Wisdom 2.0, which are very different from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The last of these needs, but certainly not the least, is a sense of control. Does that resonate with you? Is what you want most to feel a sense of control about what happens in your life? Is what you want most to feel like things will not happen to you that you don’t want to happen?

What are you seeing in your life right now? If you don’t feel like you have a sense of control, do you feel like you react instead of respond to adversities? Do you feel like people around you never give you what you ask for or what you need? Do you feel like things never go as planned?

 

Confronting yourself

The only way to get from where you are right now to where you want to be, if what you want is a sense of control and freedom to be authentic is to look deeply at yourself and how you contributed to the status of your life right now. This is not an exercise in shame. We unconsciously make ourselves feel worse all the time. When we defend ourselves in situations, and when we feel the need to de-stress or escape our lives by doing more things that are detrimental to our mental physical and emotional well-being, we are trying to escape guilt, shame, and, in essence, the reality that you created. These things, however, only enhance our sense of dread and diminish our control of our lives. The point here is to feel free and alive.

Confronting yourself about how you impact your own life can be painful, but as Carl Jung stated, what we resist persists. Once you recognize your own accountability, eliminate the pain faster by letting yourself feel it fully for a short, set amount of time, like a half hour or a half day, depending on how deeply seeded the pain is. Notice even WHERE your pain is physically, and allow yourself to truly feel it.

Once you feel as though you have felt as much pain as was there, consciously release it. You can do this just by stating it is so, for example, “I release my pain. Or, you can imagine putting this pain and putting your mistakes in to helium balloon and then releasing it into the air. You could write them down and burn them in a fire. Let them go, and let go of the stories that other people and circumstances beyond your control are the reasons that your life is the way it is. Having a sense of control of your life is a choice that you can simply make. It’s not just mental; it is emotional. When you empower yourself to change your life, feel that power inside you. Feel as though you are supported. Your imagination can be very powerful here. Even if you do not believe in a higher power, you can just imagine what it is like to be lucky and to have a charmed life where everything goes your way, and you will manifest better fortune.

Yes, we are sometimes damaged by the actions and words of others. There’s no denying the impact that other people can have to the way that we perceive ourselves and the world around us, however we always have choice. As Eleanor Roosevelt stated, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” At some point, you may have given someone permission to hurt you emotionally, and now is the time to take it back.

 

Getting clear about what’s true and what’s story

 Once you release the self-inflicted pain of your previous choices, you put your brain’s defenses at ease and you can more clearly evaluate how you contributed to an unsuccessful situation. Create a timeline of the situation starting as early as possible. If it’s a job situation, think about your first interactions with the company and your boss. Was it possible you had clues or intuitions about a possible bad outcome that you ignored? Did you misrepresent a qualification in your desperation to get hired? These things happen all the time. The only way to prevent getting stuck in a similar story and be empowered to alter your future is to really see how your choices could have been different. We can never be sure what our present would look like had we made different choices, and we are sure to make mistakes, but we owe it to ourselves to NOT make the same mistakes that we know led us to an undesirable place in our lives, careers and relationships.

 

The flipped script

No employer will anticipate you being a perfect human being. In fact, they will anticipate that you have made some mistakes. Some people think that the question, “Tell us about your weaknesses,” is a trap designed to trick you into spilling your guts about how bad you are so they can eliminate you as a candidate. What an employer really actually wants you to deliver in your answer to that question is strong sense of character that you have built by making mistakes, acknowledging them, taking accountability for them, and either fixing them or learning a lesson that alters the way you approach the situation in the future. Your ability to acknowledge when you make a mistake actually presents you as less risky than somebody who blames others. When you tell a story about somebody else who is at fault, the listener projects you in the future telling similar stories about them. They don’t want to be the future subject of your blame stories.

Some career coaches will advise you on what to say and how to correct your posture to address these stories, and some people may be successful using these tactics. However, we have found that what you say and how you say it is not as impactful as WHO YOU ARE when you say it. Meaning, are you coming from a good intention and are you being your best self?

Once you remove the emotional charge of your previous stories, it’s time to write a new one. Please refer to our previous posts: Your Heroic Job Search, How to Use an Alter-Ego to Land a Job and Be The Rock Star for more insights on that.

 

DISCLAIMER:

In some cases, less is more. This might be a difficult thing to discern for yourself. If you have questions about how to address something either in a networking situation or interviewing situation, please reach out to us. There are times when we will advise you that all you want to report are exactly the facts of what happened and leave it there. For example, when there is a downsizing, no additional details are really necessary. You don’t need to go into the conditions under which a company needed to downsize, unless you are a person who directly impacted a company’s need to downsize.

Also, some people blame themselves after being laid off when it really was a blessing they just don’t recognize yet. Make sure you don’t spend eternity confronting yourself. The key is to release the pain and move forward in a better direction.

 

We’re all human (I’m assuming,) and we all have the same tendency to protect our fragile psyches. The thing is, we don’t always see how our protection ultimately inhibits our quality of life, and even sometimes our health. Coaches shine a mirror and a light on your blind spots. Few others will. If you are lacking a sense of control and feel unsupported, the only way to change that is to recognize how powerful you are in creating your reality, CHOOSE to embrace your power, and learn how you can make better choices that align with who you really are. Until we shed the weight of the protection we carry, we don’t realize how much it has weighed us down, how light and free we can feel, and how high we can really go.